Business bylaw gets Parksville scrutiny

First draft of bylaw sparked concern with chamber, merchants

Parksville businesses have had a chance to review a proposed business bylaw update and now staff will prepare a new draft for their consideration.

“There were some concerns and issues with the first draft,” explained director of administrative services Debbie Comis during Monday’s regular council meeting.

She pointed out that while the chamber and downtown business association had some concerns about the fee increases, they are actually lower than the inflation rate.

The staff report points out that the basic rate would increase from $120 to $150 per year, but an inflationary adjustment from the rates set in 1991 would push it above $175.

The current bylaw has 10 business categories, including broad groups like accommodation, retail and “all other,” and doesn’t deal much with regulation, which staff propose should be added.

The proposed bylaw would break those down into 62 new categories, with “retail” being divided into 11 specifics like convenience store, sales agent or money store.

The new categories allow different fees for different types of business, which Comis said should be increased to reflect the cost to the city.

Councillor Peter Morrison asked about the difference in fees for similar business, singling out pawn shops and money stores being more expensive.

Comis explained there are different costs for reviewing and granting different licences involving police and fire safety inspections and administrative costs.

The bylaw will be updated with the relevant feedback and sent back to council to begin the statuary process.

 

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