Council has established committees of Council to represent various civic interests and mandates. The committees are an important part of good governance for our community, and contribute to the prosperity and sustainability of Okotoks. Committees examine issues and provide recommendations for approval by Council. You are encouraged to get involved in our community by serving on one of the boards or committees of Council.
Council Boards, Committees and Task Forces
Learn more about the role each board, committee and task force plays.
Council has identified the need to increase the diversity and accessibility of housing as a strategic priority. To ensure greater provision of access to affordable housing, members of the Affordable Housing Task Force will examine all aspects of the affordable housing situation in Okotoks over a two-year period and provide strategic and action-oriented recommendations to Council.
In June, 2018 the Task Force developed a draft definition of affordable housing for Okotoks.
On November 13, 2018 representatives from the Task Force presented a report at Council’s regular meeting that highlighted the urgent need to take action on affordable housing.
They made recommendations for three immediate actions that will provide a framework for increasing the potential to diversify affordable housing options. These include:
- revising the regulations around secondary and back lane suites,
- securing land for future affordable housing opportunities,
- implementing a monitoring system to measure progress.
Council approved the following motions:
"That Administration be directed to advance the affordable housing section of the Municipal Development Plan and have draft recommendations for Council’s consideration at the March 25, 2019 Council meeting."
"That Administration be directed to provide a report at the March 25, 2019 Council meeting outlining the draft proposed amendments to the regulatory framework that would achieve the objective of immediately providing the Okotoks rental market with additional affordable units, and that contains the following needs at a minimum:
- legalization and creation of secondary suites;
- backyard/detached suites in laned and non-laneway housing;
- co-housing opportunities in single family dwellings;
- accommodation of up to two bedrooms in secondary suites;
- parking relaxation conditions;
- fee waiver incentive analysis;
- municipal grant analysis; and
- caveats or other legal tools for long term provision of purpose built rental units."
"That administration be directed to explore comparable reporting methodologies and assess the impact on the organization of establishing permanent procedures for collecting and reporting data relative to citizen housing needs and report back to Council with plans and costing by June 30, 2019."
"That Administration be directed to include an affordable housing component for consideration in the 2019 budget presentations November 20, 21, and 22, 2018."
The Assessment Review Board conducts hearings regarding property assessment appeals filed by Okotoks residents and businesses against their property assessments. Hearings are held annually usually in late spring/early summer.
The Assessment Review Board is made up of five members. To ensure property owners have a voice in the property assessment system, the Municipal Government Act has set out a complaints and appeals system for property owners who have concerns about their assessment. The Assessment Review Board consists of citizens that review appeals registered by Okotoks' residents against their annual assessment.
Filing A ComplaintBefore Filing a Complaint
It is recommended that property owners contact an assessor to discuss any concerns they may have regarding their assessment. The assessor can provide information on how the assessment was prepared and help property owners determine whether their assessment is correct and equitable in relation to similar properties.
The assessor may also make corrections without a complaint being filed. If there is still disagreement after discussion with the assessor, property owners may file a complaint with the Assessment Review Board. An assessment complaint does not exempt you from paying your taxes on time. To avoid late payment penalties, you must pay your taxes on or before the due date. If a complaint is successful, there will be an adjustment to the tax roll. Click the button below for more information about property assessment.Basis for Complaints
A complaint may be about any of the following items as shown on an assessment or tax notice:
- the description of a property or business
- school support
- an assessment class
- an assessment sub-class
- the type of property
- the type of improvement
- whether the property is assessable
- whether the property is exempt from taxation
Complaints may relate to any assessed property, but may not be made about any tax rate. Further, the Assessment Review Board has no jurisdiction to deal with a complaint about linear property.Who Can Make a Complaint?
Only an "assessed person" may make a complaint to the Assessment Review Board. An agent or representative may file a complaint with a letter of authorization.
Reason for Complaint
A valid complaint must include reasons for the complaint. It is not sufficient to state that the assessment is too high or that it may be incorrect. The complainant must:
- indicate what information shown on an assessment notice or tax notice is incorrect
- explain in what respect that information is incorrect
- indicate what the correct information is
- identify the requested assessed value, if the complaint relates to an assessment
- visit the Alberta Municipal Affairs Assessment Complaints and Appeals website (see link at top of page).
