When you divide a piece of land into two or more parcels in order to sell one or more, you are subdividing property and the provisions of the Planning Act come into play. Generally, to subdivide land into 5 or more parcels/lots, you need approval of a plan of subdivision from City Council.
A condominium plan is similar to a plan of subdivision in that it is a way of dividing property. Plans of condominium must be approved by City Council. Condominiums are a form of property ownership in which title to a unit, such as an individual apartment in a high-rise building, is held by an individual together with a share of the rest of the property, which is common to all of the owners. Condominiums can involve a new development, or an existing rental project that is converted to condominium ownership. They can apply to any type of residential building as well as commercial and industrial buildings. Vacant land is not eligible.
Application and Approval Process for Plans of Subdivision/Condominium
1. Pre-consult with Planning staff:
Before you submit your application, discuss your plans with one of the Department planners to confirm whether a Zoning By-law amendment and/or other planning and engineering approvals are necessary.
2. Complete the application, including the following:
a) A cheque made payable to the City of Sarnia for the application fee (variable fee structure);
b) If you are using an agent or solicitor, your written authorization identifying by name the individual who will be your agent or solicitor; and
c) A draft plan that is drawn to scale which shows the following information:
- Title block (e.g. original legal description, metric scale, date prepared, Ontario Land Surveyor certification of boundaries, signature of owner(s);
- Key map of adjacent lands;
- Proposed land use and density;
- Abutting land uses;
- Lot sizes;
- Site features (natural and artificial);
- Water supply;
- Natural features;
- Sewage disposal method;
- Storm water management; and
- Easements, rights-of-ways and restrictive covenants.
3. Notice of Public Hearing and Circulation of Application:
A notice specifying the date, time and location of the public meeting is sent to all assessed property owners within 120 metres (400 feet) of the property and is advertised in the Civic Corner section of the Sarnia Observer at least 20 days before the date of the public meeting (subdivisions only).
The draft plan is circulated by the Planning Department to relevant municipal departments and public agencies for comment, within 60 days.
Notification of a public meeting is not required for condominium applications.
4. Public Meeting and Decision Making Process:
The pubic meeting will normally be held within 75 days of receiving your subdivision application. It is very important that you and/or your agent or solicitor attend the meeting to explain your application and answer any questions that Council may have. Other interested persons are also entitled to attend and to express their views about the application. Council will also consider verbal advice and a written report, with appropriate conditions, from the Planning Department.
It should be noted that no final decision on the application for draft plan approval may be made until 14 days after the public meeting is held.
5. Approval of Draft Plan of Subdivision/Condominium:
If Council approves the application and gives draft plan approval, there will be a number of conditions that must be satisfied before final approval can be given. One of the conditions is that the applicant enters into a Subdivision/Condominium Agreement with the City.
6. Notice of Decision:
A notice is sent to the applicant and any person requesting notice of the decision. A 20 day appeal period begins when notice of approval is given. If no appeals are filed with the City Clerk the applicant my proceed to satisfy the draft plan of subdivision/condominium conditions.
7. Final Approval:
When the applicant has satisfied all conditions of draft plan approval, the Planning and Building Department prepares a clearance letter which is sent to City Council, recommending that final approval be given. Following final approval, the owner/applicant may proceed to have the Plan registered at the Registry Office.