As a property owner, you can start a petition for a local improvement for your neighbourhood. The City will send a notice to each property owner affected by the project.
A request for rear lane/back alley paving is considered a Local Improvement.
A Local Improvement is a new or replacement construction project intended to upgrade specific conditions within a residential, commercial or industrial area of the city. Local Improvements are most often requested by property owners. The full costs for such improvements are charged to/shared by the benefitting property owners.
Other examples of Local Improvements include driveway crossings, sidewalk replacement, street paving, curb and gutter replacement, boulevards and street lighting, and extending sanitary, storm or water systems.
PLEASE NOTE: If the City of Lethbridge schedules infrastructure repairs or replacement (e.g. sidewalks) which have reached the end of their lifecycle in your neighbourhood, you will not have to contribute to the cost of that renewal.
Local Improvement FAQs
1. Call 311 during business hours to request a petition package. Staff will collect information from you and create a package that includes details of your request and a map of the area. We'll phone you when the package is ready for pick-up at City Hall.
2. To be valid, a petition must be signed by at least two-thirds of the affected property owners who represent at least half the total property assessment value of the affected assessment according to the most recent property assessment roll.
If there are multiple owners of a property, a majority of those owners must sign the petition for that property. For example, if two people jointly own a property, both must sign the petition. If six people jointly own a property, at least four of them must sign the petition.
Each signature must be witnessed by an adult (18 or older) who signs:
- opposite the signature of the petitioner, and
- an affidavit that to the best of the witness's knowledge, the signatures witnessed are those of persons entitled to sign the petition.
If an estate, church or corporation owns a property, the petition must be accompanied by a document authorizing that person to sign on behalf of the estate, church or corporation. This person must be at least 18 years of age. An individual may not sign on behalf of another individual unless that person has power of attorney and provides evidence of such.
3. The completed petition form and affidavit must be returned to Infrastructure Services within 60 days of initiating the petition.
- NOTE: if a petition is returned and found to be insufficient, the petition cannot be sent out again for more signatures. The petition becomes null and void, and a new petition must be created.
4. If a valid petition is received, City Council may start the local improvement and impose a levy on the affected properties. The affected property owners will be notified in writing if the petition is valid.
Every property benefiting from a local improvement shares in the cost, even if some owners have not signed the petition.
Property owners have the option of paying this cost in one lump payment, thereby saving interest charges, or they may choose to pay the amount in instalments over 10 years, with interest, which are added to their annual property tax bills.
For example, payment for paving a 50-foot lot would be calculated as follows:
- One-time, Lump Sum: 50 ft. x $102 per assessable footage = $5,100 lump-sum payment
- 10 Annual Instalments: $650.89 per year x 10 years = $6,508.90 total payment (Including average annual interest estimated at the 4.7%).
These estimates would be adjusted if the local improvement area includes corner or irregularly shaped lots. Actual figures will vary each year depending on costs and the amount of paving done.
If you choose to pay with a lump sum, you must make this arrangement with the Assessment and Taxation Department the year after the local improvement is completed.
Funding for the local improvement is borrowed by the City of Lethbridge and repaid by the assessed owners.
If you have received notification of a proposed local improvement and you are opposed to the construction, please call 311.
In many cases, assessment concerns can be resolved without going through the formal complaint process. For this reason, we suggest that you first call the Assessment & Taxation Department first at 311 to discuss the assessment before deciding whether to file an appeal. Staff will be happy to meet with you to explain the assessment and review your concerns. Resolving the issue in this manner can save time and expense for both you and the City.
If this process does not resolve your concerns, you may file an appeal of your local improvement to the Assessment Review Board.
Please Note: A formal appeal can only be filed within one year of the local improvement tax first being imposed.