Trilogy Group CEO and president John Evans asked Cumberland council for an exemption from commercial development cost charges.
Evans made the request during a delegation to council, and council is expected to discuss the matter at an upcoming council meeting.
Evans noted three years ago the council of the day supported an exemption of commercial DCCs. He suggested retailers may be more enticed to the land slated for the large mixed use development with the exemption. He also pointed out the additional commercial tax base the Village would gain if retailers move into the area.
Called CAYET, the 700 acres at the junction of the Inland Island Highway and the Comox Valley Parkway would feature mixed-use development, described as a commercial hub of retail, restaurants, hotels and housing.
Evans also gave council an update on the project’s progress.
“We’re working on the first phase of residential subdivision,” he said, noting subdivision and servicing plans are underway and Trilogy has been working with Village staff on agreement. He then updated council about his progress in attracting commercial interests.
“We have been at the international council of shopping centres with the project, we were in Toronto with it a year ago last September, we had the project in Whistler at the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centres) conference at Whistler in January, I will be back in Toronto on the 15th of September with the project,” he said. “I’ve had meetings with every major retailer in Canada and America looking to come, so they’re aware, they listened, but at this point, I’m not aware of anyone specifically looking at the Comox Valley overall, at this stage.”
Cumberland council approved allocation of funds last week for a skate park and new fire hall.
Council discussed earlier this summer how to spend funds from the community host agreement, which sees Cumberland receive $300,000 from the Comox Valley Regional District per year for 20 years due to the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre being within the municipality’s boundaries.
Last week council unanimously approved setting aside $150,000 from this year’s host community agreement funds for a skate park in Village Park.
About $20,000 from the Recreation Society donation will also go towards the project. Village staff will work with Cumberland Community Schools Society Skatepark Committee to develop a memorandum of understanding and the committee is expected to fundraise for the project. Village staff are expected to update council about estimated costs and timelines this fall.
Council also allocated $250,000 in amenity funds toward a new fire hall. Village staff are searching for a site and staff are expected to update council on the project’s progress this fall.
Meanwhile, council allocated $10,000 for street signage improvements from the downtown enhancement funds.
Council approved a new timeline for completion of the Official Community Plan, which sees the plan finally completed in May.
The deadline feedback on the draft OCP is Sept. 15, and a summary of that feedback will be given to council Oct. 15.
Any changes council deems necessary will be made to the draft OCP, which will then be released to the public Nov. 8.
This draft is scheduled to be discussed at the Nov. 27 committee of the whole meeting and first and second readings are scheduled in January.
For more information, or to provide feedback, visit www.cumberland.ca.
Council gave Village staff the green light to spend up to $5,000 as staff work to inform the community about the Village’s plans for water use.
Mock water bills went out in August for the April/May/June quarterly period and three more mock bills will follow. Council is expected to set consumption-based water rates in February/March.
The Village water meter project goals are to reduce summer water use to 700 litres per capita, encourage responsible water use and implement a consumption-based pay system, which would also see users pay a base rate.
Site preparation and construction is set to begin this fall for the new playground and improved dog park in Village Park.
Parks and outdoor recreation co-ordinator Kevin McPhedran told council some playground equipment has to be special ordered and could take eight weeks to arrive, but he said the playground could be complete by late October or early November.