Land Acquisition Section
What We Do
The Engineering Department believes in building collaborative environments. That commitment is in part delivered by skilled team members (“Agents”) of the Land Acquisition Section with extensive knowledge of acquiring property in a public sector environment.
Agents, adhering to the City of Surrey’s core values, are trained in communications, engineering, law and appraisal. Generally, external clients are residents or businesses that own, rent or lease property in the City of Surrey where public projects require an interest in land (often described as real property). The interest in land required by the City of Surrey can be permanent or temporary depending on the particulars of the project. As well, the acquisition of land can be either a partial or whole purchase of real property.
Infrastructure projects, such as road widenings and statutory rights-of-way can either be acquired by a partial acquisition of land or a charge in favour of the City registered against the title to the property. Agents take a keen partnership role in assisting external and internal clients to achieve City of Surrey infrastructure projects while providing a one-on-one consultation service to our community.
Whole Property Acquisition:
The City of Surrey acquires land from property owners in the City for a variety of purposes such as recreations centres, fire halls, libraries, parks, pump stations, roads, and other civic purposes. Various departments within the City define their requirements for land in a particular area of the City and then the Agents in Land Acquisition meet with the property owner of that particular property.
In further detail, Agents perform the following:
gather information regarding the scope of the project and property particulars;
meet with the owner of the property (residents and tenants) to facilitate two-way exchange of information, understanding concerns of the owner, providing information, and responding to questions;
provide an important review of the City of Surrey property acquisition process (inclusive of administrative detail);
relay information to the City of Surrey project team;
remain engaged with the owner by being available for consultation prior to and during the project in a productive, problem solving approach, and
conclude the process by way of drafting mutually acceptable agreements.
Why We Do It
The Engineering Department’s 10-Year (2014-2023) Servicing Plan establishes programs for engineering infrastructure works and services that are required to support projected growth and the needs of the existing population. The Servicing Plan is developed based on a number of significant planning documents, including the Official Community Plan and approved Neighbourhood Concept Plans.
Additionally, the City of Surrey has existing infrastructure that may require access for maintenance or replacement. On those occasions, a member of the Land Acquisition Section will be called to contact a property owner and act as liaison often in conjunction with a member from the City of Surrey Operations Division.
The City of Surrey is a large, rapidly developing City with many needs such as additional civic facilities, parks and other amenities. The City purchases land to meet those needs as the growing population makes those acquisitions necessary.
The conclusion of the project may result in minor or substantive changes to characteristics of the property. The Agent coordinates staff from multiple professional disciplines while interacting with an owner to search for solutions mitigating the effect of the project. During the pursuit of these duties, the Agent is mindful to represent the best interest of each party while demonstrating responsibility to the property owner and evidence based compensation.