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LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT — Continued
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 323

Part 19 — Local Improvements and Specified Areas

Division 1 — Local Improvements

Definitions

620 In this Division:

"abutting directly", in relation to works of constructing, enlarging or extending a sewer or water main, applies to mains through private lands as well as to mains under streets;

"bridge" includes a viaduct, culvert, subway and embankment, and also includes pavement on a bridge;

"constructing" includes reconstructing all or part of a work when the lifetime of the work has expired;

"construction bylaw" means a bylaw under section 623 or 624;

"curbing" includes a curbing of any material

(a) in or apart from the laying down of a pavement or sidewalk, or

(b) with or without a projection for a gutter;

"engineer" includes an officer or person authorized or required by a council to perform a duty that is to be or may be performed by an engineer;

"lifetime" as applied to a work means the lifetime of the work as estimated by the engineer;

"municipality's portion of the cost" means that portion of the cost of a work that is not to be specially charged against parcels of land, but is payable by the municipality;

"owners' portion of the cost" means that portion of the cost of a work that is to be specially charged against the land abutting directly on a work or on land immediately benefited by a work;

"pavement" means any type of street surfacing;

"paving" includes laying down or constructing any description of pavement with or without curbing;

"publication" means publication by one insertion in a newspaper;

"sewer" includes a common sewer, septic tank and a drain, or a combination of them;

"sidewalk" includes a footway and a street crossing;

"street" includes a lane, road, alley or public place, or a part of any of them;

"value" means the assessed value of land, exclusive of improvements, according to the last authenticated real property assessment roll of the municipality;

"work" means a service that may be undertaken as a local improvement.

Land that is exempt from taxation

621 (1) Land that is wholly exempt from taxation under sections 339 [general exemptions from taxation] and 340 [qualifications and exceptions] is not subject to this Division.

(2) Despite subsection (1), the municipality must pay the amount of parcel tax that would, but for the exemption, be payable in respect of land exempt from parcel tax.

(3) Despite subsection (1), a person who is liable for a parcel tax in respect of the land by reason of being the holder or occupier of land held in the manner referred to in

(a) section 356 [taxation of Crown land used by others], or

(b) section 357 [taxation of municipal land used by others]

may petition for or against undertaking a work.

(4) In computing the values of the land under section 629 [local improvement proposed on council's initiative], only the assessed value of the person's interest in it is to be used.

Municipal policy that works must be undertaken as local improvements

622 (1) A council may, by bylaw adopted with the assent of the electors, provide that all or any works that may be undertaken as local improvements must be undertaken as local improvements and not otherwise.

(2) A requirement under subsection (1) is effective on the date on which the bylaw is adopted or on a later date specified in the bylaw.

Works that may be undertaken as local improvements

623 (1) On petition or on its own initiative, the council of a city, town or district municipality may, by bylaw, undertake one or more of the following as local improvements:

(a) establishing and opening a street;

(b) opening, widening, extending, grading, paving, altering the grade of, diverting or improving a street, including retaining walls incidental to it;

(c) constructing a bridge as part of a street;

(d) constructing, enlarging or extending a sewer or water system;

(e) constructing a curbing or a sidewalk in, on or along a street, including retaining walls incidental to it;

(f) constructing a boulevard where part of a street has been set apart for the purpose of a boulevard;

(g) sodding a part of a boulevard or street and planting trees, shrubs and plants on and in a boulevard or street;

(h) acquiring, establishing, laying out or improving

(i) a park or square having an area of not more than 1 hectare, or

(ii) a public drive;

(i) constructing retaining walls, dikes or breakwaters along the shore of a sea or lake or the banks of a river;

(j) constructing and erecting on a street necessary equipment, wires and works, including standards and underground conduits, to supply public lighting for the street;

(k) constructing a conduit for wires or pipes along a street.

(2) On petition, the council of a village municipality may, by bylaw, undertake one or more of the following as local improvements:

(a) opening, widening, extending, grading, paving, altering the grade of, diverting or improving a street;

(b) constructing a curbing or a sidewalk in, on or along a street;

(c) works referred to in subsection (1) (a), (f) and (g).

(3) If a municipality in the exercise of its powers acquires, by purchase, expropriation or otherwise, land or real property for a purpose or object referred to in this section, the cost must be included as part of the work.

(4) Nothing in this section extends or applies to a work of ordinary repair or maintenance.

Sidewalk canopies as local improvements

624 (1) In addition to powers under section 623, a council may, by bylaw, undertake the construction and erection of sidewalk canopies as a local improvement.

(2) Despite section 641,

(a) a work undertaken under subsection (1) must be maintained and kept in repair by the municipality, and

(b) the annual expense incurred must be specially charged against the parcels benefiting in the same proportions as provided for sharing of the cost of the work by the original construction bylaw.

