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A subdivision is created when an owner of a piece of property divides it into smaller parcels, which can then be developed or sold. Within larger Area Structure Plans or Neighbourhood Structure Plans (NSP), subdivisions are typically created and processed in a number of phases.

The Municipal Planning Commission approves all subdivisions not within an approved Neighbourhood Structure Plan. Administration approves all subdivisions within an approved NSP or a subdivision with 10 lots or less. In Airdrie, most subdivisions are approved administratively.

Outline plan

Outline plans are prepared as an initial stage in major subdivision applications (pdf), usually in outlying areas. They are not statutory; however, they are acknowledged in the legislation and short-circuit the circulation process in subsequent tentative plans. They are usually processed together with land use redesignations, to ensure a "workable" distribution of land uses, open space, road networks, etc.

Once approved by the Subdivision Authority, they form the basic concept for the subsequent tentative plans. There is no appeal route for outline plans as they are not statutory documents. The City of Airdrie does not currently use Outline Plans, and instead uses Neighbourhood Structure Plans which are approved by City Council as statutory documents.

Tentative plan

A tentative plan is prepared when a proposed subdivision is to be undertaken by a plan of subdivision. The tentative plan may be based upon an approved outline plan but will include more detail. Decisions are made by the Subdivision Authority, which in most cases in Airdrie is the Subdivision Planner.

Unlike outline plans, tentative plans are legal plans and decisions or conditions related to them may be appealed by the applicant.

Subdivision by instrument

Subdivision by instrument occurs in situations where additional parcel(s) will be created and they can be described without a survey. The description identifying the new parcel must be satisfactory to the Provincial Land Titles office.

Subdivision by instrument is the form of subdivision often used for splitting lots for inner city infill development.

Decisions are made by the Subdivision Authority. Appeals may be made by the applicant. These types of subdivision are rare within Airdrie.

Legal plan

This plan provides an accurate record of the survey markers placed in the ground, in the form of iron pins, from which dimensions are taken. It shows in detail location, orientation and size of all parcels. The Legal Plan must be submitted to the City for endorsement within a year of the subdivision approval date.

When endorsed by the City, the plan is registered at the Land Titles Office. The transfer of title of lots cannot occur until the plan is registered. The endorsed documents must be registered at the Land Titles Office within a year of the endorsement date; however, an extension may be granted by the City.

Engineering Submittal Subdivision Application Form (pdf)