Variations on the Approval Process




>> Strata Title Subdivisions
>> Approval Process for Bare Land Strata Plans
>> Approval Process for Phased Strata Plans


Because strata properties are governed by the Strata Property Act, some differences arise when approving subdivisions of strata property, compared to conventional subdivision.  The following sections describe the approval process for bare land strata, building strata and phased strata.

Approval Process for Bare Land Strata Plans

The following guidelines apply.

Parcel Size

The minimum parcel size of the strata lots must meet the minimum parcel size of the zoning bylaw.

If the Regional District does not have a subdivision bylaw, the requirements of the provincial Subdivision Regulations (B.C. Regulation 262/70) pursuant to the Local Services Act apply. In this instance averaging of the minimum parcel sizes of the Regional District zoning bylaws is still possible. The minimum lot sizes permitted will be those set out in the provincial Subdivision Regulations or minimum lot dimensions specified by the Regional District. These cannot be reduced or averaged.

Lot density should be calculated based on the total area minus any dedication for the access routes.

Road Dedications

Pursuant to Sections 5 and 8 of B.C. Regulation 75/78, bare land strata subdivisions must provide public road dedications to lands beyond and to a body of water, as well as for continuity of existing roads. 

The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure has the authority to require these highway accesses for all rural subdivisions.  The Provincial Approving Officer will administer this authority.  The Provincial Approving Officer may require widening of existing public roads. These dedications cannot be accomplished by the strata plan. The road dedication must be done on a conventional subdivision or reference plan, before the strata plan is approved. Such roads need not be constructed, just dedicated by plan at the discretion of the Provincial Approving Officer.

Internal Roads

The internal roads of the strata plan are private roads. The strata regulations refer to them as access routes, and they should be shown as such on the strata plan.

Community Water, Sewage and Drainage Systems

Community water and sewage systems and storm drainage systems are treated the same as in any conventional subdivision.

The following apply to systems that are not within municipal, Regional District, or Improvement District jurisdiction:

Community water system

  • Treated as a utility
  • Must meet all the requirements of the Ministry of Environment, Utility Regulation Section, Water Management Branch.
  • Regional Health Authority approval pursuant to the Drinking Water Protection Regulation B.C. Reg. 200/2003

Community sewer system

B.C. Regulation 75/78 requires developers to provide assurance that they will register any easements necessary to protect water or sewer lines where they go through strata lots.

Deposits and Guarantees

The Ministry and the Provincial Approving Officer cannot hold a security deposit to guarantee completion of services. If a public third party — such as a Regional District — or the agencies that have jurisdiction wish to hold the security, the Approving Officer may approve the plan provided the agency or public third party certifies that it has sufficient security.

Easements

For further information on easements and statutory rights-of-way, see sections 182 and 218 in the Land Title & Survey Authority Practice Manual, Volume 1.

Phased Strata Plan Declaration

Pursuant to Section 222 of the Strata Property Act, the applicant must outline on a Phased Strata Plan Declaration in Form P the proposal to phase the subdivision's development. The Phased Strata Plan Declaration should be checked to ensure that it reasonably reflects what is shown on the development plans.

Note the following:

  • The “dates of commencement of construction or completion of construction for each phase” are estimated dates. The developer is not strictly bound by them
  • The “election to proceed” date is definite and should precede the estimated date of commencement of construction. The Approving Officer may extend it for up to one year
  • The Approving Officer's endorsement is required on the Phased Strata Plan Declaration before phased development can proceed
  • Each phase of a phased strata plan cannot be approved until it has been determined that any common facilities identified for that phase in the Phased Strata Plan Declaration have been provided or protected by bond. Examples of such facilities are swimming pools, tennis courts, laundry facilities, and so on.  This must be addressed in the first phase
  • The approval of the Approving Officer expires after one year unless the first phase is deposited before that time
  • Each phase must be deposited in the order in which the phases are set out in the Phased Strata Plan Declaration
  • If the phased strata subdivision will operate a community water system, that system must be constructed to good engineering standards and must be certified as such by a Professional Engineer

Security Deposits

Section 223 of the Strata Property Act deals with security deposits for completion of common facilities. The Regional District or some other public body should hold the security. Ensuring that the requirements of this section are met is the main reason for requiring the Approving Officer's approval of phased strata plans.

This guide is a living document; it is subject to change without notice. Please check the Rural Subdivisions Website (http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/DA/Subdivision_Home.asp) to make sure you version is sufficiently current.