Following Victoria city council’s May 12 adoption of the expansion bylaw, the Downtown Victoria Business Association has expanded to become the second-largest business improvement area in the province.
The new boundary of the business association better reflects the area of Victoria considered by residents to be “downtown.” Despite that area having grown in years past, the boundaries had previously been unchanged since the association’s inception 17 years ago according to a news release.
The DVBA’s boundary will expand from the current border of Discovery Street on the north to just across Bay Street, between Bridge and Blanshard streets. The easter boundary will also expand to cover Cook Street, between Pandora and Meares, from the current border running along Blanshard.
“The DVBA provides important services to support its existing members and to animate and promote our downtown. This boundary expansion will enable them to serve and support an expanded array of businesses and to expand the amazing and much sought Clean Team services to a wider area,” Mayor Lisa Helps said in the release.
The association’s Clean Team is a litter collection service operating within its boundaries. The DVBA also runs marketing campaigns, offers grants, and creates events such as Lights of Wonder, according to the release.
The decision was made following a reverse petition two months ago, wherein the City of Victoria offered property owners the opportunity to speak out against the expansion of the association. After tabulating responses, the city passed the expansion bylaw, automatically bringing all businesses inside the new boundary within the association. The DVBA is funded through a tax levy on commercial property owners.
“The DVBA and its board of directors are excited to welcome our new members into the association,” said association executive director Jeff Bray. “We are grateful for council’s support. We look forward to working with all our members to continually enhance one of North America’s best mid-sized downtowns.”
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