As the city grows, sometimes privately owned land needs to be acquired to support the continued expansion of infrastructure. Land acquisition is done for the public benefit or purpose of building roads, utilities, parks or buildings.
The City aims to let owners know as early as possible in the project to provide adequate time for discussion. Property owners are offered fair market value for a portion of the land or the entire parcel depending on what is necessary.
Voluntary Land Acquisition
The City of Leduc will contact you directly to discuss the opportunity to acquire your land if plans to improve infrastructure affect you. We make every effort with you to have open discussions and collaborate on terms to best minimize disruption to ensure the process is fair. Land value is determined through analysis of independent, qualified market appraisals procured by the City and the owner.
The City will always work to reach a preferred voluntary agreement with the property owner. If a mutual agreement cannot be met, or negotiations fail, expropriation is a last resort.
Expropriation is a legal process where the City can take privately owned property without the consent of the owner for a public benefit or purpose. The process is viewed as a last resort if the owner is unwilling to voluntarily sell their land or if negotiations fail.
Expropriation is regulated by the Municipal Government Act under the Expropriation Act. The Expropriation Act requires all municipalities to comply with specific regulations and gives all private landowners the same rights and entitlements when their land is being expropriated.
The municipality pays all reasonable legal, appraisal and other costs incurred by the property owner under the Expropriation Act.
What is expropriation?
Often a last resort, expropriation is the legal process by which a municipality may acquire private land for a public benefit or purpose if the property owner is unwilling to voluntarily sell the land, or if purchase negotiations fail. A municipality can take a portion of the land or the entire parcel, depending on the circumstances.
Expropriation of privately owned land is regulated by the Municipal Government Act under the Expropriation Act. The Expropriation Act sets requirements for municipalities and gives all private landowners the same rights and same entitlements to compensation.
Why does the City expropriate?
Sometimes the City needs privately owned land to build or make necessary changes to infrastructure such as roads, utilities, parks, or buildings to accommodate for the growing city needs. Land acquired by expropriation is for a public benefit or purpose. The City strives to minimize the impact on property owners and will always attempt to acquire land voluntarily and by negotiation with the property owner. Expropriation is always a last resort.
What is expropriated land being used for?
Depending on the City’s growing needs, the land can be used for a range of infrastructure needs, including roads, utilities, parks or buildings.
What is the expropriation process?
- City Council must pass Notice of Intention to Expropriate
Notice of Intention to Expropriate is served to the property owner(s) of the impacted land and notices are placed in accordance with the Expropriation Act.
- Property Owner(s) may file a Notice of Objection questioning whether taking of the land is fair, sound or reasonably necessary
- If a Notice of Objection is filed, an inquiry officer is appointed to determine whether the taking is fair, sound and reasonably necessary.
- Once report of the inquiry officer is received, City Council must decide whether to proceed with, abandon or modify the proposed expropriation.
- The City files a Certificate of Approval in the Land Titles Office to transfer title of the property (but no possession) to the City.
- A Notice of Expropriation is served to the property owner(s) at the same time the Certificate of Approval is filed. The notice sets out the rights and entitlements provided to the property owner(s) pursuant to the Act.
- A Notice of Proposed Payment served to the property owner(s) outlines what the city believes to be fair and complete compensation. The Notice of Proposed Payment must include written appraisal as evidence of fair market value.
- Notice of Possession served on property owner(s) provides advanced notice of when the City intends to take possession.
- If the owner(s) is not satisfied with the proposed payment, the owner(s) can apply to the Land and Property Rights Tribunal to determine compensation, regardless of whether the proposed payment was accepted or not.
How are Owner’s Rights protected? How is fair compensation ensured?
In accordance with the Expropriation Act, the municipality pays all reasonable legal, appraisal and other costs incurred by the property owner. The City prefers to work together with the property owner to come to an agreement for a voluntary acquisition of the property with respect to a fair market value. This is always the preferred route over the expropriation process.
Property owners' rights are protected through policies and procedures under the Expropriation Act and the Land Agent Licensing Act. If an agreement on fair compensation is not reached between the parties, the landowner can proceed to the Land and Property Rights Tribunal to determine compensation.
How is the value of the land determined?
Land value is determined through analysis of independent, qualified market appraisals procured by the City and the owner.