What does private road maintenance consist of?
The municipality may make By-laws imposing, fixing and providing methods of enforcement of charges for maintaining private roads, curbs, sidewalks, gutters, bridges, culverts and retaining walls that are associated with private roads where the cost is incurred by the municipality or under an agreement between the municipality and a person.
My community is interested in financing the maintenance of our private road through the Halifax Regional Municipality. Is this possible?
Yes. This may be done by applying for a private road maintenance area rate. By-law P-1100 Respecting Charges for Private Road Maintenance. The residents in your community must form a Homeowners Association (HOA) and complete the following steps outlined below.
To form a HOA, please see the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stocks (NSRJS) for information.
Is there help available by the municipality to form a HOA?
No, information on forming a HOA can be found by contacting the NSRJS.
Our area now has a HOA, now what?
To begin the private road maintenance area rate application process, a petition must be presented to the Director of HRM. The presented petition shall include the following:
(a) be signed by property owners comprising at least two-thirds (66.7%) of the properties located within the proposed area that would be subject to the rate; and
(b) contain the following information
(i) the proposed area that would be subject to the rate,
(ii) the proposed rate,
(iii) the nature of the private road maintenance being proposed, and
(iv) whether the proposed rate would be an area rate or uniform charge.
How is the proposed rate calculated?
The HOA will determine the amount of the area rate to be collected. This rate will be based on a detailed proposed maintenance budget that must be approved in Regional Council.
Does my neighbour pay more if their property is larger than mine?
The proposed rate is an area rate or uniform charge, and if a uniform charge is proposed, the request shall indicate whether the proposed uniform charge will apply to each taxable property assessment or each dwelling unit in the area.
Regional Council approved our private road maintenance area rate.
Your HOA will be contacted by municipal staff to sign a private road maintenance area rate agreement that is signed by both the HOA representative and the Mayor. At this time a $200 administration fee will be collected from the HOA.
How is the private road maintenance area rate collected?
The municipality will collect the private road area rate through the property tax bill. The first year, the full annual private road fee will be charged on the September tax bill. In future years, the uniform charge will be broken out into two installments. The private road area rate collected by the municipality will be paid to the HOA annually, once approved by Regional Council and upon receipt of the HOA’s approved budget and financial statements.
1. The HOA needs to remain in good standing with the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock.
The municipality can release up to 50% of the funds after April 1, until the annual area rate report is approved by Regional Council in late June.
Is there help available from the municipality?
The municipality will administer the collection of the rate and assist an applicant with the process for the establishment of the rate.
Questions can be directed to:
Steps to acquire a private road maintenance fee through an area rate:
Step 1: In order to apply the legislation outlined in By-law P-1100, and implement a private road maintenance fee through the municipality, you must submit a signed petition showing a minimum of 66.7% of property owners in your area are in favour of your budget and financing through the municipality.
Private Road Petition Template
Step 2: Email the petition to email@example.com. Municipal staff will review the application and verify the properties, the ownership of the road, and if there are any easement rights. * HOA is responsible to collect and email all petitions to the municipality.
Step 3: Once the petition is verified, staff will coordinate with the HOA to confirm a date and time to hold a public meeting. The municipality will mail ballot letters to all property owners within the catchment area to advise of the request and the meeting details. In order to move forward with the rate, the vote must have a minimum of 66.7% property owners in favor of the private road maintenance fee.
Step 4: Each property within the proposed area that would be subject to the rate is entitled to one vote. A person who owns more than one property in the proposed area may vote once for each property that is owned. Municipal staff will attend the meeting and tally the votes. Voting closes seven days after the public meeting. Due to COVID-19, this process may change. HOA will be notified by email of updated voting process.
Step 5: If you have a 66.7% vote in favor of a private road maintenance fee area rate, a report will be completed and go to Regional Council for final approval. If you do not have 66.7% vote in favor of a private road maintenance area rate, you will not be able to receive a private road maintenance fee.
Policy was replaced with the following Administrative Order Effective Nov 10, 2018.
Administrative Order 2018-003 ADM Respecting Private Road Maintenance
By-law P-1100 Respecting Charges for Private Road Maintenance