Cumberland council voted Monday against Trilogy Group CEO and president John Evans’ request for exemption from commercial development cost charges (DCCs).
Evans made the request during a delegation to the Aug. 12 council meeting, noting there is competition to attract businesses, and an exemption could help attract them. He also pointed out the Village would gain more commercial tax base if retailers move into the 700 acres at the junction of the Inland Island Highway and the Comox Valley Parkway.
Called CAYET, the proposed mixed-use development is described as a commercial hub for retail, restaurants, hotels and housing.
Coun. Roger Kishi pointed out Monday the Village doesn’t have commercial DCCs in place yet, and is in the process of updating its DCC bylaw.
Coun. Gwyn Sproule said she understands there’s “fierce competition” to attract retailers, noting box stores recently choosing to open in neighbouring communities.
But, “The thing is the land speaks for itself; if it’s a good place for a commercial development then the people will come,” she continued.
Council voted in favour of a Coun. Kate Greening motion to send a letter to Trilogy saying council is not interested in exempting it from commercial DCCs at this time.
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Council voted to allocate up to $45,000 more to further roadwork on Third Street.
The project to reconstruct and repave Third Street from Derwent and Penrith avenues is still underway.
Council’s decision means the work will be extended from Penrith Avenue to the lane north along Third Street. Village manager of operations Rob Crisfield noted this section was broken out as an optional portion of the original project as the lowest bid price was over the Village’s budgeted amount for the work.
Coun. Kate Greening’s motion to use $30,450 of a tax surplus from a BC Assessment reporting error and up to $14,550 from the 2012 annual general surplus funds was passed unanimously.
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Village staff will bring forward a fire service and regulation bylaw establishing service levels for fire protection in the municipality.
According to a report from fire chief Mike Williamson and Village deputy corporate office Rachel Parker, the Village recently reviewed its ability to provide fire protection to forested land around the Village core and the Comox Lake Land Corporation land north of Perseverance Creek, plus the Comox Valley Regional District Waste Management Centre and other high-hazard industrial areas.
Currently, the Village provides fire protection services to all land and improvements within Cumberland.
Council voted in favour of the staff recommendation to have staff draft a bylaw which would see the Village provide assessment and initial attack fire suppression for forested land and partial fire suppression for high-hazard industrial areas.
The report notes the Village doesn’t have the financial resources to provide full fire protection services to its large service area.