(3) A council may, by bylaw, remove a work undertaken under subsection (1), subject to the following:

(a) the municipality must assume all future levies relating to the work;

(b) if levies were commuted with respect to a parcel, the commuted value of the future levies must be paid by the municipality to the owner of the parcel.

(4) Despite any other provision of this Division, instead of imposing a parcel tax, a council may apply section 646 (3) and (4), in which case the notice required under section 629 (3) and the general bylaw required under section 634 must set out the basis on which the work or service is to be charged.

Sewer, water and gas connections in relation to street paving

625 (1) This section applies if the work to be undertaken is the paving of a street.

(2) Before the paving is started, the council may, by bylaw without petition, authorize the making of all necessary connections from any existing sewer, water or gas main owned by the municipality to the parcels of land on either or both sides of the street.

(3) [Repealed 1999-37-131.]

(4) A fee or charge must not be imposed for the renewal of an existing connection required as a result of the paving.

Sidewalk crossings and driveways provided at owner's request

626 (1) This section applies if the work to be undertaken is paving or the construction of curbing, a boulevard or a sidewalk.

(2) On the written request of the owner of a parcel to be served by the work, the council may, before the work is started, provide, as part of the work, for the construction of a sidewalk crossing or driveway as the council may determine, to form an approach to a particular parcel.

(3) The cost of the sidewalk crossing or driveway must be specially charged on the particular parcel.

Time limit on effect of construction bylaw

627 (1) A construction bylaw ceases to have effect if the work authorized by it is not started within one year from the date of its adoption.

(2) A construction bylaw may not be enacted after one year from the date of the municipal officer's certificate under section 632 (2) [sufficiency of petition].

General rule of separate bylaws for distinct work

628 (1) Except as otherwise expressly provided in this Division, every bylaw must be for a distinct and separate work.

(2) A single bylaw may be adopted for 2 or more works referred to in section 623 that are to be undertaken and provided at the same time and by the same method and for the same properties, in which case all the works are to be considered as one work.

(3) The power to adopt a bylaw under section 623 or 624 may not be exercised through the adoption of a comprehensive general bylaw under section 259.1 and bylaws under those sections may not be consolidated into a comprehensive general bylaw under section 280.3.

Local improvement proposed on council's initiative

629 (1) If a council proposes to undertake a local improvement on its own initiative, notice of this intention must be given by

(a) publication of a notice, and

(b) mailing the notice to the owners of the parcels liable to be specially charged.

(2) A notice under this section may relate to and include any number of different works.

(3) A notice under subsection (1) (a) is sufficient if it sets out the following:

(a) a general description of the work;

(b) the street or place where, and the points between which, the work is to be effected;

(c) the estimated cost of the work;

(d) as applicable, the annual charge established under section 634 (1) (a) or the proportion of the total cost to be borne by the owners as established under section 634 (1) (b);

(e) the number of years for which annual charges will be imposed.

(4) A notice mailed to an owner under subsection (1) (b) must include the information under subsection (3) and, in addition, must specify the following:

(a) the taxable frontage or taxable area of the owner's parcel, as applicable;

(b) as applicable, the total annual charge or estimated annual charge to be specially charged against the owner's parcel;

(c) the commuted value of those charges.

(5) The designated municipal officer must mail a notice under subsection (1) (b) to the owner at the address as set out in the last authenticated real property assessment roll and also to any later address known to the assessor.

(6) The obligation to give notice to an owner under this section is satisfied if a reasonable effort was made to mail or otherwise deliver the notice.

(7) Publication and mailing of the notice may be proved by affidavit, and the affidavit, after the adoption of the construction bylaw, is conclusive evidence of publication and mailing of the notice as deposed in it.

Petition against work proposed on council's initiative

630 (1) A work for which notice is given in accordance with section 629 may be undertaken as a local improvement unless, within one month after the publication of the notice, a majority of the owners, representing at least 50% of the value of the parcels that are liable to be specially charged, petition the council not to proceed with it.

(2) Sections 631 and 632 apply to a petition referred to in subsection (1).

(3) If a council has been prevented from undertaking a work because of a petition under this section, the council must not propose the same work on its own initiative within a period of one year after the presentation of the petition.

(4) As an exception, the prohibition under subsection (3) does not prevent a council from again proposing a work on its own initiative if the work is varied from or less expensive than that originally proposed to be undertaken.

Petition to council for local improvement

631 (1) A petition to a council for a work is not valid unless all the following requirements are met:

(a) the petition must be signed by 2/3 of the owners of the parcels liable to be specially charged;

(b) the signatories must be the owners of parcels having a value of at least 50% of the value of all parcels liable to be specially charged;

(c) a description of the parcel owned by each petitioner must be set out in the petition.

