FOOTHILLS COUNTY PUBLIC RESERVE POLICY
(Adopted April 18/96)
Under Section 666(1) of the Municipal Government Act the Council may require the owner of a parcel of land that is subject to a subdivision proposal, to provide land for municipal reserve or provide money in place of the municipal reserve. The Municipal Government Act further states that a market value appraisal must be provided or, if the subdivision approving authority and applicant agree, a land value given based on recent sales within the particular area of the subdivision will be required. You therefore have the right to submit a certified appraisal which will be given to Council along with your application for subdivision. Council will then determine the public reserve amount required of you when setting the conditions of subdivision approval.
Section 663 of the MGA states that the owner of a parcel of land that is the subject of proposed subdivision may not be required to provide reserve if:
a. one lot is to be created from a quarter section;
b. land is to be subdivided into lots of 16 hectares (39.5 acres) or more and is to be used only for agricultural purposes;
c. the land to be subdivided is .8 hectares (1.98 acres) or less; or
d. reserves have already been provided for the title.
Subject to the exceptions as set out in Section 663, a Subdivision Approving Authority is empowered to require an owner of land being subdivided to dedicate, without compensation, a portion of the land for park, school or park and school purposes, or to pay money in lieu of all or part of the land.
Section 671(2) states that Municipal reserve, school reserve or municipal and school reserve may be used by a municipality or school authority or by them jointly only for any or all of the following purposes:
- a public park;
- a public recreation area;
- school authority purposes;
- to separate areas of land that are used for different purposes.
In addition, it is important to note that, through Section 675 of the MGA, the Municipality has the right to remove the municipal reserve designation. On removal of the designation, the Municipality may sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the land, but the proceeds from the sale, lease or other disposition may be used only for any or all of the purposes referred to in Section 671(2) or for any matter connected to those purposes. Should the Municipality wish to proceed in the regard, a public hearing must be held. This would generally only happen on land that is not being used for any of the purposes noted above.
The amount of land or cash-in-lieu of land to be provided for municipal reserve will be equal to 10% of the titled parcel(s). The land required to be provided as environmental reserve or environmental easement will not be included in the calculation of municipal reserve. Even though no public reserve is required, a Deferred Reserve Caveat may be placed on title at the discretion of Council to notify the landowner that at the time that the parcel is further subdivided, municipal reserve will be required.
1. FORM OF RESERVE - DEDICATION OF LAND OR CASH-IN-LIEU:
For a redesignation or subdivision application, when the reserves to be provided are more than 1.98 acres, a separate lot must be shown on the site plan. It will be at the discretion of Council at the time of the decision as to whether land will be taken or cash-in-lieu.
On lots 21 acres or less, 10% cash-in-lieu of land will be required under the following circumstances:
a. on the full original parcel where the land is being subdivided to the maximum density allowed under the Land Use Bylaw;
b. on two of the lots where the proposal is to create 75% of the maximum allowable density with the reserves being deferred on the largest lot;
c. on one of the lots where the proposal is to create 50% of the maximum allowable density with the reserves being deferred on the largest lot.
2. COUNCIL MAY REQUIRE THE RESERVES TO BE DEFERRED WHEN:
a. it is deemed that the maximum allowable density allowed under the Land Use Bylaw has not been obtained. The balance of the reserves owing on the existing title will be deferred, by Caveat, on the largest lot;
b. parcels are located within an urban fringe or Inter-Municipal Development area;
c. the new lot is created under the 'Agricultural District' Land Use Rules.
A Deferred Reserve Caveat would be placed on title to notify the owner on title that at the time that this parcel is further subdivided, municipal reserve may have to be provided.
Note: This policy will serve as a guideline and the form of Public Reserve will remain at the discretion of Council.
Disposal of Reserve Lands:
According to sections 674 and 675 of the Municipal Government Act, the County Council, in the case of municipal reserve lands or the Council and the School Division, in the case of municipal and school reserve lands, may choose to dispose of reserve lands. In order to do this, they must hold a public hearing and then ask the Registrar to remove the designation of municipal reserve. Once this is done, they may sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the land. Proceeds from this transaction may only be used for:
(a) a public park;
(b) a public recreation area;
(c) school authority purposes;
(d) to separate areas of land that are used for different purposes.
In other words, the proceeds from the sale of reserve lands should be used to finance the development or maintenance of other reserve lands within Foothills County.