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Levy to support downtown Sidney renewed for another five years

Sidney BIA includes downtown core, but also Cedarwood Inn and Suites
Watch out! Velma the Velociraptor had her choice of unsuspecting victims during Sidney’s Treat Street on Halloween Eve in 2019 organized by the Sidney Business Improvement Area. Council Monday renewed the five-year-agreement governing the special levy for the area.(Black Press media file photo)

The president and chair of the Sidney Business Improvement Area (BIA) welcomes the renewal of its governing bylaw.

“We are so encouraged by the collaboration between the members, residents, and organizations of Sidney over the past five years and are honoured to continue to apply our best efforts to creating a prosperous community for all during our next term,” said Devon Bird in a release.

Council Monday approved the business improvement area for another five-year term. Renewal of the agreement was subject to the alternate approval process. It allows for the renewal unless the majority of property owners representing at least 50 per cent of the value of the lots subject to the special levy ask council to proceed. In the end, 17 out of 334 properties — some 5.1 per cent of all properties, representing a total of 3.9 per cent of assessed value — opposed the levy.

RELATED: Sidney’s downtown to become spooktacular

The levy (which does not come from the general tax base) will generate $337,000 in 2023 to support and promote the downtown business community, with the figure set to rise by 2.5 per cent annually with 2027 being the last year of the current five-year-term, the third of its kind.

A group of concerned business owners formed the BIA in 2013 after lackluster business growth following the 2008 financial crisis.

Business improvement areas are specially funded through a levy on all commercial properties in the BIA district with the goal to promote and improve the business district. Sidney’s BIA includes the downtown core bound by the water and Highway 17 on the eastern and western edge with Sidney Avenue and James White Boulevard roughly serving as the northern edge and half of Oakville Avenue serving as the southern end. But it also includes the Cedarwood Inn and Suites.

The volunteer-run society overseeing the BIA is charged with increasing “footsteps, potential customers, clients and event attendees in all sectors” of the BIA through the “development, implementation and evaluation of marketing, promotion and other communication and collaborative efforts.”

Sidney BIA has historically organized a series of campaigns and events such as Halloween Spooktacular among others.

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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