A map of Nanaimo displays the boundaries of the proposed new downtown business improvement area. (City of Nanaimo image)

A map of Nanaimo displays the boundaries of the proposed new downtown business improvement area. (City of Nanaimo image)

Nanaimo city councillors recommending downtown improvement area be re-established

Finance and audit committee recommends council direct staff to start ‘petition-against’ process

A new downtown Nanaimo business improvement area is a step closer to becoming a reality.

Nanaimo city councillors voted unanimously at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday to recommend that council direct city staff to work with the recently formed Downtown Nanaimo Business Association to establish the the new downtown business improvement area.

The downtown business improvement area will be established for a term of five years starting in 2021 and with it a bylaw to establish a BIA levy that will appear on property tax notices for the bylaw’s five-year term.

Formation of a new business improvement association for downtown Nanaimo has been in the works since the fall of 2018 after the old Downtown Nanaimo Improvement District Association was disbanded in 2017.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo Chamber working to create new downtown business association

The new BIA must first survive a ‘petition-against’ process that requires the owners of more than 50 per cent of downtown commercial and industrial property parcels representing at least 50 per cent of the assessed value of land and improvements in the BIA boundaries to sign a petition in opposition to the local area service tax to defeat it, according to city documents.

Councillors followed staff’s recommendation of a petition-against process rather than a petition-for process because it stands a better chance of success.

“The importance again of a negative vote … is that a lot of the commercial property owners in the downtown area are not local residents of Nanaimo,” said Coun. Jim Turley. “They are out of town and historically … generally it’s not worth their while to respond because any increase in the cost of their property is always passed along to the tenants anyway, so it’s really not an issue for them and the advantage of having a negative vote is that if, on a positive one, if 50 per cent of property owners don’t vote it’s defeated.”

The BIA petition process will be administered by the city for a fee.

The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce will provide bookkeeping services by the hour for the new BIA and offer meeting spaces and infrastructure to eliminate costs for staffing, equipment, furnishing and office equipment.

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said he was disappointed to see the dissolution of the original Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association and is “delighted” to see the formation of a new one.

“I can say, somewhat critically, I can only try and imagine how much easier it would have been to deal with COVID and to deal the increase in the homelessness population and the mental health and addictions crisis that fills our street, if this had never disappeared several years ago and think this is a timely reminder of why it’s important for communities and neighbourhoods to organize and the benefit that flows from that when they can speak with one voice, so I’m delighted to see this happening,” Krog said.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BusinessCommunity

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

Just Posted

Janice Perrino, Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation CEO, holds information brochures for the Light the Trees campaign, part of an effort to raise $5 million for the new intensive care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Million-dollar donation has Light the Trees campaign off to a bright start in Nanaimo

Windsor Plywood Foundation supports Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation

Regional District of Nanaimo will be receiving $1.17 million from the B.C. government in COVID-19 safe restart grant money. (News Bulletin file)
Regional District of Nanaimo directors getting started on budgeting decisions

Proposed tax requisitions for 2021 range from 7.3-per cent increase to 2.2-per cent decrease

A sport utility vehicle and a Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools work van crashed on Bowen Road near the intersection with Caspers Way this afternoon. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Drivers taken to hospital after head-on crash on Nanaimo’s Bowen Road

Crash happened near Caspers Way intersection Friday afternoon

École North Oyster. (Black Press file)
With more student drop-offs during pandemic, SD68 examines safety outside North Oyster school

Fewer school bus trips and more cars accentuating traffic concerns, say school district staff

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson takes her oaths of office virtually on Thursday. (B.C. Government YouTube screen shot)
Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson named B.C.’s mental health and addictions minister

Malcolmson succeeds Judy Darcy, who did not seek re-election

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Police in Nanaimo never know what they’ll encounter when called upon to check on the well-being of people. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo RCMP find ‘heart-breaking’ circumstances during wellness checks

Police offer sampling of outcomes from well-being checks over recent weeks

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Nanaimo ballerina Jillian Vanstone is giving a hometown performance at the Port Theatre on Dec. 12. (Photo courtesy Karolina Kuras)
National Ballet of Canada principal dancer returns for a hometown performance

Nanaimo’s Jillian Vanstone celebrates a favourite choreographer at the Port Theatre

Most Read