Want to subdivide your quarter section of land?

Subdivision is when a parcel of land is divided into two or more parcels with separate legal titles for each parcel. It is important to remember that there is no automatic right to subdivide in Lacombe County, however, there are a number of policies which allow for a quarter section of land to be subdivided.

  • First parcel out subdivisions may be considered on lands that have not been previously subdivided and that contain a habitable permanent residence that has been on the site for at least five years. These parcels are generally restricted to 1.62 hectares (4 acres) in size.
  • The subdivision of a fragmented parcel may be considered where lands are separated from the balance of the existing titled area by a natural or artificial feature, such as a road, railway, river or lake.
  • An agricultural subdivision on lands that have not been previously subdivided may be considered for specialized or intensive agricultural operations, such as a greenhouse or horticultural operation. These parcels are generally at least 4.05 hectares (10 acres) in size.

It is also important to note that each type of subdivision application must meet a number of criteria and that each application is judged on its own merit.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide sufficient information for the County to adequately assess an application.

It is recommended you contact Planning Services to discuss your proposal for subdivision prior to submitting an application.  Planning Services staff would be happy to meet with you to discuss the process and the type of information that would be required for your specific situation.  For more information, or to set up a meeting with staff, please contact Planning Services at 403-782-8389.


What are the subdivision application fees?

Subdivision applications are subject to a $500.00 fee.  If the application is approved, there is an additional $250.00 endorsement fee at the final stage of the process.

Refunds of subdivision application fees:

Prior to circulation of application – 75% of original fee
During or after circulation of application – 50% of original fee
After site inspection – no refund

What additional costs should I consider?

When considering a subdivision of land, you should consider any additional costs that may be associated with the conditions of approval for a subdivision.  Common expenses include having the parcel surveyed by an Alberta Land Surveyor, an inspection from a Safety Codes Officer of existing sewage disposal systems, and/or the installation of a new wastewater system that meets current safety codes, as well as ensuring that all property taxes on the subject quarter section are paid.  In some cases, cash payments may be required in lieu of a municipal reserve.

Are other planning policies considered?

In certain cases, the subject land may be located in an area also directed by a local plan such as an Area Structure Plan, or an Intermunicipal Development Plan if the land is adjacent to an urban municipality.  The policies contained in these plans are carefully considered when deciding on the application.  In some cases, the subdivision of a fragmented parcel may be restricted in the local plan, which would be seriously taken into consideration by the County when deciding on the subdivision application.

Who will receive notice of my subdivision application?

All applications are circulated to neighbouring property owners, neighbouring municipalities, provincial departments, interested agencies and any party that has a registered interest on the title.  Their comments are considered before any decision on the subdivision application is made.  In circumstances where the application is within one-half mile of a provincial highway, the subdivision also requires the approval of Alberta Transportation.

How do I get a subdivision application?

Subdivision application forms are available at the Lacombe County office or can be downloaded from the application forms and information guides page.