(2) A petition must be filed with the municipality, and is deemed to be presented to the council when this is done.

(3) Before being circulated for signature, each page of a petition must contain the following:

(a) a general description of the work;

(b) the annual charge per taxable unit, or the proportion of the cost of the work which will be the owners' portion as established by bylaw under section 634;

(c) the number of years for which annual charges will be imposed.

Determining whether a petition is sufficient

632 (1) The sufficiency of a petition is to be determined by the municipal officer assigned responsibility under section 198 [corporate administration].

(2) A determination under subsection (1) must be evidenced by a certificate of the municipal officer, and is then final and conclusive.

(3) If the municipal officer determines that a petition is sufficient, it is deemed to have been and to be a sufficient petition, despite any changes made under Division 2 [Parcel Taxes] of Part 10.1 [Taxes, Fees and Charges] in the parcels to be specially charged that have the effect of increasing or reducing the number of those parcels.

(4) If it is necessary to determine the value of a parcel and this cannot be ascertained from the real property assessment roll because the parcel was not separately assessed, or for any other reason,

(a) the assessor must determine the value of the parcel,

(b) the assessor's determination is final and conclusive, and

(c) the value determined by the assessor is deemed for the purposes of this Division to be the assessed value.

(5) If a petitioner is the owner of land but does not appear by the last authenticated real property assessment roll of the municipality to be the owner, the petitioner is deemed an owner if the petitioner's ownership is proved to the satisfaction of the municipal officer.

(6) If a petitioner is deemed to be an owner under subsection (5) and the person who appears by the last authenticated real property assessment roll to be the owner is also a petitioner, the name of the latter petitioner must be disregarded in determining whether the petition is sufficient.

(7) If 2 or more persons are owners of a parcel,

(a) they must be considered as one owner only,

(b) they are not entitled to petition unless a majority of them concur, and

(c) unless a petition is signed by a majority of them, their signatures must be disregarded in determining whether the petition is sufficient.

(8) For the purpose of determining the sufficiency of a petition,

(a) the municipal officer may have witnesses summoned and examined under oath, and

(b) any interested person may have a subpoena to procure the attendance of a witness issued out of the Supreme Court within the territorial limits of which the municipality lies.

(9) A witness who is a resident of the municipality is bound to attend without payment of fees or conduct money, and a witness who is not a resident of the municipality is entitled to fees and conduct money under the Rules of Court.

(10) After the municipal officer has certified the sufficiency of a petition, a person may not withdraw his or her name from the petition, and no name may be added to the petition.

Items that may be included in the cost of a work

633 (1) In addition to the construction costs of a work undertaken under a construction bylaw, the following may be included in the cost of the work:

(a) engineering expenses;

(b) cost of advertising and mailing of notices;

(c) interest on temporary loans, and discount and expenses relating to security issuing bylaws;

(d) compensation for land taken for the purposes of the work or injuriously affected by it, and the expenses incurred by the municipality in connection with determining the compensation.

(2) On completion of the execution and financing of a work, the municipal officer assigned responsibility under section 199 [financial administration] must submit to the council a certified statement setting out the cost of the work, and that cost is as certified.

Charges for work must be established in advance

634 (1) A council must not undertake any class of work under this Division unless it has, by general bylaw applicable to all works of that class, done one of the following:

(a) established

(i) the annual charge for each taxable unit, to be specially charged against parcels benefiting from or abutting that class of work and the number of years for which the annual charge is to be imposed, and

(ii) the percentage of the aggregate of the charges that will be accepted as the commuted value;

(b) established the proportion of the cost of the class of work to be specially charged against the parcels benefiting from or abutting the work as the owners' portion of the cost of the work.

(2) A charge under subsection (1) (a) may only be established on the basis of

(a) a single amount for each parcel, or

(b) the taxable frontage of the parcel.

(3) An amendment to a bylaw under subsection (1) is not valid for any work for which a construction bylaw has been adopted.

(4) The total of all charges imposable under subsection (1) (a) is deemed to be the owners' portion of the cost of the work concerned.

(5) When a work is completed, the charges referred to in subsection (1) (a) or the proportion of the cost to be specially charged, as applicable, must be recovered by the means of a parcel tax, imposed on the basis established under subsection (2), on the parcels benefiting from or abutting the work.

(6) As a limit on the authority under this section, if the construction of a sidewalk on one side only of a street is undertaken,

(a) the council may recover 1/3 of the owners' portion of the cost of its construction by means of a parcel tax under subsection (5) imposed on the land abutting on the side of the street opposite to that on which the sidewalk is constructed, and

(b) if at a subsequent time the construction of a sidewalk on the other side of that street is undertaken,

(i) 2/3 of the owners' portion of the cost of its construction must be recovered by means of a parcel tax under subsection (5) imposed on the land abutting on that side of the street, and

(ii) the other 1/3 of the cost must be recovered by means of a parcel tax under subsection (5) imposed on the land abutting on the other side of the street.

