The Comox Valley Regional District board has given third reading to a parcel tax bylaw to fund the acquisition and development of parks and greenways in the Baynes Sound portion of electoral Area A, and in Areas B and C parks and greenways service at $19 per parcel, beginning in 2014. The board will consider final adoption at its October meeting.
The public identified a number of priority areas to be acquired for parkland and types of park amenities to be developed. Over the next 17 years, cost estimates to acquire and develop new parkland in the three electoral areas are approximately $14.3 million.
It’s expected that about 21 per cent ($2.6 million) of the cost will be collected through development cost charges (DCCs) on new residential and tourism accommodation development.
The remaining 79 per cent ($11.7 million) will need to be collected from electoral area residents by means of property taxes and the parcel tax.
There are an estimated 10,500 parcels that will be assessed the parcel tax which will generate $199,500 per year or approximately $3.4 million over the next 17 years.
“Park creation is a vital component of a livable community,” said Edwin Grieve, chair of the CVRD board of directors. “Over time we need the ability to preserve some of our last special places for future generations to enjoy.”
Priority areas for parkland acquisition include extension of the One Spot trail, the Courtenay River Estuary, the Puntledge Triangle including Browns River and Stotan Falls, the Royston-to-Cumberland trail, E&N railway trail, Trent River corridor, additional parkland near Saratoga Beach, Black Creek to Miracle Beach trail, Williams Beach forest trail, Wolf Lake recreation site, and Rosewall Creek to Waterloo Creek trail. For more information visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/parksplan.
In early 2014, parcel tax assessment notices will be sent to all property owners in the service area to advise that a parcel tax will apply for that year. A parcel tax roll review panel will be held late-February to review the roll and hear any complaints. The CVRD will not collect the parcel tax directly as it will be included on the rural property tax notice issued by the Province in May and due early-July. The province will then forward parcel taxes collected to the CVRD on Aug. 1.