Ladysmith starts Alternative Approval Process to build new city hall with rental housing

Ladysmith starts Alternative Approval Process to build new city hall with rental housing
Town of Ladysmith/handout image
A concept design of the new city hall for Ladysmith.

Ladysmith is looking to borrow $13.5 million through an Alternate Approval Process to build a new city hall that will also house up to 90 rental units.

The current city hall is 72 years old and has exceeded its lifespan, according to the Town of Ladysmith.

If it moves forward, the plan for the new hall includes making it fully accessible and creating 80-90 rental units for “middle-income earners.”

The approximate property tax increase would amount to $7.17 per $100,000 of residential assessment. The median home list price in Ladysmith is currently $790,000, meaning a home valued at that amount would see an increase in its property tax of around $56.64 per year.

However, some residents are concerned about the costs of the new build and are filing paperwork opposing the borrowing.

They have raised concerns about the use of an AAP, a process set in place by the provincial government in which at least 10 per cent of residents have to step forward and voice opposition to a plan. This would require it to be put on hold or for the matter to move forward to assent voting or a referendum.

A group of residents has organized against the AAP.

“There’s probably going to be a lot of people that sign the form that’s required to oppose this process because they just want to stop and think about it. Actually, I worked for the city as a consultant 15, 20 years ago, and I knew then they needed a new city hall,” said Ladysmith resident Tim Richards.

Ladysmith voters have until June 25 to fill out paperwork stating they oppose the borrowing. Forms are available on the town’s website or at city hall.

RELATED: Nanaimo abandons plan to borrow funds for Operations Centre

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