Properties in orange are subject to full buyouts. Properties turquoise are subject to a six-metre setback of their property line. Lands in purple are subject to a three-metre setback of their property line.                                (Photo from Boundary Flood Recovery)

Properties in orange are subject to full buyouts. Properties turquoise are subject to a six-metre setback of their property line. Lands in purple are subject to a three-metre setback of their property line. (Photo from Boundary Flood Recovery)

Grand Forks flood-affected properties to be bought at ‘post-flood value’

The buyouts are part of the city’s plan to mitigate future flood impacts

Grand Forks residents in flood-prone areas subject to land buyouts will be paid a “post-flood value” for their properties, according to the city’s website.

But the news is frustrating to many affected residents, who had hoped for a pre-flood payout, knowing that property values have been impacted by last year’s disaster.

“The City advocated for the pre-flood value, but the best it could get from the provincial and federal funding streams was the post-flood value,” a FAQ page on the city’s website reads.

The Boundary flood recovery effort was awarded $53 million in grant monies Wednesday from the federal, provincial and municipal governments for property buyouts, riverbank fortifications and diking.

Twelve to 14 million dollars of that sum will be used to buy up approximately 80 Grand Forks and rural area properties, either fully or in part, at “fair market value.”

According to Oliver Berkeley, a consulting partner with Keystone Appraisals, the prices of properties subject to buyouts must be valued based on their current use, ignoring the fact that they will be stripped of residential or commercial value moving forwards.

The price, Berkeley said, is valued at the land’s “highest and best use.” However, Berkeley explained that the subject properties “have a market [flood] stigma attached with that,” and therefore their values will be impacted by that risk.

Last fall, Keystone Appraisals was hired by the City of Grand Forks to appraise more than 110 flood-affected properties in order to estimate a dollar figure that the city could use in its application to the Disaster Mitigation Assistance Fund, the grant that makes up $49.9 million of the $53 million announced Wednesday.

READ MORE

Governments announce $53M to buy Grand Forks properties, fix river banks destroyed in flooding

Grand Forks denied $3M in flood aid

Council endorses buyouts, dikes for flooded neighbourhoods

Property owners whose land was appraised should have received a copy of the Keystone appraisal from the flood recovery team, said Cavan Gates, a communications officer with the Boundary Flood Recovery Team, but that number doesn’t necessarily reflect what property owners can now expect to receive in the buyout process.

Because the estimate given to the city from Keystone was used in the grant application, said Gates, it could provide a rough idea as to what fair market value for a given property could be.

If land owners did not receive their appraisal, they are advised to contact the BFR office at 1 (236) 570-2007, via the website bfre.ca/contact, or their flood recovery case manager through Boundary Family Services. To get a case manager, flood affected residents can call (250) 442-2267 or email info@bfiss.org to set up an appointment.

Legal protections for property owners, renters

The B.C. Expropriation Act — the legal document resorted to if the city and land owners can’t come to an agreement — defines “fair market value” as “the amount that would have been paid for it if it had been sold […] in the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer.”

For example, if the City of Grand Forks were buying a residential property in North Ruckle, it must value the land as if it were purchasing any other land parcel with the intent of continuing to use it as a residential property.

Further, the act states that determining the market value of a property must not reflect in the fact that neighbouring properties will also be bought up.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

More than 110 properties were flooded in Grand Forks in May 2018.                                (Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

More than 110 properties were flooded in Grand Forks in May 2018. (Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

Just Posted

Terry Miller won the Rossland byelection on Saturday. Photo: Terry Miller
Rossland voters select Terry Miller as new councillor

City of Rossland releases results of advance voting and final voting day of council byelection

RNG plant
Construction on ground-breaking RNG plant in Fruitvale set to go in spring 2021

REN Energy partners with Calgary engineering firm for innovative West Kootenay gas plant

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

This picture of Taghum resident Marc Savard was taken in February when he first spoke to the Nelson Star and little was known about the virus that had shut him out of his job in Wuhan, China. Photo: Tyler Harper
VIDEO: Once an outlier, Nelson man’s COVID-19 experience now typical

Savard was living in Wuhan, China, when the pandemic began

A strong contingent of Trail Smoke Eaters helped out Kiwanis by unloading up to 600 trees at Butler Park on Wednesday, in preparation for their annual Christmas Tree Sale and community fundraiser. The sale starts on Friday, with all funds donated to community groups. Photo: Jim Bailey
Trail Kiwanis Christmas tree sale – a harbinger of the holiday season

Kiwanis is offering free christmas tree delivery for seniors without adequate transportation

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Vees goalkeeper Yaniv Perets stands watch while Tyler Ho takes the puck around the back of the net on Nov. 7. The BCHL press release did not name the player who tested positive.(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees quarantining after player tests positive for COVID-19

The team, staff and billets are isolating while they are tested

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

2020
Urban wildlife Part VI: The East Kootenay birds of autumn

The work of local photographers printed in the pages of the East Kootenay Advertiser throughout 2020. Part VI.

Most Read