Property Subdivision

What is Subdivision?

Subdivision of land is defined in the Municipal Government Act as “the division of land into two or more parcels, and includes a resubdivision or a consolidation of two or more parcels”. All alterations to property boundary lines of lots less than twenty-five acres in area are subject to ‘Subdivision Approval’ in accordance with the provisions of the Provincial Subdivision Regulations and subdivision provisions in the Municipal Government Act. The Municipality of Argyle does not have a Subdivision By-Law at this time.

What are the steps?

  • Complete an application for Subdivision Approval
  • Submit a Plan of Subdivision along with your application
  • The documents are reviewed by our Development Officer to ensure the plan meets Provincial Subdivision Regulations
  • The documents may require approval from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and/or Department of Environment
  • If regulations are met, the Plan of Subdivision is approved and registered in the Registry of Deeds

Types of Subdivision

There are four different types of subdivisions:

  1. 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 fee for a preliminary application, however it is an information gathering process and must be followed with either a Tentative or Final plan.

  2. 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. Upon completion of this process you have two years to file a final plan of subdivision, you cannot deviate from the originally approved Tentative Plan.

  3. 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.

    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 902-742-8985.

    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 250 ft with a lot area of 100,000 sq ft. 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.

  4. Instrument of Subdivision: In some circumstances subdivision approval can be done by a hand drawn plan called an ‘Instrument of Subdivision’. Instruments of Subdivision are only permitted where every lot created is a minimum of 100,000 sq.ft. in area, and each lot can contain a 250 ft diameter circle within its boundaries. As well additions to existing lots and consolidations of lots can also be done by Instrument of Subdivision.

Private Roads and Rights-of-Ways

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.

Plans of Consolidation

All applications submitted for lot consolidations, of two or more land owners, cannot, upon approval, be filed at the Land Registration Office without an executed Deed for the affected parcel. You will also require an Affidavit of Value, if applicable, Deed Transfer Tax.

Land Migration

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
  • Lot 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.


What is the cost?

The only fees for Subdivision approval that the Municipality of Argyle requires are the costs for registration of the plan in the Registry of Deeds. All registration fees are payable to the Municipality of Argyle.

  • Migrated Plan of Subdivision = $100.00
  • Non-migrated Plan of Subdivision $100.00 + $100.00 = $200.00
  • Migrated or non-migrated Instrument of Subdivision = $100.00
  • Municipal Subdivision Fee = $150

Other Items to Consider

  • Deed transfer tax of 1%
  • Migration of properties
  • Family gifting

Download the “Application for Subdivision Approval Schedule A”

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