Westboro BIA eyes 86 new members under boundary expansion

The Westboro Village business improvement area wants to grow again.

Eight years after it last expanded, the BIA – which has traditionally focused on the Richmond Road corridor – wants to extend its boundaries to include parts of Churchill and McRae avenues.

 

If approved, the expansion would add 86 businesses to the Westboro Village BIA, according to a city report. They’d be obliged to pay a levy, which is collected through their property taxes, to the organization.

This would help reduce the levy fees of the existing members, the BIA wrote in a letter to the city. The organization also noted that an expansion would incorporate recent development projects that have expanded the neighbourhood’s retail area.

“An expansion would enable the Westboro Village BIA to beautify and maintain the newly expanded area with the same programming elements that are found in the existing BIA such as graffiti removal, flower planters and pageantry,” city staff wrote in a report tabled today during a meeting of Ottawa’s finance and economic development committee. “The extended boundary would also allow the Westboro Village BIA to enhance the marketing capacity of these new potential members through the BIA’s website and business directory and act as a collective voice for future development projects, such as the Western LRT.”

The report said that of the 86 businesses within the proposed expansion area, 33 told a third-party consultant that they are in favour of joining the BIA while 11 indicated that they are opposed. The remainder did not provide a response.

The Westboro Village BIA was formed in 1979. It is Ottawa’s 12th-largest business improvement area with approximately 200 members, according to OBJ research files.

Municipal approval is required to alter the BIA’s boundaries. On Tuesday, members of the finance and economic development committee directed the councillor for the area, Jeff Leiper, to host a public consultation to “enhance acceptance of the boundary expansion.”