Condominium approval is municipal approval of ownership tenure only. Unlike other planning approvals that typically relate to land use, building type, site design and lot creation, condominium approval grants approval for ownership of individual units within a building or individual lots within a larger parcel of land serviced by private roads rather than public streets.
Condominium approval applies to any land use type but typically relates to residential uses (apartment or townhouse dwelling units), commercial uses (commercial plazas where individual units are owned separately) and industrial uses (industrial plazas where individual units are owned separately).
There a variety of types of condominiums (traditional, vacant land, phased, common element) and applicants should consult legal advice to determine what type of condominium is appropriate for a particular project.
Condominium approval occurs in two stages, draft plan of condominium approval, followed by final condominium approval. Draft plan of condominium approval is granted subject to conditions, which must be met prior to the final approval of the plan of condominium. Conditions vary depending on the type of condominium but typically include approval of a site plan that details how the site is to be designed and constructed. Prior to making an application for a Condominium Draft Plan Approval, applicants are required to consult with the City. The City of St. Catharines has established a Pre-Consultation Process to identify the studies, plans and / or reports that are required to be submitted with an application. A written request for pre-consultation must include a detailed concept plan and the required fee of $500.00. * Once the Pre-Consultation request is received, it will be circulated to all relevant departments and agencies and a formal consultation meeting will be scheduled, usually within two weeks. Once the conditions are met, the final condominium plan is registered and a condominium corporation is formed. Concurrent to this, the newly-formed condominium corporation enters into a condominium assumption agreement with the municipality to assume the terms of the previously registered site plan agreement. After registration of the final condominium plan and assumption agreement, units (or lots) may then be purchased.
* Please note the pre-consultation fee will be discounted from the Condominium Draft Plan Approval application fee.
Existing buildings with multiple units may apply for conversion from rental to condominium tenure where individual units are owned separately. Draft plan of condominium is required in this case and is granted subject to conditions, including the requirement of the owner and condominium corporation to enter into a condominium conversion agreement with the municipality.
Final approval of the condominium is granted once all conditions have been met. For existing buildings, typical conditions for draft plan of condominium approval include a building condition report prepared by a qualified professional to ensure the existing building is safe for the proposed use, and a condominium conversion agreement to ensure the site is improved to reflect as much as possible current site design standards (parking, landscaping, lighting etc). A condominium conversion agreement is a hybrid agreement, which incorporates the normal requirements of a site plan agreement with a condominium assumption agreement. Units can be sold after registration of the final plan of condominium and the condominium conversion agreement.
Planning staff from Planning and Development Services should be consulted prior to any application for condominium approval to provide clarity on the application process and to avoid undue delays after an application is submitted.