Other Approvals


Under Section 60(1) of the Transportation Act, the Ministry may close all or part of a provincial public highway if that closure is in the public interest. In order to ensure that the closure will not be contrary to the public interest, Ministry staff undertake a complex assessment of the proposal. In addition to considering highway maintenance and statutory requirements (such as access to lands beyond and access to water), the Ministry advertises the proposed closure to obtain comments from the public. You will be charged a processing fee and you may be required to purchase the closed road at current market value. application for road closureand send it to the Ministry of Transportation. The process for a road closure is as follows:

  1. Prepare the application package, including rationale for the request, a plan of the proposal and supporting documentation and details.
  2. Ministry staff will contact you confirming receipt of your application package, and give you a file number for future reference and communication about your application.
  3. An initial consideration of your application will determine if the road is surplus to transportation needs. This may include a site visit and consultation with interested parties.
  4. Ministry staff will make a preliminary decision: they will confirm the application can proceed, say no with reasons, or ask for more information.
  5. You will receive a letter indicating the Ministry response, a review of the next steps, and a request that you confirm the proceeding. A $1500, non-refundable, administration fee is payable at this time.
  6. If you decide to proceed, the Ministry will continue with processing including a Notice of Road Closure in the provincial Gazette.
  7. Please note that a property appraisal may be required and that you may be required to purchase the closed road at current market value.
  8. Submit your final plans and fees for final approval and completion of the process.

Closure of Rights of Way that Provide Access to Water

The Ministry has a specific Policy on Closure of Rights of Way that Provide Access to Water.

Existing rights of way that provide public access to bodies of water (lakes, streams, rivers and the ocean) are to be retained for public use. Unless these bodies of water are privately owned, they are considered to be Provincial assets and public access must be retained.

Time

The process takes 5 to 7 months from when the initial application is received to the final approval. For the application, go to Road Closure Form.

Administration Fee

You must pay a $1,500 non-refundable administration fee due before the application is reviewed. The administration fee is to cover the cost of research, reports and possible advertising. Payment for the area of the road to be closed is based on the fair market value of the land, taking into account the contribution in value to the adjoining lands and its highest and best use. A realtor may help you to obtain an estimate of the market value of the land associated with the road.

You may also expect to pay for legal fees (legal survey, Property Transfer Tax, Land Titles and documentation). These fees can add up to a minimum of $5,000 for a simple road closure and can cost much more.

Notice of Closure

Newspaper advertising fees are now covered by the Ministry of Transportation Communications division. Advertising expenditures stem from the Section 60 (2) and Section 60 (3) of the Transportation Act, which require a planned road closure to be publicized in an appropriate source.

The minister may discontinue and close a surplus highway by publishing a notice containing the particulars of the closure in an appropriate format.

If, in the opinion of the minister, no highway exists or will be provided as an alternative to the surplus highway, the minister must give notice of the intention to close the surplus highway by notice published over 4 consecutive weeks, pursuant to Section 60 (2) of the Transportation Act.

This allows the public to become aware of the possible road closure and gives proper time for any objections or concerns to be raised. In this way, it can be confirmed that the highway is not necessary.

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This guide is a living document; it is subject to change without notice. Please check the Rural Subdivisions Website (http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/permits/Subdibision_Home.asp) to make sure you version is sufficiently current.