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Local improvements

A local improvement is a project that Council considers to be of greater benefit to specific part of a community rather than to the whole city. As a result, these projects are paid for in whole by a tax imposed on the properties affected by the project. The majority of citizen-initiated local improvements are for backlane paving, other types of local improvements include street lighting design upgrades, gravel road paving, or driveway crossings.

Both property owners or The City can initiate a local improvement. In either case, whenever a valid petition is received, a Notice of Intention to undertake a local improvement is sent to affected property owners. This letter indicates the type of work proposed and the estimated cost to the property owner.

I received a Notice of Intention and do not want the local improvement outlined in the letter - see Step 4 of the Local improvement process

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Local improvement process


Step 1

 

Request a “petition for” package

To initiate a local improvement you will need to obtain a "petition for" package (includes a petition form, rates sheet, initial estimated cost, map statement of witness and affidavit).

Please keep in mind that:

  • The cost of the local improvement will be the responsibility of the affected property owners, and
  • The requestor is responsible for circulating and returning the completed petition package.

Request a Petition For package

Note: Petition packages will take six to eight weeks to prepare.

 

Step 2

Circulating and returning the petition package

Once the petition package has been received, the requestor must circulate the petition in person to obtain signatures from all affected property owners. To be valid, at least two-thirds of the affected property owners must sign in favour of the local improvement. All signatures must be obtained within a 60-day period, in accordance with the provisions in the Municipal Government Act.

Please note: the owner of multiple properties within the affected area will count as only one vote.

The completed petition form, affidavit and statement of witness and affidavit must be completed and signed in the presence of a Commissioner for Oaths. There is a Commissioner for Oaths available free of charge at the Local Improvement Office – by appointment only. Please call the number provided in the petition package to make an appointment. Once signed, return it to The City as indicated in the package.

Step 3

 

Notice of Intention

When a valid petition is received by The City, a Notice of Intention letter is sent to all affected residents. This letter indicates:

  • The type and scope of work proposed
  • The cost of the project for the affected property owner

Affected citizens have 30 days from the mailing date of this notice to appeal through the Petition Against process.

 

Step 4

Petition Against process

Petition Against packages are available only after a Notice of Intention letter has been received by affected property owners. Affected citizens have 30 days from the mailing date of this notice to appeal through the Petition Against process (package includes a petition form, map, statement of witness and affidavit).

Request a Petition against package

Step 5

Council review

All proposed local improvement projects require Council review and approval. Projects are presented to Council twice a year, in March and July. To be present for Council review in the current year, the entire petition process must be completed prior to March. If the petition process completes after the March deadline, the project in question will be included in the local improvements project presentation to Council the following year.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I have to pay if I don’t support the local improvement project?

Once Council approves the project and construction has been completed, all property owners affected by the improvement are required to pay their assessed cost, even if they are opposed to the project.

Why is the payout amount less than the annual charge multiplied by the number of years?

In order to finance the projects, The City borrows funds and pays interest on these funds. This cost of borrowing is passed on to the property owners.

Who does the construction work?

Generally, local improvement projects are tendered out to private contractors.

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