Uptown taxation bylaw passed in Alberni

Alberni city councillors voted to accept a new revitalization tax exemption bylaw.

South Port Alberni has itself a new revitalization tax exemption bylaw.

City councillors voted to accept the bylaw at their Nov. 12 meeting.

The bylaw has been amended to reduce the footprint of the area impacted by the bylaw, and does so by excluding city property, Harbour Quay and lower Third Avenue.

The bylaw encourages property owners within the zone to create or improve commercial and multi-family spaces.

Some multi-family spaces are included and some aren’t, city manager Ken Watson said.

The building under construction at Foruth Avenue and Angus Street is included in the exemption, Watson said.

As well, multi-family dwellings are considered permitted use in commercialy zoned areas, he added.

Under the plan, a $1 million investment entitles an owner to a 100 per cent municipal tax exemption on improvement costs for a maximum of 10 years.

A $100,000 investment fetches a 100 per cent municipal tax exemption on improvement costs for up to a maximum of five years. But the total exemption cannot exceed 25 per cent of the total project budget.

Coun. Jack McLeman asked about language in the bylaw that he felt wasn’t strong enough. “I want no money to go out unless there is a permit,” he said.

McLeman asked about the properties of establishments that went out of business, and whether the exemption would still be grafted to them.

“If the use stops then the exemption stops,” city manager Ken Watson said.

McLeman also asked about homeowners in the prescribed area who convert their properties from residential to commercial use, and whether they’d be eligible for an exemption.

Council could amend the bylaw to accommodate that if they wished, Watson said.

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