What is a subdivision?

Simply defined, subdivision is the division of any area of land into two or more parcels and includes consolidating or altering boundary lines of two or more lots. In the Town, whether you and your neighbour are merely swapping pieces of property, or if you are designing a residential development creating many lots, you are subdividing and approval of a plan of subdivision is required.

What is the Subdivision By-law?

The  Municipal Government Act (MGA) of the Province of Nova Scotia gives municipal units the right to adopt a Subdivision By-law. This By-law controls the subdivision of land and protects the taxpayer by ensuring that lots are not created which cannot be used as intended. The Subdivision By-law regulates how an area may be subdivided to create new lots, additions to lots, consolidation of lots, and boundary adjustments. Major subdivisions may involve construction of new roads and the installation of municipal services. The Subdivision By-law of the Town of Windsor is designed to protect the owner and the purchaser of the land by establishing uniform procedures and standards that apply to all subdivision of land.

Town of Windsor Subdivision By-law

What is the procedure?

  1. Discuss the requirements for subdivision of land with the Development Officer. This is necessary because different areas throughout the Town require different lot sizes and frontages depending on their location and zone.
  2. Contact the Department of Public Works to determine whether the lot can be serviced by sewer and/or water. If sewer services are not available, the lot must meet Nova Scotia Department of Environment requirements for the installation of an on-site sewage disposal system. You will need to hire a Qualified Person to assess the lot and determine the minimum lot size.
  3. Contact the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation or the Town for access approval.
  4. Seek legal advice or contact the Land Registration Office to determine the requirements of the Land Registration Act. Your property may have to be transferred into the new land registration system. For more information, visit the website Nova Scotia Property Online.
  5. Arrange for a plan of subdivision to be prepared by a registered Nova Scotia Land Surveyor.
  6. Complete a Subdivision Approval Application (26 kB) and submit it to the Planning Department along with 14 copies of the survey plan and the fees.

Water Supply
If Town water services are not available in your area, you should investigate the potential for obtaining an adequate well-water supply on the proposed lot before you subdivide. You may wish to talk to neighbours or well drillers. Nova Scotia Department of Environment is another possible source of information.

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

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 does it take?
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.


Development Officer

Marcia Elliott

(902) 599-1698
Windsor Public Works
Don Beatty
(902) 798-2275

Nova Scotia Department of Environment
PO Box 442, 5151 Terminal Road, Halifax, NS B3J 2P8
(902) 424-3600

Nova Scotia Department of Transportation
Windsor-West Hants Industrial Park, 4 Ivey Lane
(902) 798-2369

Assessment Office
87 Cornwallis Street, Kentville, NS
(902) 679-6106

Land Registration Office
80 Water Street, Windsor Mall, Windsor, NS
(902) 798-3015