BIA gets by counter petition

Sidney council has final say on future of business improvement area bylaw

Another hurdle down — one more barrier to cross.

A proposed business improvement area (BIA) for businesses in downtown Sidney is a step closer to reality, as an alternate approvals process failed to garner enough opposition to thwart the idea.

Town of Sidney chief administrative officer Randy Humble reported this week that the counter-petition did not hit the 50 per cent threshold of opposition that would have stopped the BIA in its tracks. With only 29.9 per cent of business property owners — representing 38.8 per cent of downtown commercial assessed value — stating they were opposed to a BIA, the measure passes.

Now, the proposal faces town council.

On Monday, March 11, Sidney politicians have the final say on whether the BIA will proceed. Or at least, they will start the debate over how each will vote on the proposal. In moving the BIA to the town’s alternate approval process in January, most of council was supportive, with those inclined to be on the fence noting that they would let it fall to business owners to have the final say on the initiative.

A BIA in Sidney will set into motion a new entity, consisting of a group of business property owners and a levy charged ($1.22 per $1,000 of assessed value) to each commercial operation. That will raise an estimated $250,000, to be spent on local marketing initiatives to help bring more customers and visitors into the downtown core.

Angus Matthews, a member of the Sidney Business Development Group that brought the BIA to the community and to town council, said the result is good news.

“That’ the property owners making that decision,” he said. “Now, (pending council’s vote March 11) it’s time for all sectors of the community to come together and create Sidney’s story and how to market that.”

Matthews, who is the executive director of the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, said recent marketing such as Family Day in Sidney and last weekend’s Tourist in your own Town promotion, are evidence of what such efforts can do for the community. Those events saw thousands of visitors and locals on the streets, taking in events and attractions in typical tourist down-time.

Matthews said promoting Sidney is not a business thing.

“It’s about the story of the community,” he explained, “and will require resident involvement and how we want to share our community pride.”

By the Numbers

Town of Sidney CAO Randy Humble said the BIA alternate approval process was sent to 321 commercial properties in the downtown core, identified in the proposal as those businesses included in the BIA boundary.

• The alternate approval process was open for 30 days and ended March 1.

• 96, or 29.9 per cent, registered their opposition to the BIA.

• Those 96 property owners represent 38.8 per cent of commercial property values in the BIA boundary.

• 50 per cent was the property and value threshold owners were required to meet if the BIA proposal were to fail.

• March 11 is when town council will debate and/or vote to proceed with Bylaw 2045, to create a downtown business improvement area.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Victoria Canadian Forces member honored with exceptional Rotary Club award

Capt. Jacqueline Zweng is the Western Canada Ambassador of Wounded Warriors Canada

Oak Bay athletes rule the slopes at Island ski and snowboard series

Oak Bay boys take top ski, snowboard honours

Two-vehicle crash in Langford sends one to hospital Monday morning

Driver sent to hospital with unspecified injuries

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

Most Read