Notice of Proposed Revitalization Program Bylaw

North Cowichan Council gives notice, under sections 94 and 227of the Community Charter, that it proposes to adopt Bylaw 3488, "Revitalization Tax Exemption Program Bylaw". The reasons for establishing this revitalization program are slow economic growth, high unemployment, stagnating commercial core areas, and underutilized and vacant industrial land.  The objectives of the revitalization tax exemption program are to: 1) stimulate the local economy; 2) generate permanent new industrial jobs and part-time construction employment; 3) encourage new commercial and residential mixed-use development to locate within existing commercial core areas; 4) increase the Municipalitys overall tax base over the long term; 5) encourage development of industrial land; and 6) encourage low environmental impact development.  By doing so, Council hopes to encourage investment and development of industrial and commercial land, and stimulate the rejuvenation of mixed-use commercial areas within the Municipality.

The proposed bylaw will establish a revitalization tax exemption program to grant property tax exemptions for the entire property of an eligible development located in the following revitalization areas: 1) Crofton; 2) South End/University Village; 3) Chemainus; and 4) industrial lands (except the area in Chemainus known as the Chemainus bench lands (which is about 28acres, along the East side of Chemainus Road, South of Victoria Street, and North of Bare Point Road).   Maps of the revitalization areas and the excluded industrial lands are attached to proposed Bylaw 3488.

The kinds of property and development eligible for a tax exemption under the proposed program are: 1) Class 1 -Residential, with a minimum density of 100 dwelling units per hectare; 2) Class 4 - Major Industry or Class 5 - Light Industry, with improvements worth at least $250,000 or that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 25%; or 3) Class 6 -Business and other.  Before the Municipality issues a tax exemption certificate to the owner of a parcel, the applicant must: 1) complete and deliver the prescribed application to the Corporate Officer no later than October 15 in the year prior to which the exemption is sought along with a $200 application fee; 2) in the case of Class 4 (Major Industry) or Class 5 (Light Industry), provide satisfactory evidence that new improvements have been constructed on the parcel that: have an improvement value of $250,000 or greater, or have a value of at least $50,000 and have resulted in a 25% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as compared to emissions before the construction of the new improvements; and 3) enter into a revitalization tax exemption agreement with the Municipality.

The amount of the proposed tax exemption for each calendar year, during the period for which the tax exemption is issued, is equal to 100% of the general municipal taxes imposed under section 197 (1)(a) of the Community Charter on that part of the assessed value calculated by deducting the baseline assessment from the current assessed value and multiplying the difference by the current municipal tax rate.  The total tax exemption for all years must not exceed the total cost of improvements or the increase in municipal taxes payable due to the revitalization.  Tax exemptions will not include exemption from any parcel tax, local service tax, or business improvement area tax payable in the designated area in which the parcel is located.  Development cost charges for water, sewer and roads will be waived for all eligible development in a revitalization area for Class 1 (Residential) or combined Class 1 (Residential) and Class 6 (Business and other).  The maximum term of a tax exemption provided under the proposed program is10 years for an eligible Class 4 (Major Industry) or Class 5 (Light Industry) development, or 5 years for an eligible Class 1 (Residential), Class 6 (Business and other), or combined development.

Persons wishing to review the proposed Bylaw 3488 may do so at the North Cowichan Municipal Hall, 7030 Trans Canada Highway, Duncan, BC, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (excluding holidays) or byclicking here.

Written comments may be sent by email to council@northcowichan.ca; or by fax to (250)746-3133, or mail to Box 278 Duncan BC V9L 3X4 no later than 4:30 p.m. on June 3, 2013.