District of Fort St. James to hold an Alternative Approval Process on BC Hydro Land Exchange

Our Proposal:

The District of Fort St. James is looking at entering into an agreement with BC Hydro to sell .0188ha of park land to the East of the BC Hydro sub station (Murray Rd) in exchange for 0.188ha of land to be designated as park land North of the BC Hydro sub station (Douglas Ave).  This exchange has been requested by BC Hydro to facilitate upgrades to the BC Hydro sub station which are required to tie in power which will be generated by the Fort Green Energy Project.   A map of the land to be exchanged has been included on this web post.

Our Process:

In order for the municipality to sell park land it is required by the Community Charter to consult the public.  There are two types of public consultation available to the municipality: an Alternative Approval Process and Assent Voting.  Mayor and Council have determined to enact an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) as their primary consultation, given it is less costly to the tax payer and can be executed in a shorter time frame.

In an AAP, 10% of the community must make their opposition to the project known, in writing, to the municipality, similar to a petition.  If 10% or greater (121 people) are opposed to the sale going forward, Assent Voting may be enacted. A table has been included on the back page of this informational booklet outlining the differences between Alternative Approval Processes and Assent Voting.

Timeline:

All written responses must be received by 4:30p.m. on Friday August 31, 2015.  Written responses can be given in person, delivered by a 3rd party, or received by mail no later than the deadline.  The response can be signed on the appropriate Elector Response Form attached to this post, or written separately, making clear the elector’s position and including the full name of the elector, signature, mailing address and date.  If the elector is a non-resident property owner this should also be included in the statement.  In addition to being included here, the Elector Response Form can be picked up at the Municipal Office.    The “Land Disposal and Exchange Bylaw No. 951, 2015” was given first, second and third reading at Council Meeting July 12, 2015.  It is scheduled to be adopted at the Regular Council Meeting of September 9, 2015 unless an Assent Vote is held.

Costs to the Municipality:

Costs to the municipality for this AAP process and transaction are minimal.  Some administration time is necessary for the execution of the AAP, as well as some printing and postage costs.

Who May Vote:

Only Resident Electors and Non-Resident Property Electors may vote.  More detail on Resident Electors and Non-Resident Property Elector eligibility can be found below.  A person must not sign more than one elector response form in relation to this Alternative Approval Process.

Elector Eligibility:

A Resident Elector is an individual who is entitled to sign an Elector Response Form during an AAP by virtue of living within that jurisdiction. When signing an elector response form, a resident elector must:

  • be 18 years of age or older;
  • be a Canadian citizen;
  • have lived in British Columbia for at least six months;
  • have lived in the municipal boundaries for at least 30 days; and
  • not be disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment from voting in a local election, or be otherwise disqualified by law.

A NonResident Property Elector is an individual that does not live in a jurisdiction and who is entitled to sign an elector response form during an AAP by virtue of owning property in that jurisdiction. When signing an Elector Response Form, a Non-Resident Property Elector must:

  • be at least 18 years of age;
  • be a Canadian citizen;
  • have lived in British Columbia for at least six months;
  • have owned property in the Municipality for at least 30 days; and,
  • not be disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment from voting in a local election, or be otherwise disqualified by law.

A Note About Non-Resident Property Elector Consent:

Only one non-resident property elector may sign an elector response form per property, regardless of how many people own the property; and that owner must have the written consent of a majority of the other property owner(s) to sign the response form on their behalf. Property owned in whole or in part by a corporation does not qualify under the non-resident property elector provisions.

More Information:

Attached to this electronic post the public can download our Elector Response Form as well as a map outlining the property to be exchanged.

More details on this process and the Bylaw it relates to can be requested through the District Office at 477 Stuart Dr. W. Mon – Fri, 8:30a.m. – 4:30p.m., by emailing edo@fortstjames.ca or calling 250-996-8233.

Elector Response Form and Information Sheet_Page_1Satellite Image Map

 

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