Plan of Subdivision

What is a Plan of Subdivision?

A Plan of Subdivision is a method of dividing land into two or more parcels or lots so that they can be held in separate ownership.  The approval process is governed by Section 51 of the Planning Act and includes consideration of where streets, schools, parks, homes and businesses will be located.

The Plan must also address servicing issues related to storm and sanitary sewers, and protection of natural features such as woodlots or watercourses. 

Subdivision approval is required to ensure that:

  • The subject land is suitable for the proposed use;
  • The proposal confoms with the Provincial Policy Statement, the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Region of Niagara Policy Plan, the City of Port Colborne Official Plan and any other applicable policies;
  • The community is protected from development which is inappropriate or may put an undue strain on community facilities, services or finances.


Prior to the Submission of an application for Plan of Subdivision, a meeting with City Staff is required to determine what supporting documents and studies will be required to evaluate the proposal, to verify information on the application, and to clarify the procedures to follow.


Draft Approval

What is Draft Plan of Subdivision Approval (Draft Plan Approval)?

An application for Subdivision Approval will be considered by Council and either "Draft Approved" or refused.  If your application received Draft Approval, you will be adivsed of any conditions that must be met in order to obtain final approval and registration.  Conditions of Draft Approval may include items such as:

  • Road widening;
  • Naming of streets;
  • Parkland requirements;
  • Rezoning of the area to reflect the new proposed subdivision uses; and
  • Any other municipal, regional or other agency requirements

Additionally, Draft Approval may include a lapsing provision, which establishes a time frame within which the conditions of approval must be met or the Draft Approval will lapse (and the applicant would be required to re-submit their full application).

In most cases, the developer may be required to sign a subdivision agreement with the municipality to ensure that certain services such as sidewalks and roads are provided after the plan is registered.


Application Process

Applications for Plan of Subdivision are available from the Planning and Development Department, Second (2nd) Floor, City Hall.  An application is also available by clicking on the following link:

Application for Plan of Subdivision/Condominium


The Director of Planning and Development will review the application and all supporting documentation and may return the application if it is incomplete or inaccurate, or if fees are unpaid.  Also, the administration reserves the right to request additional information in the future.

Please refer to the fee schedule on the Planning_Fees_Schedule for information regarding the applicable application costs.


Approval Process

The subdivision approval process is designed to ensure that the property is suitable for its proposed new use, that the proposal conforms to the Official Plan for the City of Port Colborne and provincial legislation and policies, and that property owners, neighbours and the community are protected from developments that are inappropriate or might put undue strain on community facilities, services or finances.

If the application is approved by Council, the applicant is advised of the decision.

If the application is denied, the applicant will be advised of the decision and informed that it may be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (O.M.B.).  Appeals are filed through the City Clerk's Department and require a payment of $125.00.

For more information about the appeal process, please visit the O.M.B. website at




When can a subdivision be registered?

Once all conditions of Draft Plan Approval have been satisfied, final approval of the Subdivision is granted and the Plan of Subdivision is registered on the provincial land titles or registry system.  Once this is finalized, the developer may then go ahead with the sale of lots in the Subdivision.

What is a Registered Plan of Subdivision?

A Registered Plan of Subdivision is a legal document that illustrates:

  • The exact surveyed boundaries and dimensions of lots on which houses or buildings are to be built;
  • The location, width and names of streets;
  • The sites of any schools or parks.

The Plan does not show specific building locations.

A Registered Plan of Subdivision creates new, separate parcels of land and can be legally used for the sale of lots.  it should not be confused with "compiled plans" or "reference plans" which are terms used to simply describe parcels of land.


More Information

For more information regarding Plans of Subdivision, please contact:

David Schulz, BURPl
Ph.  905-835-2900 ext. 202
Fax. 905-835-2939   
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