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Subdivision FAQ

What is a subdivision?

A subdivision is the splitting – or dividing – of one parcel of land into two or more parcels. The Community Planning Act and the Subdivision Regulation control the subdividing of land in most of rural New Brunswick.

What are the requirements for lot sizes?

For municipalities, it’s best to call us for specifics, as the requirements vary widely. For unincorporated areas, the required minimum lot size for a lot serviced by a well and septic system is:

• 54 meters of width (180 feet)
• 38 meters of depth (125 feet)
• 4000 square meters of area (1 acre)

The required minimum lot size for a lot serviced by a public sewer system is:

• 23 meters of width (76 feet)
• 30 meters of depth (100 feet)
• 690 square meters of area (7,600 square feet)

The minimum lot size for a lot serviced by a public water and sewer system is:

• 18 meters of width (60 feet)
• 30 meters of depth (100 feet)
• 540 square meters of area (6,000 square feet)

What if your proposed lot sizes do not meet the required minimum?

When the proposed subdivision of land does not meet the minimum lot requirements, it is possible to request a reasonable “variance” from the Planning Review and Adjustment Committee.

How long does a subdivision application take to be complete?

For applications put to the Southwest NB Service Commission (non-incorporated areas, Saint Andrews, Harvey, St. George and McAdam) the absolute longest it should take is about 10 weeks, and that’s the worst-case scenario. In many cases, it can take a lot less time.

What other requirements might there be?

With the exception of woodlots, it is assumed that a subdivided parcel could and will be used for a dwelling at some point in the future. For that reason,

  • Applications need to show a legal access, either from an existing street, road, or private access, or through a right of way
  • Applications need to have a surveyor assert the property is suitable for construction of an on-site septic system (if not already present) or be serviced by a municipal sewer service.

Subdivision approval process

Step 1:
(optional) Consult with Development Officer.

Step 2:
Subdivision application form
Present tentative subdivision plan (see image). The plan needs to show the proposed lot, any existing buildings, as well as the distance from roads and other landmarks including streams and waterways. 

Step 3:
Obtain required approvals from other Departments.

Step 4:
(if required) Proposal heard by Planning Review and Adjustment Committee
(note: in rural areas, only private-access subdivisions need PRAC approval. All others can be approved without a PRAC hearing.)

Step 5:
Development Officer indicates if any revisions are required.

Step 6:
Final version of the plan is prepared by a New Brunswick surveyor.

Step 7:
Final subdivision plan is Approved by Development Officer.

Step 8:
Approved subdivision plan is registered at the Registry Office.