Salt Spring Island Industrial Advisory Planning Commission draft final report is out. Here is a copy of the report. iapc-draft-report-july-15
All in it’s an excellent report that was put together by a stellar group of Salt Spring volunteers.
The basic recommendations are to change the current industrial / commercial zoning into 5 zones;
1. General Employment Zone 1
2. General Employment Zone 2
3. Marine Employment
4. Waste Management
5. Heavy Industrial
The basic change would be from what we have now of specific use to the new model of measured impacts.
The report also covers some ideals of future development in Ganges, Fulford and Channel ridge villages with an new take on live work places.
I do feel the report fell short on addressing the 2.44 times commercial tax to residential property tax difference. With 600 home based business on Salt Spring this is the elephant in the room. Who is really ever going to want to go through the pain of re zoning knowing the end result will be more taxes. It seems to me so many of the home based business will go underground and not re zone even if they are in locations that are identified in the report.
There were a few mistakes in the report such as on page 21 which says;
Sales and rental data. Unfortunately, virtually no sales and rental data for industrial land on Salt Spring exists. Records back to the 1980s show no sales of industrial land, except for strata properties, and there is very little publically available information on rentals.
There is sales data available here it is; Commercial salt spring
The other mistake on page 21 was about the vacant marine related property;
Vacant industrially zoned properties. In May 2014, there were eight vacant properties, plus three vacant strata properties. Three of the vacant properties were marine related, totaling about one acre, with potential environmental issues due to past use as marine fueling stations. The remaining five properties totaled 4 acres
Two of the marine properties about were owned by Shell Canada and sold this year after extensive remediation work and testing had been done over a 20 year period.
For those that mistakenly think Salt Spring is closed for business the report is worth a read. It shows that the island is moving in the right direction and supporting entrepreneurs.
Lets hope the local trust committee puts some staff resources into implementing this report asap.