Wednesday, January 27, 2021

"It's time for us to take action; it's time for us to Clean up the town": Mayor Lee Brain

Commercial property owners in Prince Rupert will soon be receiving some mail from the City of Prince Rupert, with Council on Monday night  moving forward with the final stage of approval forward for its new Downtown Core Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw.

Council Members gave fourth and final approval to the new bylaw, which will incentivize development in the town and a moment for Councillor Wad Niesh which signalled a big moment for the community.

The passage of the bylaw came after some extensive revision work over the last month as the city's contract planners iPlan lent a hand in crafting the document, the genesis of which came from a recommendation from iPlan's Rob Buchan last summer.

The new bylaws will provide an incentive for developers to help to rebuild the city's tired looking. downtown landscape, while also adapting to a range of new proposals to come in the city's soon to be approved Official Community Plan.

Council members were quite proud of their achievement from their work on the document with Councillor Mirau praising the work of staff and iPlan on the project, while Councillor Niesh looked forward to the prospect of new growth downtown.

"I am looking forward to hopefully lots of people, lots of developers and local owner taking advantage of this opportunity over the next three years to revitalize their downtown"

Mayor Lee Brain also spoke to the adoption of the new bylaws, noting how once passed the city would be  forwarding some 102 letters ready to be sent business owners in the area.

The information flow will include two letters to the property owners, the first to outline the scope of the new program, the second one to reinforce the measures that will be in place towards enforcement on  the number of unsightly properties found in the downtown core.

"It's time for us to take action, it's time for us to clean up the town, and I think that the strategy that we are employing here, the two prong approach, I believe is going to get some traction" -- Mayor Lee Brain  

The calls for a downtown clean up has been an ongoing theme for City Council for much of the last two terms.  

Back in 2018 Councillor Barry Cunningham had called for a stronger hand in enforcing the then existing options in place, his presentation reinforcing how the call for action had been a long standing one around the council table.

You can review some of the progress on the Tax Exemption Bylaw below:

January 13 -- After lengthy back and forth discussion, Council members came to a compromise on amendments for Downtown Tax Incentive Bylaw
November 25 -- City Council moves forward towards introduction of Downtown Revitalization/Tax Exemption program
August 27 -- City's hired civic planner updates progress on Official Community Plan; offers up recommendations towards enticing developers

The full documentation for the Bylaw is available from the City's Agenda from Monday night.

The discussion on the topic can be reviewed from the City's Video archive starting at the 4 minute mark.

For more notes related to Monday's Council Session see our Council Timeline Feature here.

A wider overview of past Council themes is available here.

1 comment:

  1. It has been six years of the mayor and his administration saying they are going to clean up the community. I have watched the appearance of the city deteriorate the whole time the mayor receiving a bonus for in his mind a job well done.

    I would be willing to give credit if he had rolled this out 5 years ago. If you want to attract workers to a town first impressions count a lot. Prince Rupert fails miserably at first impressions.