City council adds new service to City Hall in an effort to save time and money

City council has made changes to a bylaw in an attempt to make life easier for property developers and researchers

City council has made changes to a bylaw in an attempt to make life easier for property developers and researchers.

At the June 22 council meeting, changes were made to the city’s Planning Procedures Bylaw that include launching a new service – land title searches – at City Hall.

That means property owners can research property titles at their convenience.

The titles set out any legal charges, covenants, statutory rights of way, easements, or court judgements that may apply to a property.

Mayor Andy Adams said having the online tool available at City Hall will save residents time and money.

“These documents can have significant implications to land owners and future development opportunities, and being able to do property information searches at City Hall offers another service for property owners, without the cost of hiring an agent, and should help streamline the process for people interested in purchasing or developing property,” Adams said.

“We are always looking for opportunities to improve customer service. This service will make it easier for property owners in Campbell River to access property information in an efficient and affordable manner.”

Chris Osborne, the city’s senior planner, said in a report to council that because the city has an account with the Land Title Office, it can quickly access property titles and in turn, pass that tool on to Campbell River residents.

“Staff propose that it would be of considerable convenience to applicants or property owners wishing to discuss development options and recommends that the city offers this service to property owners on an approximate ‘at cost’ basis,” Osborne wrote.

“This would only apply to properties within the city and documents or charges to which the city is a party.”

The cost to search for a title at City Hall will be $15.75 and $21.75 for any charges or plans associated with a title.

In addition to the land title searches, council made other changes to its Planning Procedures Bylaw that include expanding the scope of financial security associated with development permits to include not only landscaping but environmental protection such as erosion control, protective fencing, and post-implementation monitoring.

Other minor changes made to the city’s Public Nuisance bylaw address areas of ambiguity, better reflect current practice, or present clearer, or more up-to-date wording.