The association is financed by a royalty on businesses in the town centre; more members would mean a bigger budget
The Downtown Victoria Business Association wants to expand its boundaries to provide business services outside of its current catchment area.
The association is asking the city for permission to extend its boundary several blocks from Chatham/Caledonia Streets to Bay Street in the north, from Blanshard Street to Cook Street in the east, and to include the street Kingston and the Oswego Hotel in James Bay.
Jeff Bray, executive director of the DVBA, said the proposed boundary changes reflect a wider area that many consider downtown, and come after some businesses in the 800-1000 block of Fort Street, outside the current borders, have expressed interest in joining.
The association advocates on behalf of retailers and restaurants, promotes independent businesses and offers programs for downtown businesses, such as a clean team, which collects litter, removes graffiti from private properties and disposes of needles safely every day of the week.
“So companies started coming together and saying, ‘We really want to be part of the DVBA. We understand that there is a levy. How do we become a part?’ ” he said.
Landowners within the boundaries pay a fee based on the assessed value of their property. For example, the fee for the DVBA itself, which leases office space in Centennial Square, is around $140 per year.
The city will send notices to affected property owners, and at least 50% of owners with at least 50% of the taxable assessment to add to the watershed must object to the changes to prevent the proposed expansion.
The city collects the fee from the landowners and pays the money to the trade association. The expansion would result in a proposed budget of $1,694,000, which comes from the royalty.
There are 775 properties currently within the boundaries.