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News Review
City Annexation Bid Has Been Granted
Posted Date: 12/21/2015

City Annexation Bid GrantedAnnexation

The Provincial Government issued the Order In Council today reflecting Cabinet’s approval of the City’s annexation application.

This means the City will receive 6,316 hectares from the County of Grande Prairie, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

“We are extremely pleased with this announcement,” says Mayor Bill Given. “The decision validates the City’s long-standing position that the traditional divisions between urban and rural municipalities need to be re-examined.

“This is a positive step forward in the effort to create a sustainable local government structure that can facilitate the growth and development of the Grande Prairie region over the long term.”

Focus on Residents

“Our immediate concern is supporting the affected residents in the annexation area as we move though this transition,” says Mayor Given. “It will be important that the City and County work together to share all the information required to give the residents a smooth experience.”

In advance, the City Administration established a cross departmental task-force to ensure preparation to meet the needs of the residents in the Rural Service Area. The City will be in contact directly with landowners and residents in the coming weeks.

As well, City and County Councils met recently to confirm they would collaborate to ensure the focus is on a seamless transition.

Contact for Rural Service Area Residents

Affected residents with enquiries on how annexation impacts them can call the Citizen Contact Centre at 780-538-0300 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.

“These residents were already a part of the Grande Prairie community and we look forward to welcoming them as they formally join our municipality,” says Mayor Given.

Terms

The Board Order stipulates the terms of annexation, including tax protection for residents and compensation to the County of Grande Prairie.

Tax Protection for landowners
  • Landowners will continue to be taxed as if they were in the County for a period of 20 years (with a 5 year phase-in) for non-farm properties and for 30 years (with a 5 year phase-in) for farm properties.
Triggering events
  • Landowners will lose tax protection if they subdivide, rezone or benefit from a local improvement bylaw for sewer and water services. The exception to this is the first lot out of an un-subdivided quarter-section. For specific wording please see the Order in Council.

Compensation to the County

  • The City of Grande Prairie will pay the County of Grande Prairie $4.4 million over the next five years for lost taxation revenue. In addition, the City will take on the County’s existing debentures. 

Other Details

The land is mostly undeveloped territory to the northwest and northeast. The total amount of tax dollars collected for the Rural Service Area for 2015 is valued at $1,471,595.


A merit hearing before the Municipal Government Board was held in October, 2014.

By annexing land the County agreed to in the 2010 Inter-municipal Development Plan, the City will have more of the type of land that industrial developments require.

There are about 300 properties involved, affecting 200 owners. An estimated 700 residents are located in the Rural Service Area.

Learn more about the annexation process here www.cityofgp.com/annexation

Background

Annexation

Annexation is the act of transferring land from one municipality into another municipality. 

To grow and remain sustainable, the City of Grande Prairie requires additional lands to attract industrial and commercial development within its boundaries. Industrial development provides a strong, viable tax base to fund more infrastructure, facilities and services

Annexation Process

In June 2010, the City and the County jointly adopted an Intermunicipal Development Plan. Part of this Plan identifies lands within the County that both municipalities have agreed would be appropriate to accommodate the City’s future growth.

The Provincial government makes the final decision on the annexation application and an outcome becomes official via an Order in Council.

Annexation becomes effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Snow Removal

The City is committed to offering the current level of service provided by the County for things such as road grading and snow plowing within the annexation area.

The City has a service plan to provide a level of service at, or above that currently provided by the County.

Community Safety

The City’s Community Safety Service Area is well positioned to provide emergency services to the proposed annexation area. In fact the County had previously contracted with the City to provide fire services to its residents, therefore the City will be able to ensure that the proposed annexation area continues to receive timely emergency services response.

Existing Planning Policies & Zoning

The City will inherit the County of Grande Prairie’s statutory plans, land use bylaw and other bylaws or regulations that apply specifically to the lands within the annexation area.

Annexation will not impact the present use of these lands. The City will work in consultation with affected landowners, regional stakeholders and any other affected agencies to develop plans for future land uses within the annexation area.

City Council will assume responsibility for consideration of any future changes to land use, including public consultation and public hearing processes.

Property Taxes and Trigger Events for Zoning Changes

Tax Protection for landowners
Landowners will continue to be taxed as if they were in the County for a period of 20 years (with a 5 year phase-in) for non-farm properties and for 30 years (with a 5 year phase-in) for farm properties.

Triggering events

Landowners will lose tax protection if they subdivide, rezone or benefit from a local improvement bylaw for sewer and water services. The exception to this is the first lot out of an un-subdivided quarter-section. For specific wording please see the Order in Council.


For more information: www.cityofgp.com/annexation

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