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Infrastructure &
Finance Division
 

LGD: ID Bylaw Deregulation Initiative

 

Circular No. 08:24
ARCS File#: 195-20

 


 
December 9, 2008
To: All Improvement District Boards of Trustees and Administrators
 
Re: ID Bylaw Deregulation Initiative
 

Over the past several years, the Ministry of Community Development (Ministry) undertook a major project review aimed at reducing the volume of provincial approvals for improvement district bylaws, and streamlining the bylaw approval process for improvement districts. Extensive consultation was done with both the Water Supply Association of B.C. and the Coastal Water Supply Association, and a survey was sent out to all improvement districts in November 2006.
 

Based on the results of this consultation, and a risk assessment process carried out by the Ministry, seven bylaw categories were identified for the first stage of deregulation.
 

The culmination of this work is the above-mentioned Order-in-Council and Ministerial Order which will exempt the following bylaws from registration by the Inspector of Municipalities effective January 1st, 2009:
  • Agreement;
  • Assessment;
  • CEC Disbursement;
  • Connection Charge;
  • Miscellaneous Charge;
  • Renewal Reserve Establishment and Disbursement; and,
  • Tolls.

All bylaws in these categories that are passed by a Board of Trustees after January 1, 2009 will be exempt from registration with the Inspector. Bylaws in these categories will now come into force and effect immediately upon them being passed by the improvement district Board of Trustees. One original copy of all bylaws in these categories must be filed in this office immediately after passage by the improvement district.
 

All bylaws in all other bylaw categories (Borrowing, Capital Expenditure Charge Establishment, Latecomer Charge Agreements, Meeting Procedures, Operating Tax Advances, Taxation and Regulation) still require registration and do not come into force and effect until registration occurs.
 

As a result of this change, it is now vital that Trustees and Officers exercise caution if considering a bylaw that does not follow the sample in the Improvement District Manual, unless the bylaw has had legal referral. In addition, ensure that all bylaws you pass are well understood, ie. do not confuse connection charges with capital expenditure charges, and make certain that connection charge and miscellaneous service charge bylaws only reimburse actual costs, as they may not be used to generate general revenue. Failure to do so may leave the improvement district open to challenge.
 

Ministry staff are currently updating the Improvement District Manual, which will be reissued in the new year. In addition, a new Trustees Handbook will be sent to all improvement districts in the next few weeks, and the Ministry website is being updated, to reflect these changes. Further bylaws may be considered at a later date for deregulation. Additional consultation would take place before that would occur.
 

If you have any questions or concerns about these changes please contact your designated Financial Officer or Administrative Officer. If you do not know who your Officer is, you can use the Search for Advisory Staff Contact Information available through the Ministry website at http://www.cd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/contacts/department.htm.
 

If you have any specific questions or concerns relating to this deregulation initiative please contact either Deborah Humphrey at 250 387-4026 or Rob Rounds at 250 387-4027.
 

Original signed by:
 
Gary Paget
Deputy Inspector of Municipalities
 


 

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