How to File a Complaint
Provincial legislation and Town bylaws outline how complaints must be made:
- Your complaint must be submitted in writing via the Assessment Review Board Complaint Form set out by the Government of Alberta.
- It is important to complete all relevant fields on the complaint form, including:
- what information shown on the assessment notice is incorrect
- in what respect that information is incorrect, including identifying the specific issues related to the incorrect information and the grounds in support of these issues
- what the correct information is
- the requested assessed value, if the complaint relates to an assessment
- be sure to include a statement specifying the date and outcome of the discussion with the assessor including details of any issues or facts agreed to (if you have not discussed the matters of the complaint with an assessor, specify why a discussion was not held); you may attach additional information to the complaint form if the space provided is insufficient
- the Assessment Review Board must not hear any matter in support of an issue that is not identified on the complaint form
- you must include your mailing address
- should you have an agent file a complaint on your behalf, you must complete and sign the Assessment Complaints Agent Authorization Form
- your complaint form must be accompanied by the appropriate filing fee or the complaint will be invalid
- incomplete forms submitted after the filing deadline or complaints without the required filing fee are invalid
- complaint forms and fees may be dropped off or postmarked on the final date of complaint to/at the Town of Okotoks, 5 Elizabeth Street, PO Box 20, Okotoks, AB T1S 1K1
- for further complaint process information, the Assessment Review Board Clerk may be contacted at 403-995-2784
for more information visit the Government of Alberta's property assessment complaints and appeals webpage by clicking the button below:
How Much are the Complaint Fees?
Complaint fees for the assessment complaint process are as follows:
Residential: 3 or fewer dwellings and farm land under one roll number - $50 per complaint
Residential: 4 or more dwellings - $325 per complaint
Non-residential: $650 per complaint
Preparing for a HearingWhat Happens Next?
Once a complaint form and the required fee have been filed, on time and in compliance with all applicable requirements of the Municipal Government Act and Matters Relating to Assessment Complaints (MRAC) regulation, the Assessment Review Board clerk will arrange a hearing. Complainants will receive written notice advising of the date, time and location of the hearing, as will the municipality and any other assessed person who is affected by the complaint. The notice will also outline any deadlines to submit sufficient evidence to support the complaint.
Tips for Presenting
The following will assist complainants in preparing evidence and presenting their case:
Resolving Concerns in Advance of a HearingEven after filing a complaint, property owners may be able to resolve their concerns about their assessment without the need for a hearing. The assessor may change an assessment and issue a new notice if they agree that the original notice is not accurate.How to Withdraw a Complaint
- appraisals or assessment of similar properties located in the neighbourhood
- repair estimates from a reputable contractor for physical problems (e.g., foundation is cracked, roof leaks, etc.); keep in mind that not every defect will lower the value of a property
- estimates of the property's value in the current market from a professional appraiser, assessor or realtor
- sales data on similar properties (size, age, location) that sold close to July 1 of the previous year
- in presenting comparisons between the property and similar properties, compare features such as number and size of bathrooms, basement (finished or unfinished), fireplaces, garage/carports, outbuildings, repairs and environmental problems
- for condominium units, compare features such as the floor the unit is on, view, corner, inside or end unit, floor plan, parking, elevators and building services
- in presenting comparisons between a business and other businesses in similar premises, describe the square footage, net rent, location, age and quality of the buildings where the businesses are located
- photographs of the property or business and comparable properties provide valuable support for a verbal description
- maps are helpful to locate properties used in comparisons
- if possible, create a comparison chart
- complainants may hire a representative for the hearing (e.g. a tax agent or lawyer) or may bring a friend, witness, or family member to assist the presentation; a letter of authorization must be completed prior to the hearing, for those acting as an agent representative
Following filing a complaint with the Assessment Review Board, property owners may withdraw for whatever reason in the period leading up to their hearing date. We request that we receive the withdrawal in writing, and submitted to the Board Clerk of the Assessment Review Board.Hearings
The Board schedules hearings as required and in accordance with the Municipal Government Act. Property owners who have properly filed a complaint will be advised as to the date and time of their hearing. Hearings are open to the public.
