Council adopted the zoning amendment bylaw for the Inlet Avenue location of Sunshine Coast Community Services Society’s (SCCSS) “Building Together” project at its Oct. 6 meeting.
The bylaw will permit a six-storey building on the site of the society’s existing offices. It received first reading in April 2020 and allowed for an increased building height and a relaxation on the number of parking spaces required for a location within the downtown core.
The $23-million project includes two floors of SCCSS administrative and program space and 34 residential apartments for women and children in need on the upper floors.
Speaking with Coast Reporter after the meeting, Sandra Cunningham, project capital campaign manager, said SCCSS was “delighted with the decision and grateful that it can continue to move forward with the project.” She said projects of this scope are “a test of patience.” Zoning approval from Sechelt is “one more step completed” and should be helpful as the project team works toward securing approval for funding of the project from BC Housing, Cunningham said.
On the community fundraising side, she said “we’re at just over $630,000 of the $3 million that we are going to the public for… I would love to see it at one million by Christmas.” To help get there, an online fundraising raffle is being launched with a grand prize of a night for two at the Backeddy Resort.
Details on the project and its community fundraising efforts are available at buildingtogether-sccss.ca.
BIA bylaw renewal
Owners of commercial properties in downtown Sechelt’s existing business improvement area (BIA) will be asked to weigh in on a five-year renewal of that agreement by Dec. 7.
Based on the bylaw given three readings at the Oct. 6 council meeting, they may be paying less in 2022 than in 2021.
Corporate officer JoAnne Frank explained that the bylaw levies a tax on eligible properties to fund the work of the Sechelt Downtown Business Association (SDBA), and that the amount is calculated based on the number of business licences held on a property. The 2022-27 version has been changed to charge properties with no active business licence the same as properties that have a single business licence.
With new revenue from vacant properties along with an increase in the number of business licences in the BIA, the charge for a single business licence property will go down by about $40 over 2021 levels, according to Frank.
Another factor impacting the proposed new rate was that the SDBA’s 2022 budget request is only $700 higher than its current year budget.
Notices and information on the counter petition process to object to the renewal will be mailed to impacted property owners in late October. For the counter petition process to stop bylaw adoption, at least 50 per cent of the impacted property owners representing at least 50 per cent of the total assessed values of all properties covered by the bylaw need to file objections.