City to redo Alternative Approval Process for Nanaimo Operations Centre project


At their meeting on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, Nanaimo City Council voted to proceed with a second Alternative Approval Processs (AAP) for the borrowing bylaw for up to $48.5 million for the first phase of the Nanaimo Operations Centre (Public Works yard) project.

The revised AAP will commence on Jan. 18, 2024, and conclude at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 20, 2024. During this period, eligible electors in the City of Nanaimo will have the opportunity to submit their responses regarding the borrowing bylaw. Official forms will be available to pick up from City Hall and for printing from the City website beginning on Jan. 18, 2024.

For more information on the Alternative Approval Process visit the City website at and for more information on the project visit

Link to Strategic Plan: The City of Nanaimo remains committed to transparent and accountable governance.

Key Points

  • This upcoming Alternative Approval Process stands independently from the previous one. Any votes gathered during the AAP held Sept. 27 to Nov. 3, 2023, will not carry over or count toward this new process.
  • Electors will have from Jan. 18 until 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 20, 2024, to submit their responses to the Nanaimo Operations Centre Phase One Borrowing Bylaw. If 10 per cent or more of eligible voters submit an Alternative Approval Process form in opposition, the borrowing bylaw will be brought back to Council to determine how they would like to proceed with the matter and next steps.
  • Residents are encouraged to visit the City website to learn more about the project. Further opportunities to learn more, including an open house, will take place in the New Year.
  • An AAP is a common process used by municipalities to seek elector approval for projects that are required in order to continue to provide municipal services. It is less expensive than holding a referendum and offers increased convenience to electors by providing at least 30 days to submit response forms.


"We acknowledge the administrative oversight in the timing of the notification for the Nanaimo Operations Centre alternative approval process. To ensure a fair and transparent process, the City will run the AAP again, providing citizens with an opportunity to voice their opinions on this project."

Director, Legislative Services
City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • The Nanaimo Operations Centre Phase One Borrowing Bylaw 2023 No. 7362, which received three readings from Council on June 19, 2023, will see the City borrow a sum not exceeding $48,500,000 repayable over a period of no more than 20 years.
  • Debt servicing will be funded through property taxation. The City has two long-term borrowing funded by property taxation: Port of Nanaimo Centre (VICC) (will be retired in 2026 and 2027) and Fire Station #4 (will be retired 2027). The City also has short-term borrowing included in the 2023–2027 Financial Plan. Debt servicing for Fire Station #1 is funded through general asset management reserve.
  • For the typical home in Nanaimo with an assessed value of $808,873, the estimated impact is $77 per year based on a 20 year borrowing term at 4.78% (at November 27, 2023). The City will draw on the borrowing as the funds are required and only borrow the amount required to complete the project, which may be less than the $48.5 million.


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City of Nanaimo

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