Requirements for adoption of construction bylaw

635 (1) If a work is proposed to be undertaken under this Division, before adopting the construction bylaw, the council must have a report prepared stating

(a) the lifetime of the work,

(b) the estimated cost of the work, and

(c) the share or proportion of the total cost that will be specially charged against the parcels benefiting from or abutting on the work.

(2) A report prepared under this section may be adopted in whole or in part or as amended by the council.

(3) [Repealed 1999-37-136.]

(4) A construction bylaw must not be adopted if the total amount proposed to be borrowed under it exceeds the total amount of borrowing approved by the inspector for local improvement purposes less the amount already borrowed under authorization.

(5) Every construction bylaw must conform with the notice under section 629 or the petition under section 631.

Commuting special charges

636 Persons whose parcels are subject to being specially charged under this Division may commute for a payment in cash the special charges imposed on them in accordance with terms and conditions established by bylaw.

Borrowing for works

637 (1) A council may, in accordance with Part 9 [Financial Management], borrow money that may be necessary to undertake a work, but the amount borrowed must not exceed the total cost of the work.

(2) A construction bylaw is deemed to be a loan authorization bylaw for the purposes of borrowing under subsection (1), and compliance with sections 629 to 632 [local improvements initiation process] is deemed to be compliance with the requirement to provide a counter petition opportunity under section 335.1 [counter petition opportunity required for borrowings].

(3) Before the completion of the works under a construction bylaw, in respect of any works undertaken or about to be undertaken, the council may borrow under a security issuing bylaw not more than 80% of the estimated cost of the works as set out in the construction bylaw.

(4) Before the completion of the works, money required to pay the costs incurred may be borrowed temporarily under section 335.2 [temporary borrowing under loan authorization bylaw].

Payment of costs in accordance with financial plan

638 Instead of borrowing the amount of the municipality's portion of the cost of a work undertaken as a local improvement, the council may pay all or some of the municipality's portion in any year out of money appropriated for that purpose in its financial plan.

Payment of costs from local improvement fund

639 (1) If a local improvement fund has been set up in accordance with section 500, the council may, by bylaw, appropriate from it the sums considered necessary to meet the cost or the owners' portion of the cost of a work authorized by a construction bylaw.

(2) A bylaw under subsection (1) must provide for the repayment to the local improvement fund of an appropriate share of the property value tax or parcel tax, or both, imposed sufficient to recover the money advanced, together with interest on it.

Assessment must be revised if scope of work reduced

640 (1) This section applies if a work undertaken by local improvement under this Act or the former Local Improvement Act has been constructed or carried out in part and the council considers it inadvisable or impracticable to complete the work.

(2) If the assessment roll prepared for the work has not been authenticated, the council may amend the construction bylaw in so far as it relates to the extent of the work.

(3) If the assessment roll prepared for the work has been authenticated, the council

(a) may amend the construction bylaw in so far as it relates to the extent of the work, and

(b) must direct the collector to revise the assessment roll.

(4) On the basis of the revised assessment roll under subsection (3) (b), the council may

(a) amend the bylaw imposing the parcel tax,

(b) refund, by payment in cash or by credit on future municipal taxes, any taxes that

(i) were imposed under the original assessment on parcels of land that are not included in the revised assessment roll, and

(ii) were or are collected from the owners of those parcels, and

(c) order any necessary adjustments in the amount of parcel tax that was imposed on owners of parcels of land that remain on the revised assessment roll.

Duty of municipality to repair completed works

641 (1) After a work undertaken as local improvement has been completed, it must during its lifetime be kept in repair by and at the expense of the municipality.

(2) Nothing in this Division

(a) relieves a municipality from any duty or obligation to which it is subject, either at common law or under this Act or otherwise, to keep in repair the highways under its jurisdiction, or

(b) impairs or prejudicially affects the rights of any person who is injured because the municipality failed to discharge that duty or obligation.

(3) Nothing in this section makes a municipality liable for any damage for which it otherwise would not have been liable.

Procedure to compel municipality to repair

642 (1) On application by an owner or occupier of land specially charged for a work undertaken as a local improvement, the Supreme Court may make an order requiring the municipality to put the work in repair if, at any time during the lifetime of the work, the municipality

(a) fails to maintain the work in a good and sufficient state of repair, and

(b) fails to repair the work after one month's notice in writing by the owner or occupier of a parcel specially charged requiring the municipality to do so.

(2) An order under subsection (1) has the same effect and may be enforced in the same manner as a mandatory order.

(3) The court may determine what repairs are necessary, and may order them made in a manner, within a time and under supervision it considers proper.

