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Strata Conversion Policy

 1 Purpose of this policy
 2 Guiding principles
 3 Terms and conditions
 4 Procedure
 5 Application information requirements
 6 Compliance with City bylaws
 7 Compliance with servicing standards and requirements

Purpose of this policy

1   To provide guidelines to applicants for the conversion to strata title of existing multi-family buildings. The guidelines are without prejudice to Council's power as approving authority to approve, or not approve, or to approve subject to terms and conditions as set out in section 242 of the Strata Property Act.

Guiding principles

2   (1) Under section 242 of the Strata Property Act, Council may impose terms and conditions when considering a strata conversion proposal. Under the Act, Council must consider:

(a) the priority of rental accommodation over privately owned housing in the area,

(b) any proposals for the relocation of persons occupying a residential building,

(c) the life expectancy of the building,

(d) projected major increases in maintenance costs due to the condition of the building,and

(e) any other matters that, in its opinion, are relevant.

(2) It is strongly recommended that landlords not undertake major renovations before receiving an approval-in-principle for the conversion.

Terms and conditions

3   (1) Council will not normally give favourable consideration to applications for conversion of existing rental residential premises containing five or more dwelling units at any time when the apartment vacancy rate in the City of Abbotsford, as determined by Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC), is 2.0% or lower for a period of two successive CMHC rental surveys (one year), unless 75% of the building tenants desire and qualify to purchase a unit in the proposed strata titled building.

(2) Applicants shall develop a relocation plan that will, at a minimum, outline options available to tenants with respect to purchase options and relocation assistance. The applicant shall identify available market and non-market rental units within the Abbotsford market and provide that information to dislocated tenants.

(3) Applicants shall provide existing tenants with a right of first refusal to purchase prior to the applicant giving notice to tenants that they must vacate their unit. A right of first refusal means that tenants would have the first opportunity to purchase new units at fair market value based on an independent third party appraisal, less the customary commission payable by the developer at that time.

(4) Recognizing the impact strata conversions may have on the supply of affordable and/or rental housing in the City, applicants are encouraged to make a voluntary per-unit contribution to the City’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund at a rate based on a percentage (3%) of the average apartment value for sales in Abbotsford as established by Fraser Valley Real Estate Board monthly sales statistics.


4   (1) Within two weeks of the submission, the applicant will notify all affected tenants that an application for strata conversion has been submitted to the City. This notification is separate from any statutory notifications as per the Residential Tenancy Act.

(2) Such applications may be subject to a public hearing.

Application information requirements

5   (1) All preliminary applications for strata conversion must be accompanied by:

(a) site plan showing access and parking;

(b) landscaping plan -proposed/existing;

(c) floor plans;

(d) elevation drawings;

(e) structural and construction drawings, or as-built drawing;

(f) list of all present tenants;

(g) a written relocation plan identifying the provisions established, if any, for existing tenants to purchase, to relocate or to extend their tenancies;

(h) a copy of the letter notifying tenants of the strata conversion proposal, within two weeks of submitting the conversion application to the City;

(i) a report summarizing the physical condition of the building identifying components in need of immediate or imminent repair, prepared by a professional engineer;and

(j) a zoning compliance report prepared by a qualified professional.

(2) Strata plans prepared by a BC Land Surveyor may be submitted for final approval when all conditions imposed by City Council are resolved to the satisfaction of the City’s Approving Officer.

Compliance with City bylaws

6   (1) Application for strata conversion of existing buildings must comply with Building, Fire and Zoning Bylaw requirements at the time of application.

(2) Applications for strata conversion will be reviewed by the Development Services Department, Engineering Department and Fire Department.

(3) Any upgrading required by the Council to comply with Building Bylaw standards must be completed prior to final strata conversion approval.

(4) Applications for strata conversion shall include appropriate provision for landscaping and, in the case of multi-family residential conversions, adequate open space and common facilities, all of which shall be of such design, materials and construction as are not likely to result in undue maintenance costs. Where improvements are required by Council, they shall be completed prior to final strata conversion approval.

Compliance with servicing standards and requirements

7   (1) Except where such upgrading has previously been provided for, services on highways abutting the lands shall be upgraded to comply with the provisions of the City of Abbotsford Development Bylaw. (Such upgrading shall be completed or bonding therefore provided, according to normal procedures. prior to final strata conversion approval).

(2) Where the City Engineer identifies the need for additional road right-of-way to facilitate future widening, a road dedication plan prepared by a BC Land Surveyor shall be provided prior to final strata conversion approval.

(3) On-site roads and utilities which are to be constructed on common property of the strata corporation shall be constructed to standards as determined by the City Engineer.

ADOPTED on 01 21, 2008 LAST REVISED on 12 18, 2009