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In This Volume

  • 6 (1) An expropriating authority that intends to expropriate land must
  • (a) serve an expropriation notice on the approving authority and on each owner
    • (i) whose land is to be expropriated, and
    • (ii) whose interest in that land is recorded in the land title office, other than persons having an interest referred to in section 23(2)(b) or (c),
  • (b) serve on each owner referred to in paragraph (a) a copy of this Act,
  • (c) post or erect, on the land to be expropriated, a sign containing a copy of the expropriation notice or a summary of its contents, and
  • (d) file a copy of the expropriation notice in the land title office.
  • (2) If the land to be expropriated is located outside of a municipality, the expropriating authority may, instead of posting or erecting the sign, publish a copy of the expropriation notice or a summary of its contents in a newspaper circulating in the area of the land affected.
  • (3) If the owner is an individual, the expropriation notice must be served personally or by registered mail.
  • (4) The expropriation notice must contain
  • (a) the name and address of the expropriating authority and the approving authority,
  • (b) subject to paragraph (c), a plan of the land to be expropriated that is sufficient, in the opinion of the registrar, to identify the land in the records of the land title office,
  • (c) if the fee simple interest in the whole of a parcel is being expropriated, a legal description of the parcel,
  • (d) the purpose for which the expropriation is required,
  • (e) if
    • (i) the land being expropriated is required for a limited time, or
    • (ii) a limited estate, right, title or interest in the land is required,
  • the time period, or the nature of the limited estate, right, title or interest that is being taken,
  • (f) a description of any charge in respect of which the expropriating authority intends to make directive under section 23(2)(c), and
  • (g) other prescribed information.
  • (5) If a person on whom a notice is required to be served under subsection (1) cannot be located, the expropriating authority may apply to the court for an order for substituted service.
  • (6) The expropriating authority must serve a copy of the expropriation notice on all persons who have, at the time the expropriation notice is filed under subsection (1)(d), registered a caveat or a certificate of pending litigation against the land to which the expropriation notice relates.

1987-23-6; 1992-55-2, effective October 1, 1994 (B.C. Reg. 300/94); 2004-61-3, effective March 18, 2005 (B.C. Reg. 95/2005).

REGULATIONS AND FORMS

Form 1, Expropriation Notice

Section 6 of the Expropriation Act General Regulation, B.C. Reg. 451/87, prescribes the use of Form 1, Expropriation Notice, which is reproduced in this chapter. The application for filing the notice in the land title office is incorporated into the form.

Submissions

On the Form 17 Charge, Notation or Filing, select Nature of Interest, Expropriation Act Notice (Provincial), and attach an image of the Form 1, Expropriation Notice.

This transaction receives preliminary examination prior to receiving immediate application number, date and time.

Reference or Explanatory Plan

Submissions

An electronic reference or explanatory plan with a pre-assigned plan number is attached to a Survey Plan Certification form signed electronically by the British Columbia Land Surveyor. The Survey Plan Certification accompanies the electronic Application to Deposit Plan at Land Title Office. These forms are available on the LTSA website at ltsa.ca.

Requirements of Notice

See s. 2 of the Expropriation Act General Regulation, which provides:

  • 2 (1) An expropriation notice or an amended or modified expropriation notice filed in the land title office under sections 6(1)(d), 16(2) or 18(5)(a) of the Act shall have the original signature of an authorized signatory of the expropriating authority or be certified by an authorized official of the expropriating authority as a true copy of the original.
  • (2) Where the expropriating authority has and uses a common seal on the original, it must be imprinted on the land title office copy.

Requirements of Plan

See s. 3 of the Expropriation Act General Regulation, which provides:

  • 3 (1) If less than an entire parcel is affected by the expropriation and a fee simple interest is intended to be expropriated,
  • (a) a copy of a reference or explanatory plan must be attached to the expropriation notice, and
  • (b) the application to file the notice in the land title office must be accompanied by a plan package that
    • (i) complies with section 67(s) of the Land Title Act, or
    • (ii) in the case of an electronic plan, complies with Part 10.1 of the Land Title Act.
  • (2) If less than an entire parcel is affected by the expropriation and an interest less than the fee simple is intended to be expropriated,
  • (a) a copy of a reference or explanatory plan must be attached to the expropriation notice, and
  • (b) the application to file the notice in the land title office must be accompanied by a plan package that
    • (i) complies with section 67(s) of the Land Title Act, or
    • (ii) in the case of an electronic plan, complies with Part 10.1 of the Land Title Act,
  • unless the application to file the notice includes a description of the area of the parcel and the interest to be affected by the expropriation, in a method contemplated by section 58(1) of the Land Title Act, that is contained in a written instrument in form and substance capable of registration as a charge under the Land Title Act.

