[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Assessors of the Town of South Berwick 12-12-2005. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The intent of this policy is to provide the Board of Assessors or its designee with a general rule for the voluntary merger of contiguous parcels and to assure all parcels are being assessed at their just value.
Any owner of two or more contiguous preexisting approved or subdivided lots or parcels who wishes to merge them for municipal regulation and taxation purposes may do so by applying in writing to the Board of Assessors or its designee. Except where such merger would create a violation of then-current ordinances or regulations, all such applications shall be approved, and no public hearing or notice shall be required. The application must be signed by all owners of the property, including mortgagees. The application must be accompanied by a Certificate of Merger signed by all the owners (including mortgagees) stating that, in consideration of the tax benefits achieved by merging the lots or parcels, the owners agree that the merged lots or parcels shall thereafter be considered a single lot for all purposes under the Town's land use ordinances and that the owners waive any rights to divide the merged lot, separately convey any portion of the merged lot or separately develop any portion of the merged lot unless such division, conveyance or development meets all applicable requirements of the Town's land use ordinances at the time it occurs. Upon approval of the merger application by the Board of Assessors or its designee, the Board or its designee shall endorse such approval on the Certificate of Merger. The owners shall then record the Certificate of Merger in the registry of deeds and return a copy of the recorded certificate, endorsed with book and page number, to the Board of Assessors or its designee. The merger shall not be effective until the Certificate of Merger has been recorded. If the merged lots are depicted on a previously recorded plan, no new plan need be recorded, provided the Certificate of Merger is recorded.
Any owner of two or more contiguous preexisting approved or subdivided lots or parcels which were previously merged for taxation purposes but not merged by deed or other instrument recorded in the registry of deeds shall receive written notification by the Board of Assessors or its designee requesting voluntary merger. Such notice shall state that if the owner wishes to keep these lots combined, the owner must comply with the voluntary merger policy of the Town of South Berwick as described above. If no application for a voluntary merger is received, the preexisting approved or subdivided lots or parcels shall be separately assessed at their individual values commencing on the next assessment date.