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In This Volume

This Part deals with the subdivision of land; the appointment, powers, and duties of approving officers who approve subdivision plans; the deposit of subdivision plans in the land title office; survey methods; the amendment of plans; penalties where plans are not deposited; the vesting of title in the Crown by deposit of a plan; and statutory right of way plans. This Part does not apply to strata plans or air space plans.

Subdivision of Land

When an owner decides to subdivide land, the owner (who is frequently referred to in this Part as the “subdivider”) must arrange for a British Columbia land surveyor to survey the land and prepare a subdivision plan. This plan shows the streets, lanes, parks, numbered lots, and other information about the land, with all the necessary measurements. The plan must also show the position of required monumentation. The surveyor must draw the plan according to accepted procedures, including those approved by order of the Surveyor General, and all the owners of the land (as defined in s. 1 of the Act) must sign the subdivision plan. Once the surveyor has completed the subdivision plan, the owner must obtain the approval of the appropriate municipal or other approving officer. With this approval, the owner may then tender the plan for deposit in the appropriate land title office, where the registrar examines the plan and assigns it a plan number.

CROSS REFERENCES AND OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION

In conjunction with Part 7 of the Act, see also the Survey and Plan Rules at www.abcls.ca. The rules are made by the Association of British Columbia Land Surveyors and approved and ordered by the Surveyor General. Note that these rules are revised frequently and readers should refer to the ABCLS website for the most up-to-date version.

An electronic subdivision, reference, or explanatory plan or strata plan with a pre-assigned plan number is attached to a Survey Plan Certification form that is signed electronically by the British Columbia land surveyor. The Survey Plan Certification form accompanies the electronic Application to Deposit Plan at Land Title Office. These forms are available at ltsa.ca.

All signatures of the owners and holders of registered charges and plan approvals are located on the electronic Application to Deposit Plan at Land Title Office. Minor changes have been made to existing required signatures and notations where they refer to “shown on plan hereon” or similar language and replaced to facilitate the electronic filing of plans to the land title office. In addition to the Survey and Plan Rules, the specific directions for the completion of plans and plan applications are contained in Electronic Land Title Plan and Plan Application Requirements at ltsa.ca.

Each year 500 to 1,000 plans that define portions of Crown land are deposited in the land title office.

The Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA) has a responsibility to assist the provincial government in maintaining records about Crown land.

The Surveyor General Services of the LTSA is made aware of every new survey plan that defines Crown land, both untitled and titled. Survey and Plan Rule 5-8 and Electronic Land Title Plan and Plan Application Requirements s. 4.3(c) require the application form accompanying the deposit of a Statutory Right of Way plan to be signed by or on behalf of the Surveyor General. The Surveyor General is notified post-registration of all other plans over Crown land.

Part 3 of the Survey and Plan Rules requires that surveyors prepare all plans to metric scale and dimensions to metric units.

See Appendix 1, “Appendix 1: Reading Metes and Bounds Descriptions” in this chapter.

See Appendix 2, “Appendix 2: Types of Plans” in this chapter, for a glossary of types of plans.

See Appendix 3, “Appendix 3: Surveyor General’s Circular Letters” in this chapter, for Circular Letters relevant to Part 7 of the Act.

See ss. 3(1) and 3(1.1) of the Land Title Act, and the following provisions of the Strata Property Act, S.B.C. 1998, c. 43 in chapter 56 (Strata Property Act, S.B.C. 1998, c. 43) of this Manual, with respect to the application of Part 7 of the Land Title Act to strata plans.

  1. Section 80, Disposal of common property
  2. Section 235, Election not to proceed
  3. Section 244, Strata plan requirements
  4. Section 253, Subdivision of common property
  5. Part 15, ss. 257 to 271, Strata plan amendment and amalgamation
  6. Section 274, Application to Registrar (to cancel a strata plan)

The Survey and Plan Rules at abcls.ca and the Electronic Land Title Plan and Plan Application Requirements at ltsa.ca apply to strata plans. See in particular, Part 7 of the Survey and Plan Rules and ss. 4.1(o) and (p), 4.2, and s. 4.3(b) and (c) of the Electronic Land Title Plan and Plan Application Requirements.

See s. 3(2) of the Land Title Act, which provides that Part 9 of the Land Title Act applies to the Strata Property Act only to the extent expressly stated in that Act or in Part 9.

Part 9 of the Land Title Act deals with the creation and subdivision of air space plans. Section 146(2), in Part 9, provides that Part 7 of the Land Title Act does not apply to an air space plan. Section 141, in Part 9, provides that an air space parcel may be subdivided in accordance with the Strata Property Act. See Part 14 of the Strata Property Act, including s. 240 (Title requirements for deposit of strata plan).

Errors relating to the Application to Deposit Plan are among the most common land title application errors that result in a refusal to register and the issuance of a defect notice. See “Common Errors Leading to Defects” published within the Land Title Practice Information (under the “Practice Info” drop-down menu) at ltsa.ca.

Secondary Sources

See generally Di Castri, Registration of Title to Land, vol. 1, chap. 6, “Land Descriptions and Registered and Deposited Plans of Survey”.