Through the Neighbourhood Renewal Program, Building Great Neighbourhoods offers an option for neighbourhoods to upgrade from standard galvanized street lights to decorative street lights, with optional features including colour, pole styles and pole arm types.
About the Program
During Neighbourhood Renewal, street lights with standard galvanized poles are replaced at no cost to the homeowners. If a neighbourhood opts for decorative street lights, the property owners are responsible to pay 100% of the cost over and above the cost of replacing the street lights with standard galvanized poles. Please note that decorative street lights must be installed for the entire neighbourhood.
Decorative street lighting upgrades are subject to the approval of a Local Improvement Bylaw. This is a two-step process where community preference is identified through an Expression of Interest and then decided by a Local Improvement process.
The Local Improvement Process Timeline
Step 1: Expression of Interest (EOI) Process
May: The community league or property owners send 1 decorative street light selection to the City no later than May 1 of the year prior to construction.
July/August: The City sends an Expression of Interest (EOI) package containing estimated costs for the upgrades to decorative street lighting to registered property owners. The package includes a form with a yes or no indication for responses.
September: Responses are required in September from a sample size of at least 20% of neighbourhood property owners to demonstrate community support for the decorative option.
November/December: The City validates the signatures and assesses whether the Local Improvement will proceed.
If 50% +1 of the responses are in support (yes), the local improvement process will proceed.
If 50% +1 of the responses are not in support (no), the local improvement process will not proceed.
If less than 20% of property owners submit an EOI form by deadline, it will be at the discretion of the City to initiate the process or not, based on previous public engagement feedback.
Step 2: Local Improvement Process
January/February: The City sends out the local improvement tax notice to property owners. After mailout, there is a 30-day period to petition against the local improvement. A majority of affected property owners need to sign and return the tax notice in order to defeat the local improvement.
The petition against must be signed by 50%+1 of property owners within the entire neighbourhood to defeat the local improvement. This process is governed by the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and City Policy.
February/March: If a sufficient petition against the local improvement is not received, City Council will pass a Local Improvement Bylaw and decorative street lights will be installed.
If a sufficient petition against the local improvement is received, the City will notify property owners and standard galvanized street lights will be installed.
Note: a valid petition against must include the witnessed signatures of all titled owners. Witnesses must swear an affidavit before a Commissioner of Oaths.
Costs and Cost Sharing
Local improvements are often carried out in conjunction with other major construction work in a neighbourhood. Since local improvements benefit a neighbourhood more than the municipality as a whole, a portion of these costs are covered by neighbourhood property owners.
Property owners have 2 payment options:
1. Lump sum payment: The full cost is paid at one time.
2. Local Improvement tax: The full cost is amortized over 15 years and the payments are added to your property taxes. The tax stays with the property. Should you move, the payments become the responsibility of the new owner.