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Subdivisions of land are required when a land owner wishes to split up his/her existing title into one or more titles. This could be for the purposes of separating an existing yard site from the agricultural portion of a quarter section, or for creating lots to be offered for sale by a developer or to split up land for an estate, or for many other reasons.

In order to begin a subdivision of land, the owner must submit an Application to Subdivide and a Subdivision Application Map, along with an application fee, to Community and Regional Planning Branch of the Department of and Municipal Relations.


Balchen and Kulchycki Surveys assist the land owner by preparing the Subdivision Application Map (SAM) and Application to Subdivide.   According to Planning regulations a SAM must contain the following:

  • Existing property boundaries
  • Proposed lot dimensions
  • Location of all permanent structures
  • Location of onsite wastewater management systems, including the septic or holding tank and field locations, and separation distances between the above and property lines, dwellings, well, waterways, etc.
  • Location of well
  • Waterbodies and natural features
  • Drainage flow directions
  • Existing utility services (Hydro and MTS lines, easements, etc.)
  • Existing tree lines and shelterbelts


Once Planning has analysed the Application to Subdivide and Subdivision Application Map (SAM) they circulate the documents to interested Government Departments and agencies like Manitoba Hydro and MTS for comments and review, then they compile the results into a Report to Municipal Council. The Municipal Council will consider the application, together with the Planning report, and will either approve it (with or without conditions) or refuse it. If Council approves the application and Planning determines the application meets all requirements under the Planning Act and conforms with local zoning bylaws and development plans, a letter of conditional approval will be issued. This letter sets out the conditions and requirements that must be met before the subdivision can be registered in Land Titles.

One of the conditions may be for the production of a Plan of Subdivision by a Manitoba Land Surveyor. Balchen and Kulchycki Surveys attend to field surveys to delineate and demarcate the new boundaries of the subdivision and to prepare the Plan of Subdivision to be approved and registered in the Land Titles Office.

Subdivisions of land within quarter sections can be done by legal description, as opposed to by Plan of Subdivision, if it is the first or second piece to be taken out of the quarter, and if the parcel is square or rectangular. Subdivisions by legal description normally cost less than Plans of Subdivisions, but the corners of the proposed Lot can still be posted so that all interested parties know the location of the new boundaries on the ground. Balchen and Kulchycki Surveys produce legal descriptions for subdivisions or for other purposes.


Building Location Certificates are documents that show the physical location of buildings and improvements on a title of land in relation to legal boundaries, and the legal status of the title at a point in time. The documents are comprised of

  • a survey drawing showing buildings and distances to property lines and any encroachments onto or from neighbouring properties. Fences, driveways or other improvements that encroach are also shown.
  • A report showing registered owners names, legal description of property, civic address, encumbrances and caveats like mortgages liens, judgements, easement agreements for access or utilities, etc., and encroachment status.

Building Location Certificates are used for

  • real estate transactions to protect the buyer, seller or mortgage company from the liability of title problems
  • renovation or construction planning
  • zoning compliance and issuance of zoning memoranda
  • proposals for building permit applications


Surveyor’s Staking Certificates provide a record of the staking or posting (with buried iron bars marked with wooden lathe), of a parcel of titled land. The location of the survey markers and the dimensions of the parcel are shown on the resulting survey sketch, along with any encroachments found.


Plans of Easement are often required as a condition during the Subdivision process for Manitoba Hydro or MTS or other utilities to acquire the right over a portion of land to access their facilities. Plans of Easement can also be used to acquire the right to cross or otherwise use someone else’s land for a specified purpose, like access to a road.


Before undertaking any significant construction or development project, a topographic site survey may be necessary to identify various surface features like buildings, fences, curbs, manholes, Hydro poles and lines, MTS pedestals, water bodies, trees, etc., along with spot elevations and contours. Underground improvements may also be shown like the location, size and type of sanitary and storm sewer lines, water and gas lines, or buried Hydro, MTS and cable lines. A topographic site survey can be used by architects, engineers or developers as a foundation for designing proposed buildings and other improvements such as landscaping and drainage. The contours and elevations on topographic surveys may be used to plan for the construction and grading of roads and drainage ditches.


These plans are used to open or close various Public Works. Plans of Public Road to be opened can provide legal access to properties, or can dedicate new roads to a municipality for the use of the public. Public roads, reserves, walks etc. can be closed over surplus land, and the closed portion can be consolidated with neighbouring properties to increase the size of private holdings.


When making improvements to land, during the construction process it is necessary to position the new structures in relation to property boundaries and existing features. Balchen and Kulchycki Surveys layout precise grid lines, along with pile and foundation locations according to architectural and structural engineering drawings.