Sections of the Local Governance Act: 120-127
Part 12 sets out the process a local government must follow in order to undertake a local improvement. A local improvement is a capital project that the council considers to be of greater benefit to an area of the local government than to the local government as a whole, and for which the costs are charged against the properties that receive the benefit.
The areas covered in Part 12 include:
- Definition of “owner”
- Local improvements
- Local improvement proposal
- By-law respecting a local improvement
- Notice of and opposition to a local improvement by-law
- Public hearing
- Requirements for a local improvement by-law
- Lien of the local government
New Provisions and Intent:
This part has been significantly simplified with respect to process. It now contains eight sections compared to 32 in the previous legislation. Further, the capital works that can be undertaken have been expanded.
A council may consider any capital work as a local improvement, providing that the local improvement is of greater benefit to an area within the local government than to the local government as a whole, and the costs of the improvement are to be charged only against those properties that receive the benefit of the improvement. Previously, the type of works that could be undertaken were specified in the Act.
It should be noted that there are no longer provisions for the establishment of local improvement associations. Any associations incorporated in the past under the authority of the Municipalities Act will continue, and the provisions of the Municipalities Act will continue to apply to them.
Local improvement proposal
A council may make a by-law proposing a local improvement if it considers it necessary or beneficial for an area, or if it receives a petition from at least two-thirds of the owners of real property in an area that would benefit from the local improvement. With regards to a request from property owners, the previous legislation required that two-thirds of the property owners signing a petition have a property value of at least one-half of the total value of the properties for which the improvement was desired.
By-law respecting a local improvement
A by-law respecting a local improvement must describe the local improvement and identify the area and the properties that will be affected. The by-law must also include a statement of the total cost of the improvement, how that cost is determined, the total cost to be applied against each property, and the mechanism for determining and recovering those costs. Previously, the components of the total cost and the method of allocation were specified in the legislation.
Notice of and opposition to a local improvement by-law
Notice of a proposed local improvement must be given to all the benefitting property owners who will be liable to pay the cost of the local improvement. Written objections can be filed within 30 days.
If an objection is received, the council shall hold a public hearing. Notice of the hearing must be provided to the benefitting property owners at least 30 days prior to the date set for the hearing.
Requirements for a local improvement by-lawA local improvement by-law requires two-thirds of the local government council voting in favour of it.
Lien of the local government
The proportion of the total costs of a local improvement that is due and payable for a period of 60 days constitutes a special lien that holds priority over every claim, privilege, lien or encumbrance, and is not impaired by any neglect of the local government or if it was not registered.