WHEREAS information regarding properties that have been subject to flooding is not readily accessible; and
WHEREAS this type of information would be valuable to individuals considering a purchase of said properties; and
WHEREAS the Province of Alberta has determined the location of flood prone lands in many areas of Alberta; and
WHEREAS, in addition, the Province of Alberta provides financial relief to properties damaged during a flood event; and
WHEREAS the Province of Alberta has records of properties which have received a payment as a result of flooding;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties encourage the Alberta Government to create a database, accessible to the general public, listing all properties that are within a flood plain as defined by the Province of Alberta and/or that have received flood relief payments.
Although there are many factors that go into making a decision on the purchase of a property, knowing whether or not a property has flooded should play an important role in the making of that decision.
When flooding occurs the taxpayer ends up footing the bill for damages or expensive flood protection projects. Diking or moving homes can cost in the millions and damages in the hundreds of millions. In many cases homeowners receive a cheque for damages. Instead of using the money to protect their property, they put everything back the way it was and then in the next flood expect to be paid again or worse they will sell the property. Once sold the new owner is surprised to learn during the next flood that the home had flooded previously.
An individual or agent doing their due diligence should be able to easily obtain information with respect to properties that are at risk. The Province of Alberta does not have flood plain information for all of Alberta but it does for many areas and that information combined with a listing of all properties that have received payments on an easily accessible website would be invaluable to a prospective purchaser.
Resolution 14-11F: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request that the Alberta Government invest in infrastructure projects for flood prevention that will prevent, or reduce the economic impact of disaster events.
Service Alberta: The primary purpose of Service Alberta’s Land Titles Office, operating under the Land Titles Act, is to ensure that proprietary interests (ownership and financial interest) in a property are accurately registered. Information about the uses, nature and condition of the land falls outside the current mandated role of the Land Titles Registry.
Although a business model has not yet been provided to, or prepared by, the Government of Alberta, we acknowledge a co-ordinating agency for the substantive volume of land-related data in the province may have merit for Albertans and industry in general.
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development: Environment and Sustainable Resource Development has no comment on this resolution, as it falls under the jurisdiction of Service Alberta.
In the response from the Government of Alberta, Service Alberta acknowledges the potential benefit of a centralized agency for the coordination of land-related data in the province. However, the response did not address the request that an accessible database including all properties located within a flood plain be created.
In August 2013, the Government of Alberta announced planned policy changes that as a result of intense flooding that occurred in Southern Alberta in June 2013 to address development in floodways moving forward and eligibility requirements for the Disaster Recovery Program. For the 2013 flooding events, the Government placed a ‘Disaster Recovery Program Notice’ on the land title of properties that accessed funds through the Disaster Recovery Program. For properties located in the flood fringe, the notice will be removed from the land title once minimum mitigation requirements have been met; however, the notice will remain on title for properties located in a floodway to inform future owners that no additional funding will be available in future floods.
The current challenge is that flood mapping has been completed for only 70 percent of Alberta’s populated areas, leaving the majority of the geographical area of Alberta unmapped. Though funding has been allotted to continue flood hazard mapping ($8.7 million over the next 6-7 years), there is no estimated completion date for the entire province. The policy changes made speak to the intent of this resolution which has been assigned the status of Accepted in Principle. Progress on flood will continue to be monitored as it pertains to this resolution.