Subdivision Design, Review, Approvals and Development

Online /
May 28 - 30, 2024 /
Course Code: 15-0508-ONL24

The confirmation of this course depends on early registration; Register early to avoid the postponement or cancellation of a course.
  • Overview
  • Syllabus
  • Instructor


Please note, This instructor-led course has specific dates and times:
Please note that the course is focusing on the process and skills and cannot address the specific legislation/unique aspects of each municipality or province, so while it's geared nationwide, it is using the province of BC as the baseline.

This course is held online over 3 days on the following schedule (All times in Eastern Time Zone):
Day 1 & 2: 10:30 am-1:30 pm; 2 pm-4:30 pm (Eastern Time)
Day 3: 10:30 am-3 pm (Eastern Time)

After participating in this course, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate, understand, prepare, apply and review subdivisions from all aspects
  • Change your perspective to understand the fundamentals of real estate, needs of the Developer, financing and financials, range of consultants and external professionals, as well as the Regulatory/Approving Agency expectations, needs and requirements
  • Navigate the regulatory framework and approvals processes with ease
  • Evaluate the effects of provincial policy, legislation, and local regulations on your potential projects
  • Ensure you are engaging the right professionals at the right time in order to maximize effectiveness and efficiency, but not getting ahead of what is needed
  • Understand the key players and stakeholders in order to work most effectively with all involved
  • Keep your process and application compliant and legal
  • Apply sensitivity analysis to shock-proof applications from delays and schedule adjustments
  • Learn about incentives, changes, and initiatives that may benefit your application

Subdivision and Development is a multi-disciplinary adventure involving enormous funds and resources and remains an approval quagmire: we will pull back the curtain and evaluate the process from all sides.

Time is money, and the timing of land assembly or land development is one of the most critical factors in the development industry. A successful Developer must be ready to meet the demand for new housing as the pressure on the housing market increases. A successful Approving Agency will understand the financial impact of quality and value-added development and expedite those that provide real benefits. The Developer and Approving Agency are both subject to external influences and forces that the other has yet to understand: now.

Bringing together experts from all sides of the process, this course will explore the fundamentals of subdivision development, design, review, approvals and development. It will also introduce some changes in the plan review process, legislation governing the subdivision of land, development charges, and new incentives and initiatives.

The instructor will discuss aspects of the subdivision development process, including the changes in the planning system, market studies, smart growth, wide shallow versus conventional lots, how to keep lots affordable, environmental issues, procedures for seeking approval, as well as engineering design, and alternative development standards.

Course Outline:

  • Land Development Business - A Developer’s Perspective and A Municipality’s Perspective
  • Planning Process
  • Engineering Development Standards
  • Consulting Team Roles and Responsibilities
  • Site Plan Application
  • Engineering Design Process
  • Engineering Development Standards
  • Cost of Development
  • Development Financing
  • Watershed Management
  • Traffic Implications of Land Development

Who Should Attend:
Land use planning and engineering consultants, developers, lenders, development engineering project managers, surveyors, accountants, investors and property managers both in the private and public sectors, real estate agents, municipal planning officials, development review and approvals personnel, technicians and technologists, water resources managers, environmental engineers, traffic engineers, and business administrators concerned with real estate development.

Special Features and Requirements 

The course content and the example projects have been chosen to be of value both to individuals without any previous development experience as well as persons who are involved in the real estate development field.

Please note: The course is focusing on the process and skills and cannot address the specific legislation/unique aspects of each municipality or province. While it's geared nationwide, it is using the province of BC as the baseline.

More Information

Time: 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM Eastern Time

Please note: You can check other time zones here.


Day I

Welcome, Introduction, Workshop Preview, Learning Outcomes and the Assessment Method

Land Development Business - A Developer’s Perspective
The process for developing raw land to residential subdivision: Demand, opportunity, land acquisition, proformas, consultants, financing, sales & marketing, and construction.

Land Development Business - A Municipality’s Perspective
The process for developing raw land to residential subdivision: Regulatory regime, changes in local official plan policies, zoning and subdivision law and its regulatory agencies provincial policy and interests including smart growth.

