(Ethan Morneau / Victoria Buzz)

The Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) is now the second largest business improvement area in BC after council has approved its expansion.

On Thursday, May 12th, the City of Victoria Council voted in favour of a new bylaw that would expand the association’s downtown boundaries immediately.

Property owners had until 4 p.m. Monday to oppose the expansion, and council said they would only vote if at least 50% of the property owners in the new area did not object.

The effort to expand the boundary began with downtown businesses and property
owners just outside the boundary requesting to be included in the DVBA.

“These owners saw the benefits of the DVBA, especially the association’s Clean Team, marketing, and advocacy, and wanted to access these services,” the DVBA said in a media release.

A reverse petition began two months ago; the City of Victoria offered property owners the opportunity to speak out against expansion. After waiting the required time and tabulating responses, the city passed the expansion bylaw effective immediately.

The new area includes business properties east of Blanshard Street to Cook Street, and from Discovery Street north to Bay Street.

The DVBA avoided expanding into areas such as James Bay, Cook Street Village, Burnside-Gorge and Quadra Village with concern they would become too large for the organization’s abilities.

“The DVBA and its Board of Directors are excited to welcome our new members into the association,” said DVBA 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,” Bray added.

Prior to the approval, the DVBA’s membership sat at about 1,350 members and will now grow to nearly 2,000—thus increasing the annual budget to more than $1.7 million

Since its inception in 2005, the DVBA boundaries have remained unchanged. However, in the 17 years since the DVBA was formed, the area considered “downtown” by Victorians has increased in size.

The DVBA believes the new boundaries better represent this area.

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