(4) On an application under subsection (1), if the court is satisfied that the work required to make the repairs that are necessary and reasonable amounts to a reconstruction of the work, the court may

(a) determine that the work may be done as a work of local improvement, and

(b) set the amounts payable by the municipality and by the owners of land adjacent, as in the original bylaw authorizing the work, or otherwise, in its discretion, or in the discretion of the Court of Appeal on appeal.

(5) If a person under whose supervision the repairs are to be made is appointed,

(a) the court may determine the remuneration to be paid to the person, and

(b) the remuneration determined by the court must be paid by the municipality, and payment may be enforced in the manner and by the same process as a judgment for the payment of money.

(6) If the municipality does not comply with the court order, in addition to any other remedy to which the applicant for the order may be entitled, the court may authorize the repairs to be made by the applicant.

(7) If repairs are made by an applicant under subsection (6),

(a) their cost must be ascertained and determined by the court, and

(b) payment of the cost determined by the court may be enforced in the same manner and by the same process as a judgment for the payment of money.

(8) An appeal from a decision of the court lies to the Court of Appeal with leave of a justice of the Court of Appeal.

Current assessment of special charges is not an encumbrance

643 (1) The special charge and the special levies on land for the cost of a work undertaken as a local improvement, whether on petition or otherwise, is not an encumbrance on the land on which the special rate is charged or chargeable

(a) as between a vendor and a purchaser, or

(b) respecting a covenant against encumbrances, or for the right to convey or for quiet possession free from encumbrances.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any part of the special charge or special levies that is in arrear and unpaid.

Cost of work that is replaced, removed or destroyed

644 (1) This section applies to a work undertaken as a local improvement that is replaced, removed or destroyed by a work constructed for the general benefit of a municipality.

(2) Despite any other provision of this Act, if an assessment roll has been authenticated under this Act or confirmed under the former Local Improvement Act, the council may, by bylaw, provide that the municipality must assume all future levies relating to the owners' portion of the cost of a work undertaken as a local improvement referred to in subsection (1).

(3) [Repealed 1997-25-117.]

Commission may be appointed to investigate assessment roll

645 (1) Despite any other provision of this Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint a commission under Part 2 of the Inquiry Act for an assessment if

(a) the assessment roll has been authenticated under this Act or confirmed under the former Local Improvement Act, and

(b) it is represented to the satisfaction of the Lieutenant Governor in Council that inequalities exist in the assessment or that hardship has resulted as a consequence of the assessment.

(2) A commission under subsection (1) has the power and is charged with the duty to consider, investigate and inquire into the following:

(a) the items, amount, incidence and apportionment of the cost of any work of local improvement, and of the special charges made, authorized, required or proposed to be made for it, and whether or not the special charges, either alone or together with other municipal rates or taxes, are, may or will be unduly burdensome on any parcel affected by them;

(b) the proportion and amounts of the special charges that are paid or unpaid or which ought to be paid on any parcel affected by them;

(c) the benefit derived or derivable from the work by the various parcels charged or chargeable for it, either generally or compared with each other;

(d) the probable or reasonable lifetime of the work or any portion of it;

(e) the amounts realized or not realized by the municipality on account of instalments of principal and interest in relation to any debentures issued for the cost of the work;

(f) the probable ability or likelihood of any lot specially charged or chargeable for the work being capable of bearing its share of the special assessment;

(g) the amount that should fairly and reasonably be charged against the various parcels abutting on or benefited by the work for the cost of the work and the expenses incurred in relation to it, considering all the circumstances;

(h) any reductions that ought to be made from the special assessment in the case of triangular or irregularly shaped parcels, parcels located at the junction or intersection of streets or parcels wholly or partly unfit for building purposes;

(i) the desirability or feasibility of extending the period of years over which the special charge is or may be made payable;

(j) the debts or obligations incurred by the municipality for the work, whether under debentures, temporary loans or advances, or otherwise;

(k) whether the municipality should bear a proportion or a further proportion of the cost of the work, or the entire cost of particular portions of the work;

(l) whether or not parcels should be relieved from all or part of the charges;

(m) whether the charges for the cost of the work should be spread over a larger area, and whether the method of assessment should be changed to another method;

(n) generally, any matter or thing, fact or circumstance in relation to the work which the commissioners consider proper or relevant.

(3) The commission must

(a) report to the Lieutenant Governor in Council the result of the investigation and inquiry, and

(b) recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council, in the case of each parcel,

(i) any remedy, measure of relief, allowance or adjustment that should be given or made to the municipality or to the owners specially charged in order that any inequality or any hardship in the assessment or proportion of assessment as made is remedied or removed,

(ii) who should pay any charge or assessment made necessary by giving the remedy, relief, allowance or adjustment, and

(iii) in what proportions a new assessment should be made for the work.

