Agency review of Condominium Plans?

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Elias French
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Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby Elias French » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:08 pm

A question for the forum:

As it relates to a One Lot Subdivision for Condominium Purposes, where the Parcel Map will show the parcel boundary and monumentation, and a separate document (Condominium Plan) will show the manner of division of the airspace.

1. May a local agency require, as a condition of approval of a tentative map, that Condominium Plans be submitted, reviewed, and ultimately approved by said agency, prior to allowing the Parcel Map to be recorded?

2. May a local agency, for any reason whatsoever, require that Condominium Plans be submitted, reviewed, and ultimately approved by said agency?

What is the bearing of SMA 66427(a) which states:
"A map of a condominium project, a community apartment project, or of the conversion of five or more existing dwelling units to a stock cooperative project need not show the buildings or the manner in which the buildings or the airspace above the property shown on the map are to be divided, nor shall the governing body have the right to refuse approval of a parcel, tentative, or final map of the project on account of the design or the location of buildings on the property shown on the map that are not violative of local ordinances or on account of the manner in which airspace is to be divided in conveying the condominium."

Doesn't this SMA section effectively preclude any agency review whatsoever? What is the practice in your area?

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Warren Smith
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby Warren Smith » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:12 pm

Here, the building plans are reviewed concurrently. The conditions of approval for the tentative map include provisions relating to that review for building permit purposes, but are not in the section to be fulfilled prior to the filing of the parcel map.

Practically speaking BRE does review the airspace diagrammatics, so it's not a concern insofar as reviewing and approving the parcel map. Any inconsistencies will be on the developer's dime.
Warren D. Smith, LS 4842
County Surveyor
Tuolumne County

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dedkad
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby dedkad » Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:27 am

At the agencies I worked for, we had conditions placed on the tentative map that required easements and maintenance agreements for the shared facilities. That's how we justified reviewing the Condo Plans and CC&R's because those aren't things that are typically shown on a parcel map. My review was usually limited to just making sure those conditions were met, but I would oftentimes look over the technical aspects of the Condo Plan as a courtesy. The applicant wasn't charged extra for the review.

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mpallamary
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby mpallamary » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:28 pm

With all due respect for all my talented friends in the public sector, the notion that a public agency review a condominium plan in light of the California Code of Regulations is a recipe for disaster. It is simply not done. PERIOD.

CCR: 415. Practice Within Area of Competence.

A professional engineer or land surveyor licensed under the Code shall practice and
perform engineering or land surveying work only in the field or fields in which he/she is by
education and/or experience fully competent and proficient.


Nothing in this regulation shall be construed:

(1) to prohibit a professional engineer from
signing plans which include engineering work in areas other than that in which he/she is fully
competent and proficient, if such work was performed by other engineers who were fully
competent and proficient in such work;

(2) to prohibit a professional engineer from performing
engineering work or a land surveyor from performing land surveying work in areas which
involve the application of new principles, techniques, ideas or technology;

(3) to prohibit a professional engineer from supervising other engineers or a land surveyor from supervising other
land surveyors who may respectively be performing engineering work or land surveying work in
areas other than those in which the supervising professional engineer or supervising land
surveyor is fully competent and proficient; and

(4) to prohibit a professional engineer from signing plans which include engineering work, portions of which were designed or required by
any governmental agency.

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dedkad
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby dedkad » Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:49 am

Not sure what your point is there, Mike. Land surveyor prepares condo plan. Land surveyor reviews condo plan. Both fully competent in that area.

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mpallamary
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby mpallamary » Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:28 am

According to the law, one must be proficient in that area of practice. Read it again if you have time.

How many construction stakers are capable and trained in preparing condo plans.

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mpallamary
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby mpallamary » Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:31 am

Dedkad, Do you believe in the premise of the attached article?

PS, Have a good weekend!
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marchenko
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby marchenko » Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:05 pm

As I recall local agencies do not approve the Condo Plan in San Luis Obispo County. I have had one review it as a complimentary look over and I appreciated that person (engineer) catching my mistake/typo on the title page.

I think I have only run into it one time where it was part of the conditions and in that case the City was one of the owners of the land included in the project and all the Condo Units were on their side of the parent line, so it made sense.

George Marchenko

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dedkad
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby dedkad » Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:13 pm

Who prepares Condo Plans for projects you work on, Mike? The Condo Plan is a surveying document as far as I'm concerned. It establishes the boundaries of the condos. Who else is better qualified to do that than a licensed surveyor? CC&R's are a different matter. Those are typically prepared by a lawyer.