PRACTICE

Preliminary Inspection of Notice and Plan

When an expropriating authority tenders a notice and plan for filing, the registrar gives the documents a preliminary inspection under s. 168 of the Land Title Act. The documents must meet all regular standards and requirements. The registrar also examines the notice for full compliance with the Expropriation Act and the Land Title Act. On satisfactory completion of the preliminary inspection, the registrar enters the notice in the register in the legal notation segment of title and enters the plan number in the miscellaneous notes segment. See s. 7 of this Act.

Entire Parcel Taken

In spite of s. 6(4)(b), if the expropriating authority takes an entire parcel, the authority need not attach a plan to the notice.

Expropriation of Limited Estate: Section 6(4)(e)(ii)

The registrar examines all notices that fall under s. 6(4)(e)(ii) to ensure that the limited estate to be acquired is registrable.

Interest Less Than Fee Simple Taken

If the expropriating authority takes an interest less than the fee simple, the authority must include with the notice an instrument in a form and substance capable of registration under the Land Title Act.

Requirements for Plans

Acceptance of Explanatory or Reference Plan

Where the registrar requires a plan, they may accept an explanatory plan or reference plan, depending on the circumstances. See the “Practice” discussion under s. 3 of the Act.

CROSS REFERENCES AND OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION

See Di Castri, Registration of Title to Land, vol. 3, para. 814.

CASE LAW

Application of the Act

The petitioners applied to set aside the municipality’s expropriation of a right of way over their lands for a sewer and water line due to the municipality’s failure to pass a bylaw before taking steps towards expropriation under the Act. The court held that the municipality had the power to expropriate and did not need to pass a bylaw to give notice of its intention to do so, provided that an expropriation bylaw was passed before the vesting notice was filed in the land title office pursuant to s. 23 of the Act (Erickson v. Kamloops (City), 1993 CanLII 1464 (BC SC)).

The respondent, a waterworks district, sought to expropriate land located outside the boundaries described in its letters patent. Accordingly, it passed a bylaw authorizing the expropriation under the provisions of the Act and, on the same day, requested by resolution that the Lieutenant Governor in Council extend the district’s boundaries to include the land to be expropriated. The district then filed an expropriation notice, explanatory plan, and application for deposit in the land title office and served the petitioner with the notice. Once the boundaries had been extended by an order in council, the district passed a new bylaw authorizing expropriation and repealing the original bylaw. The petitioner applied for an order declaring the expropriation notice and explanatory plan void and requiring that they be removed from his title. In related proceedings, the court had held that the district had no power to expropriate land outside its boundaries. However, in this case, the issue was whether the expropriation notice and plan had life independent of or prior to the passage of a valid expropriation bylaw. The court followed Erickson v. Kamloops (City), 1993 CanLII 1464 (BC SC), annotated above, and concluded that an expropriating bylaw need not be passed before the expropriation notice and reference plan are filed with the land title office. Furthermore, it is open for a municipality or improvement district to ratify its actions after the fact (Haughton v. Heffley Creek Waterworks District, 1995 CanLII 3267 (BC SC), affirmed 1997 CanLII 4019 (BC CA)).

An expropriating authority can only “intend” to expropriate land within the meaning of s. 6(1) after it has “proposed” to expropriate it within the meaning of s. 2(1), because it is the proposal that triggers the application of the Act. When the expropriating authority is empowered to expropriate under local government legislation, “intends” in s. 6(1) must mean the intent to act as empowered by a bylaw. Without a bylaw, the Expropriation Act does not apply and there can be no duty to serve an expropriation notice under s. 6(1). If a municipal council delays in acting on a bylaw, there is no penalty or compensation owing to a land owner under the Act, because council has not “intended” to act on it yet. However, if a court declares that the enactment of the bylaw has prejudiced the interests of the property owner to such an extent that the council has constructively expropriated the land owner’s interests, then council must provide compensation in accordance with the Expropriation Act (Purchase v. Terrace (City) (1995), 26 M.P.L.R. (2d) 126 (B.C.C.A.); see also the annotations for this decision under ss. 1, 2, and 19 of this Act).

Notice Obligations

See the annotation for British Columbia v. Schneider, 1995 CanLII 3115 (BC SC), appeal dismissed 1996 CanLII 3349 (BC CA), under s. 23 of this Act.