Keystone Inc, an established, local provider of real estate appraisal and consulting services, has been awarded the contract to provide Land Acquisition Services to the City of Grand Forks to acquire up to 140 flood impacted properties primarily located in the Ruckle and Johnston’s Flats neighbourhoods. The Program is supported by the Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund and a total of $53.3 million for flood protection was announced in the summer of 2019 by Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness.
What is a Land Acquisition Program?
A Land Acquisition Program is a system used by different levels of government to acquire land for a variety of public uses such as park development, conservation efforts, and infrastructure purposes. The purpose of this Land Acquisition Program is to acquire land necessary for future flood mitigation in the Grand Forks and Boundary area.
The Acquisition Price offered for each property is determined through an assessment of Fair Market Value based upon a current appraisal report. In addition, the City is proposing to pay additional amounts for disturbance damages associated with the property owners having to relocate. The value of these damages and how they will apply is currently being considered by the Acquisition Team who will be making recommendations to the City.
What is the Appraisal Process?
The appraiser and support staff collect relevant and available information on the property from a variety of sources including on-line data published by the government and private sources. This information can include tax records, former listings and BC Assessment records. The next step is to inspect the property and record a variety of property information in relation to the size, condition and configuration. It is very helpful for the appraiser to understand the various building components such as flooring, wall coverings, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, quality of kitchen and mechanical components. If there are other improvements such as finished basements, garages, sheds, landscaping, etc., these will also be included.
The scope and scale of this current assignment raises several unique challenges for the appraisers. Many homes have been destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Others that were impacted less still sustained substantial damage and a few, little or no damage at all. Keystone has included building contractors and cost specialists to consider the impact of flood damage.
Keystone is currently working with the City in designing and approving the Land Acquisition Program. Our Grand Forks office opened in December and we are available at weekly drop-in clinics to meet with property owners and answer their questions. Please contact our office at #4 – 7375 2nd Street or 250 442 0024 to make an appointment in person or by phone. A series of workshops will be held to help affected residents understand the Program and provide an opportunity for feedback. The Team will also be available for individual property owner meetings to discuss their concerns.
In the meantime, Keystone has deployed an appraisal team to commence work on a number of hardship files that the City has requested be expedited. In January the Team’s In-Take Supervisor will be in contact with all of the owners to schedule a meeting and assign a program pathway to each property based upon the property owners needs and preferences.
The Acquisition Program will provide a number of supports to assist the property owners to navigate the Program. These supports will include an appointment of Duty Counsel in the form of a local solicitor to provide independent legal advice.
We anticipate that the appraisal process will finish by April 2020 and the majority of offers are expected to be made by June. Hardship files will be accelerated based upon the property owner needs.
Please call us if you are unsure if your property is in the impacted area and we will confirm whether your property is on the list.
This website will be updated regularly as program is developed and implemented. Hardship files, such as negative equity files that are identified, may be expedited.
Keystone staff will be in contact with you in January to set up an in-take appointment.
If you are unsure whether your home will be included in the assignment, please call us and we will confirm whether your property is on the list.