WHEREAS upon the subdivision of land adjacent to highways, Alberta Transportation may require land to be registered as a road in order to allow for the widening of the highway or the construction of a service road; AND WHEREAS Alberta Transportation may alternatively enter into an agreement with an owner subdividing their land adjacent to a highway, stipulating that land required for road purposes will be dedicated as the department requires; AND WHEREAS landowners are not compensated by Alberta Transportation for the land provided in these circumstances; AND WHEREAS Alberta Transportation is required to purchase land for roads in other situations where the owner is not subdividing; AND WHEREAS the treatment of landowners by Alberta Transportation with respect to compensation is therefore inequitable;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Government of Alberta to review its relevant legislation and policies to ensure equitable compensation of all owners of land required for highway improvements.
The provision of an efficient road system is a basic service provided by the combined actions of the municipalities and the provincial government. The growth and improvement of the road system requires the periodic acquisition of land. Upon the subdivision of land, section 661(a) of the Municipal Government Act provides that land for roads must be provided, without compensation, to the Crown or a municipality. If the roads created by a subdivision directly serve that development, this provision is reasonable. However, it is evident that Alberta Transportation is requiring the dedication of land in situations where it is deemed to be needed as part of a wider plan for adjacent highway improvements. This dedication may either be through registration as part of the survey plan or an agreement respecting future registration. In these situations, the requirement is unreasonable if: [a] the road improvements facilitated by the land dedication are necessitated by regional or provincial traffic considerations and not the subdivision being undertaken by the owner in question; [b] the balance of the land for the improvements is purchased from other landowners, possibly including immediate neighbours. It is certainly prudent to consider the need for adjacent highway improvements upon reviewing proposed subdivisions, but the owners of the land required to construct such improvements should all be entitled to equitable compensation.
The AAMDC has no resolutions in effect with respect to this issue.