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may return the report for reconsideration, or accept and adopt the report of the commission and by order require that the council carry out and fulfil the recommendations contained in it.

(5) On publication of an order under subsection (4) in the Gazette, the council must adopt a bylaw readjusting the charges, assessment and every matter or thing in connection with it in accordance with the report and order, and must carry out all of the terms of the report and order.

(6) A bylaw under subsection (5) must be submitted to the inspector for approval.

(7) After it has been approved by the inspector, a bylaw under subsection (5) must not be set aside by a court on any ground, except noncompliance with the report and order, and the bylaw is a valid and sufficient bylaw of the municipality for all purposes, and all assessments made under it are valid assessments.

(8) On the adoption and publication of a report under subsection (4), the municipality must

(a) promptly pay compensation to the commissioners for travelling expenses and for their services, and

(b) pay to the Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations the amount of all other costs incidental to the work of the commission, including the costs of necessary clerical assistance.

Division 2 — Specified Areas

Services for specified areas

646 (1) In addition to the exercise of the powers under Division 1 [Local Improvements] of this Part, a council may, by bylaw, undertake any service coming within the powers of the municipality for the special benefit of a specified area of the municipality.

(2) A bylaw under subsection (1) must define the area of the municipality that will be benefited.

(3) The entire cost, or a part of the cost of the service determined by the council and specified in a bylaw under subsection (1), must be borne by the owners of real property within the specified area or the users of the service, or by both.

(4) For the purpose of subsection (3), the council may impose within the specified area one or more of the following:

(a) a tax based on the assessed value of the land, or the improvements, or both;

(b) a parcel tax;

(c) other fees or charges provided in this Act.

(5) Subject to this section, Part 10.1 [Taxes, Fees and Charges] applies in respect of taxes, fees and charges imposed under subsection (4).

(6) A council may, by bylaw,

(a) provide that a parcel tax imposed under subsection (4) (b) may be commuted for payment in cash,

(b) set terms and conditions for a commutation under paragraph (a), and

(c) specify circumstances in which a commutation under paragraph (a) may be refused.

(7) Subject to the Waste Management Act, before a bylaw under this section is adopted one of the following requirements must be met:

(a) the bylaw must have received the assent of the electors;

(b) the service to be undertaken must have been requested by a petition and, for these purposes, sections 631 [petition to council] and 632 [sufficiency of petition] apply;

(c) the service to be undertaken must have been proposed by the council on its own initiative, and, for these purposes, sections 629 [council initiative] and 630 [petition against work] apply.

(8) The power to adopt a bylaw under subsection (1) may not be exercised through the adoption of a comprehensive general bylaw under section 259.1 and a bylaw under that subsection may not be consolidated into a comprehensive general bylaw under section 280.3.

Off-street parking facilities

647 (1) This section applies if a municipality provides off-street parking facilities on a specified area basis under this Division.

(2) A council may, by bylaw, provide for the application of all or part of the net current revenue derived from the operation of parking meters in the specified area to the provision of off-street parking facilities within the specified area, including the repayment of debt and interest on the provision of those facilities.

Borrowing for specified area

648 (1) A council may, by bylaw, provide for the borrowing from any person or for the appropriation from the local improvement fund of money necessary to meet the capital cost of a service for an area established under section 646.

(1.1) For the purpose of determining the capital cost of all or part of a service under this Division, either estimated or actual,

(a) the cost factors referred to in sections 633 [items that may be included in the cost] and 634 [charges must be established in advance] as determined by the council apply, and

(b) the capital or other cost of the service must be reduced by the amount of revenue derived from the service.

(2) Division 4 [Expenditures and Liabilities] of Part 9 [Financial Management] applies to a bylaw under subsection (1) except that, if the assent of the electors or a counter petition opportunity is required under that Division, compliance with section 646 (7) [elector assent for specified areas] is deemed to be compliance with that requirement.

(3) Subject to subsections (4) and (5) and section 649 [enlargement or reduction of specified area] and despite section 646 (3) [who bears cost of service], if the capital cost of the service is met out of money borrowed or appropriated under subsection (1), the entire capital cost of the service must be borne by the area specified in the bylaw.

(4) The cost of any capacity of the service in excess of that required for the specified area may be borne by the municipality unless the specified area is extended or merged and the full capacity of the service is required for the extended area or merged area, in which case the excess cost must no longer be borne by the municipality but by the extended area or merged area.

(5) A council may, by bylaw, provide that a part of the cost of the service for a downtown revitalization project approved by the inspector is to be borne by the municipality.

(6) [Repealed 1999-37-143.]

(7) Before adopting a bylaw under subsection (5), the council must provide the electors in the whole of the municipality with a counter petition opportunity in relation to the proposed bylaw.

