Applicability of subdivision and site plan review for a condominium project
Question: Subdivision is described in RSA 672:14 as the division of a parcel of land into two or more parcels, whether for sale, rent, lease, or condominium conveyance. Does a condominiunm project need a Site Plan and Subdivision as stated by our Planner? What criteria could be used for a subdivision of each unit as they have common walls?
Answer: Condominiums do not necessarily have common walls, as they are a form of ownership, not a type of structure.
If the project you’re considering is a structure with at least three units in it, then site plan review would be appropriate because it meets the jurisdictional threshold in RSA 674:43. But subdivision review might also be appropriate under certain circumstances. This question highlights the false distinction between subdivisions and site plans—sometimes a development is both.
If this is an existing development that is simply proposed for condominium conversion then you should do a simplified subdivision review, but only if your subdivision regulations include the language of the statutory definition, either directly or by reference, allowing your board to do that sort of review. If your definition doesn’t include reference to condominium conveyance, you can’t review the conversion.