What is subdivision?

Subdivision is the division of any area of land into two or more lots and includes joining lots or changing boundary lines. Whether you and your neighbour are just swapping pieces of property, or if you are designing a residential development creating many lots, approval of a plan of subdivision is required.

What is the Subdivision By-law?

The Municipal Government Act gives municipalities the right to adopt a Subdivision By-law. This By-law controls the subdivision of land and protects the owner by ensuring that lots which are created can be used as intended. The  pdf WH Subdivision By law Consolidated November 26, 2019 (538 KB)  and the pdf Windsor Subdivision By-law Consolidated March 13, 2014 (545 KB)  regulate the creation of new lots, additions to lots, consolidation of lots, boundary adjustments, and the construction of new roads and the installation of municipal services.

How do I apply?

1. Contact the Development Officer to discuss your project. This is necessary because different areas require different lot sizes and frontages depending on their location and zone.
2. Contact the Public Works Department to determine whether the lot can be serviced by sewer and/or water. 
a) If sewer services are not available, the lot must meet Nova Scotia Environment requirements for the installation of an on-site sewage disposal system
b) If municipal water services are not available, you should investigate obtaining an adequate well water supply on the proposed lot before you subdivide. You may wish to talk to the Nova Scotia Environment, neighbours or local well drillers as possible sources of information.
3. Contact the provincial Department of Public Works for driveway access on provincial public roads. 
4. Seek legal advice or contact the Land Registration Office to determine the requirements of the Land Registration Act.
5. Arrange for a plan of subdivision to be prepared by a registered Nova Scotia Land Surveyor.
6. Complete a   pdf Subdivision Approval Application (160 KB)  and submit to the Planning and Development Department along with 14 copies of the survey plan and the fee.

What is the procedure for Approval?

Once a complete application has been received, the Development Officer sends a copy of the plan to other departments and agencies such as Nova Scotia Environment, provincial Department of Public Works, Land Registration Office, municipal Public Works, and Provincial Assessment for their review or approval.

The Development Officer reviews the application for conformance with the Subdivision and Land Use By-laws and when all required submissions and external approvals are received, the subdivision plan is approved. 

The plan, a Notice of Subdivision Approval and fee are sent to the Registry of Deeds for registration. Once the documents have been registered, the approved plans will be returned to you.

How long is the process?

The length of time required to grant subdivision approval can vary depending on location and approvals required from other departments or agencies. Generally, the process takes about four to six weeks.

Note: Larger scale subdivisions involving new roads or phased development require additional submissions including a concept plan, engineered street and service designs, storm drainage plan, etc. Please contact the Development Officer for more information. Our Municipal Services Specifications Manual can be found  default here. (8.39 MB)


Development Officer
Doug MacInnis
(902) 798-8391 Ext. 120

Development Officer
Chris Burns
(902) 798-8391 Ext. 131

Director of Public Works
Todd Richard
(902) 798-2275 Ext. 208

Nova Scotia Environment
136 Exhibition Street
Kentville, NS
(902) 679-6086

Nova Scotia Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal
Windsor-West Hants Industrial Park
4 Ivey Lane
Windsor, NS
(902) 798-2369

Property Valuation Services - Northern Regional Assessment Office
15 Arlington Place, Suite 6
Truro, NS