Crown Land Leases
Leasing Crown Land at Mount Hotham
Almost all land at Mt Hotham is Crown Land managed by the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board. In October 2002, the Government brought in a new Crown Leasing Policy and Guidelines¬†for Alpine Resorts. This is contained in two documents below:
- Alpine Resorts Leasing Policty Implementation Guidelines 23 October 2002
- Standard Alpine Crown Lease¬† ¬†
Process for applying for a new Crown Lease
The process for applying for a new Crown Lease is as follows:
- Under Principle 3 of the Guidelines, the lessee must activate the right to negotiate a new lease by writing to the Board between 3 & 4 years before expiry to replace your current lease. Expired leases should do this as soon as possible.
- Develop your Business Plan under step 1, principle 2 as a basis for lease term discussions. The Board has prepared a template to assist you.
- As part of your Business Plan, the SISP is available from the Board on request by you.
- The Board will assess your Business Plan including any proposed building extensions, and will advise you.
- On agreement of the Business Plan, The CEO will present a report to the Board to gain its approval for the new lease application based on the Business Plan you provided.
- Following that approval, I will on your behalf apply to DSE Crown Lands for the Minister for Environment's approval in principle of our agreed position for the new lease proposal.
- DSE will either give the Minister's approval in principle, or request a review. Provided a strong case is presented to DSE, approval in principle should be agreed fairly quickly. If DSE wants to review the proposal, it will¬† obviously take longer.
- Following approval in principle, the Board's solicitors will prepare your lease document in the standard form, including lease term and any special provisions. The Board will send this to you for review and signing.
- Following signing of the lease by the Lessee, I will prepare a briefing paper for the Minister for Environment to support approval for granting the lease.
- The Minister will review the briefing paper which requests approval for the lease under the agreed terms.
- When the Minister approves the lease, it will then be granted by the Board and presented to you.
For lessees whose leases have expired or will expire by year end 2010 and who have not yet contacted me about a new lease, I look forward to hearing from you by 31.12.06 with your draft Business Plan.
For lessees where leases expire at dates later than 2010, they can choose now or at any time to enter a new lease which has the advantages of the new leasing policy in relation to tenure and lease term.
Retail Leases Act exemption
The Retail Leases Act 2003 also applies to Crown leases for accommodation in Alpine resorts. An exemption can be granted by the Commissioner for Small Business where the new lease exceeds 15 years. As this exemption is beneficial, the Board does not favour new leases of less than 15 years.
Site rent and Valuation
The annual site rental for a new Crown lease which is not issued as a Retail lease,is 3.5% of the Valuer- General's valuation. The standard Crown alpine lease provides for revaluation every three years at the lessee's expense, and for CPI increases in the intervening years. The Alpine Resorts financial year is from 1st November. The Board will obtain new valuations when they fall due, and will advise you when this is about to happen.
The Valuation of Land Act 1960, Part III, sets out provisions for you to object if you are not happy with your three yearly revaluations. The Board will send you the relevant form when it advises you of the new valuation and rent.
Annual Service Charge
These are generally for Board operating costs, resort planning and municipal services to properties in the Resort. They are set by Board yearly, and are based on the floor area of the building, measured as Fully Enclosed Covered Area.
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