Postponement of Hearings
Postponements will only be granted for exceptional circumstances and must be requested in writing to the clerk of the Assessment Review Board well in advance of the scheduled hearing. A written response will be sent indicating whether the request was granted or denied. Requests for postponement when the disclosure is due or on the hearing day will not be granted.
Disclosure and Submission of EvidenceSubmitting Evidence
Prior to a hearing before the Assessment Review Board, all evidence must be submitted to the clerk of the Assessment Review Board and exchanged, in its entirety, by both the complainant and the assessor. This helps the hearing to proceed fairly and without unnecessary delays.
By sharing information, both the complainant and the assessor will have a better understanding of how the case should be presented to the Board. It also provides another opportunity for the issue to be resolved before the hearing. No evidence is seen by the Board prior to the hearing.
Failure to comply with the legislative process may result in a complaint being deemed invalid.
Once the date of a hearing has been set, complainants need to be aware of the following critical dates:Important Dates
January 4, 2021
Assessment notices mailed
January 12 – March 15, 2021 (60 days from date of mailing)
60 day review period
March 15, 2021 Final day to submit a complaint March 16, 2021 Scheduling of hearings beginsFor a complaint about an assessment to be heard by a Local Assessment Review Board:
- complainant (property owner) must provide full disclosure at least 21 days before the scheduled hearing date
- respondent (Town of Okotoks) must provide full disclosure at least 7 days before the scheduled hearing date
- complainant must provide rebuttal at least 3 days before the scheduled hearing date
For a complaint about an assessment to be heard by a Composite Assessment Review Board:
- complainant (property owner) must provide full disclosure at least 42 days before the scheduled hearing date
- respondent (Town of Okotoks) must provide full disclosure at least 14 days before the scheduled hearing date
- complainant must provide rebuttal at least 7 days before the scheduled hearing date
For a complaint about any matter other than an assessment, the parties must provide full disclosure at least 7 days before the scheduled hearing date. An example of a non-assessment matter would be the name or mailing address of an assessed person or taxpayer being incorrect.Disclosure of Evidence
Complainants are obligated to provide the assessor with the information that will be presented at the hearing. This is referred to as "disclosure." Disclosure must include:
- all relevant facts supporting the matters of complaint described on this complaint form
- all documentary evidence to be presented at the hearing
- a list of witnesses who will give evidence at the hearing
- a summary of testimonial evidence
- the legislative grounds and reason for the complaint
- relevant case law and any other information that the complainant considers relevant
All evidence should be submitted to:
Clerk of the Assessment Review Board
Town of Okotoks
5 Elizabeth Street, PO Box 20
Okotoks AB T1S 1K1Past Board Decisions
Roll Number Board's Decision 2020 0079180 - CARB Decision 0020140 - CARB Decision 0029080 - CARB Decision 0086900 - CARB Decision 0020180 - CARB Decision 0075027 - CARB Decision 0076030 - CARB Decision 0058275 - CARB Decision 0061300 - CARB Decision 1726056 - CARB Decision 1726051 - CARB Decision 0085340 - LARB Decision 0046510 - LARB Decision 2019 #0061280 - CARB Decision #1726051 - CARB Decision #1726056 - CARB Decision #0104270 - LARB Decision #0000791 - LARB Decision #0026670 - LARB Decision #0000790 - LARB Decision #0014870 - LARB Decision #0106320 - LARB Decision 2018 #0015740 - CARB Decision #0051730 - CARB Decision #0073180 - LARB Decision #0069790 - LARB Decision #0073450 - LARB Decision
The Emergency Advisory Committee advises Council on the development of emergency plans and programs; and complies with the Procedure Bylaw, the Emergency Management Bylaw, The Alberta Emergency Plan, The Emergency Management Act and the
Municipal Government Act. The Emergency Advisory Committee is comprised of three Council Members.
The Family Community Support Services Committee guides Town Administration in the design and delivery of programs that promote well-being among individuals, families, and the community. Membership consists of Okotoks citizens and Council Members and a youth position.
Click the button below to find upcoming and past meeting information and agendas.
The Finance and Audit Committee assists Administration with the development and implementation of annual operating and capital budgets. The Committee reviews and makes recommendations to Council on current and long-range fiscal planning. Membership consists of Okotoks citizens and Council Members.
For upcoming meeting dates and agenda packages please click the link below.
