Thursday, November 18, 2010

Subdivision Process

Before I forget about the headache it was to subdivide land I wanted to write down what I did. These are the steps we went through to subdivide our 140 acres of rural agriculture land into two seperate pieces:
  1. Find the subdividing authority in your area. For me it was the Oldman River Reginal Services Commission (ORRSC). I found the subdivison process documented fairly well. If I was going through this process again I'd definitely stay on top of things better and push a little more to get things done.
  2. Fill out the subdivision application. The application was pretty simple and it was only a $600 fee. I had to have my Brother-in-law sign docs. He just so happened to be in New Brunswick for a few months so that took a while to accomplish.
  3. Engage a surveyer. After application was submitted we got word the process was underway. We got a bunch of documents telling us what we needed to do but it all boiled down to getting a surveyer involved.
  4. Stay on top of the surveyor. We used Brown, Okamura and Associates. The cost associated was around $2,200 in all. Thomas Penner was my main point of contact. He was pretty responsive. I still felt like I was pushing the process on. I followed up quite often and was in charge of contacting all the people involved in signing off on the subdivision including:
    1. MD of Cardston - Janet Beck. Needed to get development agreement signed off on . This included making sure each piece of land had proper access with the road including an approach. We didn't sign a development agreement yet but will need to do so before building a house on the property.
    2. United Irrigation District (UID)- The land we subdivided had irrigation rights associated with it. We worked with Fred Rice and Craig Smith from the UID. They were really helpful and knowledgeable. We needed to get an access point of delivery (APOD) put into one of the pieces of land. We paid the UID ahead so they would sign off on the subdivision condition. They couldn't put the APOD in until the water was turned off for the summer and I didn't want to wait that long to get the sign off. I just got word that the APOD is being ordered and installed very shortly.
    3. Fortis - We needed an easement associated with an electrical line running through the property. The electrical line services the house to the south and the easement allows Fortis to access our land to maintain the line. We contemplated moving the line out to the road but that was going to cost $16,000 so decided just to go with the easement. In the process we found out Fortis will install a transformer on the electrical line for free. Off of this tranformer we can access electricity for our farm house and out buildings. I guess they calculate out how much they are going to make off of us and if the investment works out they will cover the cost.
  5. Did I mention Stay on top of the surveyor. We needed to get the survey posts done twice as there were no markings after the first surveyance. I also called quite often to see what the hold ups were and pushed the people that hadn't submitted the proper approval/documents.
  6. Send in finalization fees to Survery who then sends into subdivision authority- This was $150 per additional piece of land so only $150 in our case.
  7. Surveyor sends documents and fees from all the above over to Subdivision authority. ORRSC in our case.
  8. ORRSC send documents to Land and Titles to register the seperate pieces of land.
Now that I wrote it all down I don't know why it took as long as it did. Seven simple steps. What's the big deal?

Thanks to all the parties involved to get this done.

Subdivision finalized

Big news today. After a 9 month process land and titles sent confirmation that our subdivision is now complete on the land. Along with that we had the final condition removed on our sales offer. Looks like we are heading North real soon.

So as of Novemeber 30th we can yell out a big "WERE DEBT FREE!!!!". Dave Ramsey would be proud of us. Been a long two year process including selling 3 houses, paying off land, and in the near future building a small house debt free.

After the house sells we are going to rent a place here in Montana for the next couple of months to get past the last part of the year. I teach at a local college here so have to finish up the semester. It will also give us a few months to plan our big move and allow us to dig a well and get electricity on the land etc.

Pretty excited. Anyone else out there happy for us?