District uses new method to approve land swap

A proposed land swap with BC Hydro is utilising the Alternative Approval Process, rather than going to a referendum.

The District of Fort St. James is trying something new in order to facilitate the selling of park land to BC Hydro: an Alternative Approval Process (AAP). At least, the process is new to Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Crook, who says the District hasn’t used an AAP in the 13 years he’s been here.

The District wants to enter into an agreement with BC Hydro to sell 0.188ha of unused park land to the east of the substation on Murray Road to Hydro, in exchange for a 0.188ha piece of land to the north of the substation on Douglas Avenue, which is currently owned by Hydro and which will be designated as park land. In order to sell park land, the District must—according to the Community Charter—consult with community members. This can be done by Assent Voting (more commonly known as a referendum), or by the Alternative Approval Process. Since the AAP is less costly to the taxpayer and can be executed in a shorter period of time (as little as 32 days, as opposed to up to 80 days for the referendum process), Mayor and Council have decided to enact the AAP as their primary consultation method in this matter.

An AAP calls for 10% of electors in the District to make their opposition to the project known, in writing, to the District. Elector Response Forms are available at the District Office, and state that “By completing this form I am of the opinion that Mayor and Council should NOT proceed with the proposed bylaw and land exchange unless it is approved through an Assent Vote process requiring 50% or greater public support.”

The exchange of land  has been requested by BC Hydro, in order to facilitate upgrades to its substation which are required to tie in power which will be generated by the Fort Green Energy Project. The “Land Disposal and Exchange Bylaw No. 951, 2015” was given first, second, and third reading at the Council meeting of July 12, 2015.  It is scheduled to be adopted at the regular Council meeting of Sept. 9, 2015 unless an Assent Vote is held.

In the case of Fort St. James it would take 121 people opposing the proposed sale to reach the 10% threshold and cancel the AAP, at which time Assent Voting might be enacted by Mayor and Council. All Resident Electors and Non-Resident Property Electors in Fort St. James are eligible to vote. Elector response forms, copies of the proposed bylaw, and an information leaflet may be obtained at the District Office during regular office hours (8:30 am – 4:30 pm), by e-mailing edo@fortstjames.ca, or by calling (250) 996-8233.

Completed elector response forms can be dropped off (in person or by a third party) at the District Office, or sent by mail to District of Fort St. James, P.O. Box 640, Fort St. James, BC V0J 1P0. All forms must be received by Aug. 31, 2015.

Barbara Roden

 

Just Posted

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

B.C. Health Minister announces plan for new hospital in Terrace

“This means more beds, a level three trauma centre, better surgery and better care,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

B.C. Family Day to move to third week in February next year

Premier John Horgan said the move is to better align the holiday with businesses and families

B.C. to increase minimum wage to $15.20/hour in 2021

Premier John Horgan says next increase will come in June

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canada rounds out Day 11 earning gold in 2 more events

Comox Valley’s Cassie Sharpe and fan-favourites Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir all earned golds

Trudeau announces two-way $1 billion investment deal with India

Some of India’s biggest companies to invest more than $250 million in Canada in the coming years

’60s Scoop group educates survivors, pushes rejection of federal settlement

Federal government’s compensation proposal includes $50 million for an Indigenous Healing Foundation

As ‘Black Panther’ shows, inclusion pays at the box office

At the box office, inclusion is paying — and often, it’s paying off big time

Washington senator wants B.C. to follow suit and phase out net-pen fish farms

An American ban will be less effective in the shared ecosystem of the Salish Sea, senator says

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

Most Read