The purpose of the Governance and Priorities Committee is to enhance the organizational governance framework in order to ensure that roles and responsibilities of Council, the Chief Administrative Officer, and Administration can be differentiated, explained, and understood by all stakeholders. This Committee is not intended to replicate Council Meetings, but rather shall provide a more informal forum for the discussion of governance matters.
Members of the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) review and approve applications for development permits and subdivision of land. Membership on the MPC consists of Okotoks citizens and Council Members.
For upcoming meeting dates and agenda packages (as well as past meetings) please visit the link below.
The Okotoks Public Library Board determines the purpose and operation of the library and encourages development of services and activities for the benefit of residents. Membership on the Library Board consists of citizens from both the Town of Okotoks and the Municipal District of Foothills and a Town of Okotoks Council Member.
The Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) addresses appeals against certain land use and development application decisions of the Development Officer or Municipal Planning Commission. SDAB meets as required. Membership consists of Okotoks citizens.
The United Way/Okotoks Partnership Committee is supported by Town Council and sustains a partnership with the United Way of Calgary and area. The committee oversees a community fundraising campaign and distributes United Way funding to eligible organizations serving residents of Okotoks and surrounding area. The Committee appoints additional community volunteers to serve on sub committees to help achieve its purpose. Membership consists of citizens from the Town of Okotoks and Municipal District of Foothills, as well as a Member of Okotoks Council.
For upcoming meeting dates and agenda packages (as well as past meetings) please visit the link below.
The Urban Deer Task Force was struck by Council to provide advice, information, ideas/models/tools, and other needed support to the Town of Okotoks in preparing an Urban Deer Strategy and Action Plan, and to support communication and engagement efforts to ensure the resulting Strategy and Action Plan is effectively implemented.
Three Members of Council are appointed to the Alberta Foothills Industrial Corridor Association.
Councillor Tanya Thorn was elected to the AUMA Board of Directors in the position of Towns South for a two year term in October 2016.
The Town appoints one Member of Council to the Bow River Basin Water Council.
Officially established in January 2018, the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board consists of representatives from 10 municipalities mandated to develop a long term plan for managed, sustainable growth in the Calgary region. The Calgary Metropolitan Region Board is the first provincially-mandated growth management board for the Calgary region. One Council Member is appointed to this Board.
Community Futures Highwood Board is a non-profit community-owned organization that has been serving the Highwood Region since 1986 under the leadership and direction of local municipalities. Community Futures Highwood’s primary role within the region is to promote small business growth, generate jobs and build the capacity of regional communities to initiate and implement strategic development plans for a sustainable future. The Town appoints a citizen of Okotoks and one Member of Council to the Community Future Highwood Board.
One member of Council is appointed to the Crescent Point Community Foundation.
Two Members of Council are appointed to the Foothills Centennial Centre Foundation Board of Directors.
Two Members of Council are appointed to the Foothills-Okotoks Recreation Society.
In 1995, the Towns of Black Diamond, Turner Valley, Okotoks, High River, and the Villages of Blackie, Cayley and Longview, and the MD of Foothills joined forces for the purpose of providing a regional emergency single call answer and transfer/dispatch system (E 9-1-1) for the Fire and Police Services and Emergency Medical Services provided to each of the participating municipalities. The Town of Okotoks appoints one Member of Council to the Commission.
The Commission is a separate legal entity established in 1989 by the Province at the request of the Towns of Okotoks, High River, and the Municipal District of Foothills. The Commission's purpose is to own and operate the Frank Lake pipeline running from the Cargill plant to Frank Lake, as well as to administer the agreement between Cargill and member municipalities. In 1992 the Commission was expanded to include Turner Valley and Black Diamond and took over all operations of the Foothills Regional Waste Management Authority (landfill). The Town of Okotoks appoints one Member of Council to the Commission.
Two Members of Council are appointed to the Foothills Regional Water Collaborative.
Three Members of Council are appointed to the Friends of Champion Park Society.
The Intermunicipal Committee discusses matters of mutual interest to both the Town of Okotoks and the Foothills County. The Committee may make recommendations on inter-municipal matters to the respective Councils. Three Members of Council are appointed to this committee.
For upcoming meeting dates and agenda packages (as well as past meetings) please visit the link below.
One Member of Council is appointed to Westwinds Communities.