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There are numerous factors to consider when planning a subdivision. These include environment, topography, surrounding neighbourhood, septic capability, potable water source, agency regulations, cost, design, and density, to name a few.

In the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD), applications for subdivision are made to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI). The MoTI refers the applications to other Ministries, Local Governments, and technical agencies that may be affected by the proposal. When all required input is received, the application is forwarded to the Provincial Approving Officer for approval or denial.

This process differs from that of a Municipality as the Municipality generally provides the majority of services internally. Each electoral area within the Regional District poses different scenarios as well.

Some have water systems available where others require wells or other water sources. These details impact one's options when considering subdivision. Careful planning and a full awareness is crucial to creating a successful subdivision.

Subdivision Wordle

The following procedure outlines the basic steps of the subdivision referral process from the ACRD's point of view. Each application is unique and has the potential for various requirements to be satisfied prior to completion.

It is strongly recommended that all property owners who are considering subdivision of property consult with the ACRD Planning Department prior to application in order to identify any additional steps that may be required. These steps may include ALR approval, rezoning, official community plan amendment, development variance permit, development permit, and/or minimum parcel frontage waiver. If any of these steps are necessary, it will be mandatory for them to be completed and approved prior to subdivision approval.

Provision and/or proof of potable water and septic capabilities are also crucial when considering subdivision. It is recommended that applicants confirm these requirements can be met prior to submitting applications for subdivision or other related developments.


1. Make an application through the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI). A Subdivision Application Guide and Preliminary Subdivision Application are available on the MoTI website or at the ACRD office. Payment of their application fee will be required.

2. The MoTI will refer the subdivision proposal to all affected agencies including the ACRD. A referral fee request from the ACRD will be sent to you and payment of this fee is required prior to the ACRD providing response to the MoTI.

3. ACRD staff will review the subdivision application and prepare a planning report. Staff will ensure it complies with all ACRD bylaws and then provide comments and recommendations to the MoTI. In some cases, parkland dedication or cash-in-lieu is required as per the Local Government Act. This would be identified when the application is received by our office and an agreement between the applicant and the ACRD would be necessary.

4. When the MoTI has received input from all agencies, they issue a Preliminary Layout Approval (PLA) directly to the applicant. The PLA will outline any requirements that would need to be satisfied prior to subdivision approval.

5. When all items on the PLA have been addressed, the subdivision is forwarded to the Provincial Approving officer (PAO) for his/her review and decision. It is the PAO that approves or denies a subdivision application. The decision will be sent directly to the applicant.

IMPORTANT! Please Note: If at any stage, the proposal for subdivision is not supported (ie. By the Planning Department, the APC, or the Regional Board), the applicant would be notified immediately and given the opportunity to amend the proposal and/ or provide justification for the proposal as submitted.