CA Civil Code 1351:

(e) “Condominium plan” means a plan consisting of (1) a description or survey map of a condominium project, which shall refer to or show monumentation on the ground, (2) a three-dimensional description of a condominium project, one or more dimensions of which may extend for an indefinite distance upwards or downwards, in sufficient detail to identify the common areas and each separate interest, and (3) a certificate consenting to the recordation of the condominium plan pursuant to this title signed and acknowledged by the following:

(f) A “condominium project” means a development consisting of condominiums. A condominium consists of an undivided interest in common in a portion of real property coupled with a separate interest in space called a unit, the boundaries of which are described on a recorded final map, parcel map, or condominium plan in sufficient detail to locate all boundaries thereof. The area within these boundaries may be filled with air, earth, or water, or any combination thereof, and need not be physically attached to land except by easements for access and, if necessary, support. The description of the unit may refer to (1) boundaries described in the recorded final map, parcel map, or condominium plan, (2) physical boundaries, either in existence, or to be constructed, such as walls, floors, and ceilings of a structure or any portion thereof, (3) an entire structure containing one or more units, or (4) any combination thereof. The portion or portions of the real property held in undivided interest may be all of the real property, except for the separate interests, or may include a particular three-dimensional portion thereof, the boundaries of which are described on a recorded final map, parcel map, or condominium plan. The area within these boundaries may be filled with air, earth, or water, or any combination thereof, and need not be physically attached to land except by easements for access and, if necessary, support. An individual condominium within a condominium project may include, in addition, a separate interest in other portions of the real property.

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mpallamary
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby mpallamary » Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:36 pm

I absolutely agree with you. 100%. I agree. The point I am inquiring about is a government surveyor who spent his/her entire career laying out subdivisions and maybe preparing maps. The notion that someone working for the government - with no experience whatsoever - reviewing condominium plans and is empowered to review my work is a problem. That is why the CCR is out there. Put another way, would you have a first year medical doctor performing heart surgery when all he/she ever has done is podiatry?

I posted a poll but so far there are no takers. How many government employees have had experience preparing and processing condominium plans?

As always, thank for your comments!

Be safe.
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Warren Smith
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby Warren Smith » Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:51 am

I performed the field work and prepared dozens of Condo Plans in San Francisco in the '80s, and hundreds of them in Los Angeles and Santa Monica in the 80s and 90s. Perhaps half were conversions. It is a specialty.
Warren D. Smith, LS 4842
County Surveyor
Tuolumne County

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mpallamary
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby mpallamary » Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:17 am

Excellent! Thanks! That is so important. In my opinion, if a government agency is somehow authorized to review condo plans, and they intend to do it, the job qualifications would require known expertise.

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RAM
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby RAM » Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:30 am

Many public surveyors have a broad base of experience, including many years in private practice, prior to their public service, it is an unfair assumption that public surveyors are not qualified just because they work for a public agency. Unless you know an individuals life history, you never know who you are talking to.
As pointed out, a LS should not work outside of their area of knowledge. Based on the statement above, is it safe to say any LS from San Diego is an expert on tidal boundaries but should never practice in the PLSS? Not an opinion I could support without knowing the background of the individual.

Nuff said.

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mpallamary
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby mpallamary » Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:34 am

Put another way, I do not want a government employee learning at my client's expense and my time.

The California Code of Regulations is pretty clear. What is interesting is most surveyors are not familiar with them.

*********************************************

Board Rules and Regulations Relating to the Practices of
Professional Engineering and Professional Land Surveying
California Code of Regulations,
Title 16, Division 5
§§ 400-476
Article 1. General Provisions

400. Introduction.

These regulations are adopted by the Board in order to implement and make specific the Professional Engineers Act and the Professional Land Surveyors’ Act, Business and Professions Code Sections 6700, et seq., and 8700, et seq., respectively.

**************************************************

https://casetext.com/regulation/califor ... competence

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Ian Wilson
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby Ian Wilson » Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:03 am

mpallamary wrote:I posted a poll but so far there are no takers. How many government employees have had experience preparing and processing condominium plans?


Not true. While there aren't many, the number is not zero. http://clsaforum.californiasurveyors.org/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8716

Over 70% of those of us who have responded have prepared condo plans. I have even consulted for one of the attorney who wrote the original Davis-Sterling Act and the 2012 reorganization under AB 805.

As Russ pointes out, some of us in the public sector spent many years in the private sector doing a lot of different things. Most of my career was in subdivision and land development.
Ian Wilson, P.L.S. (CA / NV / CO)
Alameda County Surveyor

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mpallamary
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby mpallamary » Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:44 am

Thanks!

My link was cached! A thousand apologies! Damn caching!

I cleaned my cache! Yes, you have a great background and I am aware of it. Again, my apologies for the computer oversight!

Edward M Reading
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Location: San Luis Obispo

Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby Edward M Reading » Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:37 pm

This whole "government surveyors don't have the expertise" is another broad-brush paint job by Mr. Pallamary. The 4 LS's in my office have over 100 years of private practice among us. It's just not like that everywhere, Mike.
Edward M. Reading, PLS (ID, WY, CA)
San Luis Obispo

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mpallamary
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby mpallamary » Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:37 pm

Thanks for clarifying. Point well taken. You should see what it is like elsewhere.

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mpallamary
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Re: Agency review of Condominium Plans?

Postby mpallamary » Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:55 pm

Hi Edward,

We will have to sit down sometime and chat about this topic. The things I have seen are simply unbelievable. Mind numbing at a minimum. The policies and incompetency of some municipalities in the south is frightening. I am glad to hear you and your staff are serving the public well! That is great!


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