Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances [Effective October 1, 2019]
Chapter 19. Virginia Condominium Act
10/20/2019

§ 55.1-1905. (Effective October 1, 2019) Local ordinances; nonconforming conversion condominiums; applicability of Uniform Statewide Building Code; other regulations.

A. No zoning or other land use ordinance shall prohibit condominiums solely on the basis of the form of ownership, nor shall any condominium be treated differently by any zoning or other land use ordinance that would permit a physically identical project or development under a different form of ownership. Except as provided in subsection E, no local government may require further review or approval to record condominium instruments when a property has previously complied with subdivision, site plan, zoning, or other applicable land use regulations.

B. Subdivision and site plan ordinances in any locality shall apply to any condominium in the same manner as such ordinances would apply to a physically identical project or development under a different form of ownership; however, the declarant need not apply for or obtain subdivision approval to record condominium instruments if site plan approval for the land being submitted to the condominium has first been obtained.

C. During development of a condominium containing additional land or withdrawable land, phase lines created by the condominium instruments shall not be considered property lines for purposes of subdivision. If the condominium can no longer be expanded by the addition of additional land, then the owner of the land not part of the condominium shall subdivide such land prior to its conveyance, unless such land is subject to an approved site plan as provided in subsection B, or prior to modification of such approved site plan. In the event of any conveyance of land within phase lines of the condominium, the condominium and any lot created by such conveyance shall be deemed to comply with the local subdivision ordinance, provided that such land is subject to an approved site plan.

D. During the period of declarant control and as long as the declarant has the right to create additional units or to complete the common elements, the declarant has the authority to execute, file, and process any subdivision, site plan, zoning, or other land use applications or disclosures, including related conditional zoning proffers and agreements that do not create an affirmative obligation on the unit owners' association without its consent, with respect to the common elements or applications affecting more than one unit, notwithstanding that the declarant is not the owner of the land.

In accordance with subsection B of § 55.1-1956, once the declarant no longer has such authority, the executive board of the unit owners' association, if any, and if not, then a representative duly appointed by the unit owners' association, shall have the authority to execute, file, and process any subdivision, site plan, zoning, or other land use applications or disclosures, including related conditional zoning proffers and agreements that do not create an affirmative obligation on the declarant without its consent, with respect to the common elements or applications affecting more than one unit, notwithstanding that the unit owners' association is not the owner of the land. Such applications shall not adversely affect the rights of the declarant to develop additional land. For purposes of obtaining building and occupancy permits, the unit owner, including the declarant if the declarant is the unit owner, shall apply for permits for the unit, and the unit owners' association shall apply for permits for the common elements, except that the declarant shall apply for permits for convertible land.

E. Localities may provide by ordinance that the declarant of a proposed conversion condominium that does not conform to the zoning, land use, and site plan regulations of the respective locality in which the property is located shall secure a special use permit, a special exception, or a variance, as the case may be, prior to such property's becoming a conversion condominium. The local authority shall grant a request for such a special use permit, special exception, or variance filed on or after July 1, 1982, if the applicant can demonstrate to the reasonable satisfaction of the local authority that the nonconformities are not likely to be adversely affected by the proposed conversion. The local authority shall not unreasonably delay action on any such request. In the event of an approved conversion to condominium ownership, a locality, sanitary district, or other political subdivision may impose such charges and fees as are lawfully imposed by such locality, sanitary district, or political subdivision as a result of construction of new structures to the extent that such charges and fees, or portions of such charges and fees, imposed upon property subject to such conversions may be reasonably related to greater or additional services provided by the locality, sanitary district, or political subdivision as a result of the conversion.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit application of any provision of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.) or any local ordinances regulating design and construction of roads, sewer and water lines, stormwater management facilities, and other public infrastructure to a condominium in a manner different from the manner in which such provision is applied to other buildings of similar physical form and nature of occupancy.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.43; 1975, c. 415; 1982, c. 663; 1991, c. 497; 2006, cc. 9, 317; 2019, c. 712.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.