It is a legal requirement in Nova Scotia to obtain subdivision approval when creating lots less than 25 acres in area, this also applies to consolidation of lands that are less than 25 acres.The applicant must provide an affidavit indicating that the lots satisfy the 25 acre requirement.
An approved lot can ensure the property has been assessed by the Department of Environment and Labour, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, as well as Municipal Departments. It establishes the legal boundaries of the land.
The landowner must be aware of where his lands lie. Are they in an area that currently has a Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-Law? If so there could be additional restrictions in place which could impact the development. If you are uncertain then call our main office to verify this information.
The subdivision process itself can take up to 6 weeks. In order to shorten this time frame as much as possible it is imperative to plan ahead. Get all the information you require before you begin.
The province of Nova Scotia through Registry 2000 introduced Land Migration in 2004(?). There are three triggers which require you to migrate your lands into the new Land Registry System they are:
- 3 or more newly configured lots
- For valuable consideration
- Lots consolidation of a migrated and non migrated parcel.
Land Migration involves a thorough search of the parcel prior to acceptance into the system. Upon acceptance for "migration" then title, for this parcel, is guaranteed. Some landowners will volunteer to have their lands migrated even though the development itself may not be a trigger. This is something you may want to discuss further with your solicitor or surveyor.
Types of Subdivision
There are three different types of subdivision:
Preliminary: This process is normally done for large developments which may have concerns with proposed public or private roads, Department of Environment criteria, extensions to Municipal Servicing or Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal criteria. There is no charge for a preliminary application, however it is an information gathering process and must be followed with either a Tentative or Final plan.
Tentative: A tentative plan of subdivision is more informative and extensive than a preliminary. It is required in some Municipalities if there are proposed Private or Public Roads. It must be prepared by a licensed Nova Scotia Land Surveyor, eight copies must be provided. there is a $50.00 application fee. Upon completion of this process you have two years to file a final plan of subdivision, you can not deviate from the originally approved Tentative Plan.
Final: An approved final plan of subdivision is a legally binding document and registered at the local Land Registration office in which the lands are located. It must be prepared by a licensed Nova Scotia Land Surveyor and requires assessments from any Department or Agency as determined by the Development Officer. 12 Original plans along with a completed application form must be submitted to the Development Officer. All landowners listed in the Title Block must sign the application. If the application is signed by an agent on behalf of a landowner then a letter of authorization must accompany the application. The processing fee for the application is $200.00 for the first five lots and $25.00 for each additional lot.
Any lot which is being created for development must have a Qualified Person report for submission to the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour. To obtain a list of Qualified Persons in your area please contact the Department of Environment at 902-625-0791.
Any lot which is intended "Not For Development" must meet the guidelines for the Nova Scotia Department of Environment. It must have a minimum width of 76m with a lot area of 9000m². If a lot is created within this requirement but is intended for Development then a Qualified Person Report must accompany the application for submission to the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour.
Private Roads and Rights-of-Way
It is important for any landowner to thoroughly research the information they require in order to make an informed decision. Please keep in mind that all Municipalities have different requirements within their area so check first. Contact the Development Officer to be certain what is permitted within your area.
This is another area that differs within each Municipality, again check with the Development Officer to see if you may be affected by parkland transfers. You can keep in mind that if Parkland Transfers are required within a Municipality they don’t normally affect an application with four or less lots. Please check with the Development Officer first to be certain.
Non Surveyed Plans
Although they must be prepared by a licensed Nova Scotia Surveyor they are permitted in some Municipalities. There is certain criteria which must be met prior to acceptance of these plans. Please check with the Development Officer to see if they are permitted, and what criteria are applicable.
Plans of Consolidation
All applications submitted for lot consolidations, of two or more land owners, can not, upon approval, be filed at the Land Registration Office without an executed Deed for the affected parcel. You will also required an Affidavit of Value, if applicable, Deed Transfer Tax.