(8) In addition to the information required by section 172.4, the notice of a counter petition opportunity under this section must include

(a) the total amount proposed to be borrowed,

(b) the part of the cost of the borrowing that is to be borne by the municipality, and

(c) the length of time for repayment.

Enlargement or reduction of specified area

649 (1) A council may, by bylaw, enlarge or reduce the size of a specified area.

(2) Section 646 (7) applies to a bylaw under subsection (1) of this section, with the modification that the requirement for assent, petition or council initiative referred to in that provision applies only in relation to the area to be included or excluded from the specified area and not to the rest of the specified area.

(3) [Repealed 1997-25-121.]

(4) If a specified area has been enlarged or reduced under this section, the liabilities incurred on behalf of the area as it was before enlargement or reduction must be borne by all the owners of parcels of land in the area as enlarged or reduced.

Merging of specified areas

650 (1) A council may, by bylaw,

(a) merge 2 or more specified areas defined under section 646 into one specified area for the purposes set out in the bylaws establishing them, or

(b) if the 2 or more specified areas are not contiguous, merge them for the purpose of deeming them to be one specified area for the purposes specified in the bylaws establishing them.

(2) A bylaw under subsection (1) may merge the specified areas while providing that repayment of any debt of one or more of the former specified areas that is outstanding at the time of merger is to continue to be borne by the applicable former specified area.

(3) If there is outstanding debt of a former specified area that is not kept separate under subsection (2), section 646 (7) applies to the bylaw under subsection (1) of this section, with the modification that the requirement for assent, petition or council initiative referred to in section 646 (7) applies separately to each specified area being merged.

(3.1) Section 646 (7) does not apply to the bylaw under subsection (1) of this section if

(a) there is no outstanding debt of any former specified area, or

(b) the outstanding debt of each former specified area is kept separate under subsection (2).

(4) If a council has, with respect to each of any 2 or more areas specified in bylaws adopted under section 646, provided that the area may be merged with another specified area, whether contiguous or not, for the purpose of providing, consolidating or completing necessary services for the merged areas, the council may, by bylaw without the assent of the electors,

(a) merge the areas,

(b) provide, consolidate or complete the necessary services, and

(c) borrow money under section 648,

as required.

(5) For the purposes of this section, an area defined under Division 1 of this Part or section 53 of the Local Improvement Act, R.S.B.C. 1948, c. 237, and under section 65 of the Municipal Act, R.S.B.C. 1948, c. 232, is deemed to be a specified area under section 646.

(6) [Repealed 1997-25-122.]

Transfer or discontinuation of joint services

650.1 (1) This section applies in relation to an agreement between a municipality and a public authority

(a) for the purpose of jointly managing facilities for pleasure, recreation and other community uses of the public, including heritage property and land to be used for the conservation of heritage property, that are on a site

(i) owned or held by a party to the agreement, or

(ii) leased from the Provincial government by a party to the agreement, or

(b) for the purpose of contributing to the cost of managing facilities referred to in paragraph (a).

(2) If

(a) a service is provided under an agreement referred to in subsection (1) at the expense of a specified area, and

(b) the service is discontinued or taken over by a board of school trustees or a francophone education authority,

all remaining taxes, fees or charges under this Part are payable by the municipality.

Application of Municipal Services Part to specified areas

651 Part 15 [Municipal Services] applies to a part of a municipality established as a specified area under this Division as if the area were the whole municipality.

Division 3 — Special Improvement Areas

Business improvement areas

651.1 (1) In this section:

"applicant" means a corporation, association or organization applying to the council for a grant of money under this section;

"business area" means an area in a municipality where business or commerce is carried on;

"business improvement area" means a business area designated by bylaw as a business improvement area under subsection (3) (a);

"business promotion scheme" means

(a) carrying out studies or making reports respecting one or more business areas,

(b) the improvement, beautification or maintenance of streets, sidewalks or municipally owned land, buildings or structures in one or more business improvement areas,

(c) the conservation of heritage property in one or more business improvement areas, and

(d) the encouragement of business in one or more business improvement areas;

"taxable property" means land or improvements, or both, that fall or would fall within Class 5 or 6 of the Assessments — Classes and Percentage Levels Regulation, B.C. Reg. 438/81, as that regulation stood on January 8, 1988.

(2) As an exception to section 182 [prohibition against assistance to business], a council may grant money to an applicant that has as one of its aims, functions or purposes the planning and implementation of a business promotion scheme.

(3) Before a council grants money under subsection (2), the council must, by bylaw, do the following:

(a) designate the appropriate business area as a business improvement area;

(b) name the applicant to which the money will be granted;

(c) establish the maximum amount of money to be granted;

(d) require that the money granted must be expended only

(i) by the applicant to which the money is granted, and

(ii) in accordance with the conditions and limitations set out in the bylaw and for a business promotion scheme set out in the bylaw;

(e) require that all or part of the money granted to the applicant, as determined by the council, be recovered within the business improvement area from owners of land or improvements, or both, or from other persons from whom charges provided in this Act may be collected in the business improvement area.

