3 Zoning Issues to Address Before Initiating the Land Subdivision Process

A property subdivision allows landowners to create new allotments, either for sale or development. In some areas, smaller lots are more marketable than larger ones. Therefore, subdividing a property makes it more appealing to potential developers. Before initiating the subdivision process, note the local zoning rules and their impact on the process. With this in mind, here are three zoning issues that may affect land subdivision development.

Lot size restrictions

Local councils have set out individual policies regarding the minimum lot sizes. These policies vary from one local council to another; therefore, before subdividing lots, look into the policies that affect your site. For example, if the minimum lot size for the area is 400 square metres, your current lot should be at least 800 square metres for you to divide it into two.

Some local policies also require developers to meet the minimum garden requirement before initiating a subdivision. This policy specifies the percentage of land that you should set aside for garden use. Considering this can help you determine the ideal number of lots you can get from the property. Therefore, check the local council restrictions on lot sizing, preferably with the help of an expert.

Utility provisions

Most zoning regulations require the new lots to have access to utilities. If there aren't any utilities, you have to provide and pay for them during the process. Some required services include:

  • Power: You may have to pay for the installation of a power pillar if there isn't one already servicing the lots. Other electrical costs include laying dormant cables for power access and installing a site mains switchboard (SMSB).
  • Water and sewer: You must pay for, design and install water and sewer systems for the new lots. You may also require new sewer mains to connect the individual sewer junction cut-ins for the subdivided lots.
  • Gas and telecommunications: Some local councils require developers to provide gas and telecommunications lines to the lots. Even if there are no development plans underway, you may need to lay dormant lines to allow easy access to these utilities during and after development.

Utility provisions vary from one local council to another. The required connections can significantly impact subdivision and development costs. Therefore, accounting for them early can help you assess the viability of the project.

Other potential restrictions

If your property is in a bushfire-prone area, there may be restrictions regarding its subdivision. Similarly, certain trees and vegetation are under local heritage protection, and their presence on your property can restrict subdivision. Some local councils require developers to account for features such as access roads and driveways before the subdivision. Go over such requirements to avoid facing hurdles down the road.

Property subdivision paves the way for future development. As you consult the experts, address the above zoning issues that may affect your project.