Boundary extension policy hasn’t changed property owners’ minds

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

They found that based on the City’s new policy, the representatives of 130 properties are opposed. 33 are reportedly Crown land, including 32 owned by B.C. Hydro, and are considered neutral and were not included in the survey results. Of the representatives of 146 properties the group spoke to, 10 indicated they were in favour of inclusion, while six did not provide a response.

It should be noted that numbers presented yesterday contradict previous counts, which totalled 182 properties, including 30 owned by B.C. Hydro.

In November, the City established a new boundary extension policy with mitigation measures that include phasing in property taxes over five years, and a reduction in charges at the Rural Water Station and Sewer Transfer Station.  Information on the policy, details of each property’s phase-in plan, and a request for a final response was sent to each owner at the end of the month, which was followed by the independent canvassing done by the five property owners.

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One of the group of five, Tracy Bloor, says the majority of the negative feedback she’s received stems from a feeling that the property owners are not getting anything in return for their tax dollars, and there’s no benefit to them. While there would be access to city services, Bloor says, “having access when there’s nothing near you isn’t exactly accessible.”

An informal survey was sent earlier in 2013, which when added to the City’s own consultation, found the representatives of 121 of the 182 pieces of land were opposed to the proposal, while four were in support and three would support it conditionally. One property with multiple owners was split between conditional support and opposition, and 23 properties did not respond to the survey.

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