Information To The Owner Of Property Required For Municipal Purposes
This information is provided to indicate the position of the City of Greater Sudbury in acquiring land for a proposed project. Property required for Municipal purposes is purchased by the City acting on behalf of the citizens. The fact that your property, or a portion of, is needed places you in the unique situation of assuming a double role. As a property owner you are a seller and as a citizen of the City, a buyer. It is the responsibility of the City to purchase property at a fair price while ensuring that your rights and interests as a land owner are fully protected.
The City has powers of expropriation, which is the taking of land without the consent of an owner, however, it is our policy to acquire land for municipal needs by attempting to reach an acceptable agreement with the property owner and all other parties having an interest in the land. Tenants, mortgagees and possibly others have a right to assert a claim for their separate interests.
An offer will be presented to you based on the market value of the real estate, including reasonable legal and appraisal costs, and any costs or damages that may be incurred as a result of the taking. The final settlement will be in accordance of the provisions for compensation contained in the Expropriations Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E. 26, as amended, as follows:
- the market value of the land;
- damages attributable to disturbance;
- damages for injurious affection; and
- any special difficulties in relocation.
The following is intended to provide an overview of the expropriation process and the procedures by which claims can be asserted. Nevertheless, each property is unique and the circumstances of each case must be reviewed carefully, you may wish to contact your own solicitor to review the process.
The Market Value of the Land is defined as the "amount that the land might be expected to realize if sold on the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer". It is the amount that the property would have sold for had it been exposed to the open market as of the "valuation date". Such date is usually the date of expropriation or shortly after, even though the compensation claim might not be settled for many years.
A claimant affected by an expropriation is also entitled, in some circumstances, to be compensated for Damages Attributable to Disturbance. The burden of proof in respect of a claim is on the claimant. It is critical, then that claimants maintain a detailed and accurate record of all costs incurred as a result of the expropriation.
Damages for Injurious Affection can arise where part of an owner's land is acquired, the market value of the remaining portion is affected. For example, the remaining land may be of an awkward size or shape, or it may be affected by the construction or use of a public work (eg. land acquired for a landfill site or a lagoon).
The Ontario Municipal Board may sometimes grant compensation where the owner experiences Special Difficulties in Relocation. This is an unusual provision not often used.
Claiming for compensation can be accomplished through negotiation or through arbitration. Due to the costs involved in pursuing a claim for compensation and due to the inevitable delays involved in such process, the negotiation process should be first considered. Negotiations can also be pursued while formal arbitration is proceeding.
This general outline of the expropriation process is only intended to provide some background information to facilitate the discussions between the property owner and the City of Greater Sudbury. As indicated earlier, each claim is unique and must be assessed individually, and as indicated earlier, you may wish to consult your own solicitor.
If at any time you require further details or clarification of any point concerning your property, please feel free to contact the City's representative who contacted you. Every effort should be made to see that your rights are fully protected in attempting to arrive at a fair and acceptable agreement by direct negotiation.