Planning Process

  • Legislative and regulatory framework
  • Roles and responsibilities of the provincial government, municipalities, and agencies
  • Municipal planning policies, by-laws, and regulations
  • Strategies for planning approvals
  • Submission requirements for planning applications
  • Public involvement in the planning process
  • Permit issuance
  • Development charges
  • Questions and answers

Engineering Development Standards

  • Evolution of Engineering Development Standards
  • Market demand and public sector response
  • Innovation and alternative development standards
  • Relationship with urban design
  • Resulting engineering considerations: underground utilities, surface improvements, stormwater management
  • Municipal infrastructure
  • Development disciplines
  • General private drainage and grading
  • Complaints
  • Site alteration permits
  • Water and sanitary
  • General policies- public works
  • Questions and answers

Consulting Team Roles & Responsibilities

  • Planners
  • Surveyors
  • Civil Engineers
  • Environmental
  • Geotechnical
  • Landscape
  • Legal
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Appraiser
  • Banker
  • Legal


Day II

Site Plan Application

  • Site plan submission: drawing requirements, background study requirements
  • Application circulation: internal agencies, external agencies
  • Consultation with applicant and agent
  • Conditional site plan approval
  • Clearance of conditions
  • Site inspections and cancellation of security deposits
  • Minor modifications
  • Questions and answers

Engineering Design Process

  • Economic/demographic trends
  • Changing housing preferences
  • Choosing the appropriate type of market analysis
  • Assessing development potential
  • Land survey
  • Streets and sidewalks
  • Stormwater Drainage
  • Sanitary sewers
  • Manholes
  • Water distribution
  • Hydrants
  • Substation/transformers
  • Street lighting
  • Traffic signs and signals

Case Study/Assignment


Cost of Development

  • Costs related to process changes
  • Costs related to engineering standards changes
  • Costs related to the type of development - conventional vs traditional neighbourhood development
  • Scheduling and cost control during the design and construction phase
  • Municipal cost/benefit and asset management

Development Financing

  • A lender's perspective on financing
  • Financing sources
  • Preparing proposals for financiers
  • Environmental risk
  • Interim financing
  • Criteria for assessment

Registration, Sales & Marketing, Construction & Completion

  • What comes first, the construction or the registration?
  • Fees & Charges
  • Sales & Promotion
  • Realities of Construction
  • Project Completion & Success

Functional Servicing Requirements

Water, Wastewater, Drainage

  • Expectations & Requirements
  • Responsibilities & Cost of Infrastructure

Watershed Management

  • Subwatershed management
  • Drainage plans
  • Stormwater management: water supply development and sewage disposal for subdivision development in unserviced areas
  • Effective Environmental Impact Statements
  • Case study
  • Questions and answers

Traffic Implications of Land Development

  • Internal site design
  • External traffic analysis
  • Mitigating measures
  • Street widening, auxiliary lanes, signalization
  • Application of standards and techniques to produce an acceptable resolution

Questions and Answers and Feedback to Participants on Achievement of Learning Outcomes

Concluding Remarks and Final Adjournment


James Kay, P.Eng., CPESC, CPSWQ

James is a Professional Engineer who has been designing, administering and approving land development and municipal engineering projects across Canada since 2001.

James and his teams deliver development projects, including municipal works, subdivisions, townhouses, commercial plazas, and industrial and institutional projects. He has served in the public sector with three different municipalities and in the private sector as a developer, builder, and consulting civil engineer. James has earned distinction and accreditation in the fields of Consulting Engineering, Project Management, Environmental Design, Water and Wastewater, and Erosion & Sediment Control.

Having served as a Development Engineering Manager and Approving Officer, James brings all aspects of Subdivision Design, Review, Approvals and Development into an interactive and informative course.

The Engineering Institute of Canada

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Course Rating
4.7 out of 5

Overall rating of this course by its previous attendees!

Fee & Credits

$1295 + taxes

  • 1.4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • 14 Continuing Professional Development Hours (PDHs/CPDs)
  • ECAA Annual Professional Development Points

Group Training
This course can be customized and delivered to your group of staff at your facility, saving time and money.
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