(4) For the purpose of a requirement under subsection (3) (e), the council may impose on taxable property within the business improvement area any or all of the following:

(a) a tax based on the assessed value of the land, improvements or both;

(b) a parcel tax;

(c) a tax based on any factor set out in the bylaw;

(d) other fees and charges provided in this Act.

(5) A bylaw imposing a tax under subsection (4) may establish different rates for different classes of business, as specified in the bylaw.

(6) If a council enacts a bylaw under subsection (3), it must set conditions and limitations on the receipt and expenditure of money granted under subsection (2) and, without limiting this, the bylaw must require the applicant to

(a) submit each year a budget for approval by the council,

(b) account for the money granted to it under subsection (2) in the form and manner specified in the bylaw, and

(c) take out and maintain insurance of the type and in the amount specified in the bylaw.

(7) Sections 646 (7) (b) and (c) [requirement for petition or council initiative] and 648 (2) [costs of services for specified areas] apply to a bylaw under this section and, for these purposes, a business improvement area is deemed to be a specified area and a business promotion scheme is deemed to be a service.

(8) Section 649 [enlargement or reduction of specified area] and section 650 [merging of specified areas] apply in respect of a business improvement area as if it were a specified area.

(9) Subject to this section, Part 10.1 [Taxes, Fees and Charges] applies in respect of taxes, fees and charges imposed under subsection (4).

(10) A bylaw designating a business improvement area ceases to have effect on the earlier of

(a) 20 years from the date the bylaw comes into force, and

(b) a date specified in the bylaw.

Mountain resort business improvement areas

651.2 (1) In this section:

"applicant" means a corporation, association or organization applying to the council for a grant of money under this section;

"business area" means an area in a municipality where business or commerce related to a mountain resort is carried on;

"business promotion scheme" means

(a) carrying out studies or making reports respecting one or more business areas,

(b) the improvement, beautification or maintenance of streets, sidewalks or municipally owned land, buildings or structures in one or more mountain resort business improvement areas,

(c) the conservation of heritage property in one or more mountain resort business improvement areas, and

(d) the encouragement of business in one or more mountain resort business improvement areas;

"mountain resort business improvement area" means a business area designated by bylaw as a mountain resort business improvement area under subsection (3) (a).

(2) As an exception to section 182 [prohibition against assistance to business], a council may grant money to an applicant that has as one of its aims, functions or purposes the planning and implementation of a business promotion scheme.

(3) Before a council grants money under subsection (2), the council must, by bylaw, do the following:

(a) designate the appropriate business area as a mountain resort business improvement area;

(b) name the applicant to which the money will be granted;

(c) establish the maximum amount of money to be granted;

(d) require that the money granted must be expended only

(i) by the applicant to which the money is granted, and

(ii) for a business promotion scheme set out in the bylaw;

(e) require that all of the money granted to the applicant be recovered from the owners of land and improvements, within the mountain resort business improvement area, used during the year to operate a business that falls within a class of business specified in the bylaw.

(4) For the purpose of a requirement under subsection (3) (e), the council may impose on land, improvements or both within the business improvement area any or all of the following:

(a) a tax based on the assessed value of the land, improvements or both;

(b) a parcel tax;

(c) a tax based on any factor set out in the bylaw;

(d) other fees and charges provided in this Act.

(5) A bylaw imposing a tax under subsection (4) may establish different rates for different classes of business, as specified in the bylaw.

(6) If a council enacts a bylaw under subsection (3), it must set conditions and limitations on the receipt and expenditure of money granted under subsection (2) and, without restricting this, the bylaw must require the applicant to

(a) submit each year a budget for approval by the council,

(b) account for the money granted to it under subsection (2) in the form and manner specified in the bylaw, and

(c) take out and maintain insurance of the type and amount specified in the bylaw.

(7) Sections 646 (7) (b) and (c) [requirement for petition or council initiative] and 648 (2) [costs of services for specified areas] apply to a bylaw under this section and, for these purposes, a mountain resort business improvement area is deemed to be a specified area and a business promotion scheme is deemed to be a service.

(8) Section 649 [enlargement or reduction of specified area] and section 650 [merging of specified areas] apply in respect of a mountain resort business improvement area as if it were a specified area.

(9) Subject to this section, Part 10.1 [Taxes, Fees and Charges] applies in respect of taxes, fees and charges imposed under subsection (4).

(10) A bylaw designating a mountain resort business improvement area ceases to have effect on the earlier of

(a) 20 years from the date the bylaw comes into force, and

(b) a date specified in the bylaw.


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