Owner-Initiated Local Improvements

A local improvement is a construction project that benefits your neighbourhood.

Local improvements can be the installation of streetlights, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, watermains, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, road surface improvements, noise walls, or other items as permitted by the Local Improvement Act.

If most neighbours agree to the improvement, the cost of the work is shared among all benefitting properties.

How to Apply:  The Local Improvement Act Project Process

Step 1: Initiation

Any property owner in Middlesex Centre can ask for a local improvement. 

To initiate a local improvement, a property owner must apply to the municipality. The person who submits the request is called the "project initiator."

The application must specify:

  • The property owner's name and contact information.
  • The affected property address.
  • The type of municipal servicing (streetlights, sidewalk, watermain, storm sewer, sanitary sewer, road surface improvement, noise wall, or other items as permitted by the Local Improvement Act)
  • The reason for the request.

Most local improvements are initiated by property owners, but the municipality can also initiate a local improvement as well.

To apply, please complete the Local Improvement Initiation Application (attached at the bottom of this page) and submit it to Middlesex Centre Public Works & Engineering by mail, email or fax.

Step 2: Evaluation

The municipality will evaluate the request to see if it's technically and financially possible to complete.

For the municipality to approve a local improvement project for construction:

  • Municipal staff must determine if the project is technically and financially feasible before issuing a petition.
  • A sufficient petition must be verified and accepted by the Municipal Clerk.
  • All land ownership and easement issues must be resolved.
  • Adequate funding must be available and approved by Council.

Step 3: Completing and Circulating the Petition

If the project is technically and financially possible, the municipality will give an unsigned petition to the project initiator.

This petition will include:

  • The project location and extent.
  • Owners' names and mailing addresses.
  • Descriptions of affected properties.
  • All mandatory and optional fees.
  • Total estimated cost for each property.
  • The petition expiry date.

Circulating the petition for signatures

The project initiator is responsible for:

  • Collecting the petition.
  • Circulating the petition to the owners of all affected properties.
  • Returning the completed petition to the municipality before the stated expiry date.

The project initiator may wish to contact their Ward Councillor during the petition process.

To be considered sufficient and counted in favour of the proposed works, a petition requires:

  • Signatures of owners representing at least two-thirds of the affected properties and representing at least one-half of the assessed property value, in accordance with the Act.

After the petition is signed

Once the municipality receives a sufficient petition, the proposed local improvement project is subject to Middlesex Centre Council approval and available funding.

If the petition is sufficient and Council approves the project, all affected properties – regardless of whether or not the owners signed the petition – are assessed the applicable charges and fees.

The municipality remains neutral on all local improvements, and will not encourage or discourage owners from signing a petition.

Local Improvement Project Costs and Payments

The Municipal Act, 2001, established the provincial statutory guidelines for the administration of local improvements.

The Municipal Act gives council the authority to set a by-law to collect the owners' share of the project cost. The exact cost paid each owner for the proposed works is measured according to the Act, and any applicable municipal by-laws or policies. Property owners may pay their share of the project cost through local property taxes over 15 years with interest or through a lump sum payment once the project is complete.

The municipality will calculate an estimated project cost for local improvement projects. The estimated cost may include the following items depending on the nature of the improvement:

  • applicable taxes
  • contingency fees
  • drafting
  • engineering design
  • equipment
  • inspection
  • labour
  • materials
  • surveying
  • tendering

The estimated cost is only an estimate. The actual cost will be determined from the lowest bid for the project.

All (100%) of the actual cost will be shared among the benefiting properties. Each property will pay a share of the actual cost based on the lot frontage. If there are irregularly shaped lots, in interest of fairness, the municipality will also use total property area to determine the division of the shared costs.

For More Information

If you have questions about owner-initiated local improvements, please contact Middlesex Centre Public Works & Engineering.