Council postponed their vote on the Residential Apartment Housing/Off-Street Parking and Alternative Transportation Standards Policy C122 after making several amendments to the document. Council also asked administration to seek a legal opinion on a potential amendment, necessitating the postponement of a vote. Council is scheduled to review the policy again on Monday, March 10. This policy, should it be adopted, allows for the reduction in the amount of off-street parking stalls for apartment housing, based on a number of specific factors, like proximity to public transit and distance to the downtown core.
Council voted to adopt the Outdoor Merchandise Display Policy C121. The policy provides parameters for the location, appearance and type of outdoor displays or merchandise by downtown businesses. The policy also establishes design standards for displays, and a permit system for the town to review and approve the operation of an outdoor merchandise display areas. Prior to this policy, the Land Use Bylaw prohibited the display of merchandise outside of businesses.
A briefing on the 2014 assessment trends and potential tax impacts was presented to council. Trends show an increase in the taxable commercial assessment of 21 per cent and an increase in taxable residential assessment of two per cent. Council was shown estimates of the average tax increase for both assessment classes for this year using multiple mill rate split scenarios. Council will vote on the mill rate in May when they review the 2014 Tax Rate Bylaw.
Council gave three readings to Bylaw 334 – Cave Avenue Borrowing Bylaw. The bylaw allows the town to borrow $5 million to finance the Cave Avenue Reconstruction project. The total cost of the project is $6.63 million, with $1.63 million being funded by reserves.
Council gave three readings to Bylaw 55-8 – Supplementary Property Assessment 2014 Bylaw. The Municipal Government Act requires council to pass a bylaw annually to authorize the preparation of the supplementary assessment roll.