During a City of Cold Lake regular council meeting on April 23, a discussion centered around amendments to the Vacant Lot Sale Incentive Program. Kristi Isert, General Manager of Corporate Services for the City of Cold Lake, outlined the program’s progress since its approval on Feb. 13 and highlighted proposed policy changes to expand eligibility criteria. 

“Since the vacant lot sale incentive program was approved by City council on Feb. 13, the administration did send out correspondence to each of the property owners who had vacant properties that qualified under the new vacant tax subclasses, which were created this year to advise them of the program,” said Isert.  

The program’s goal is to incentivize owners of longstanding vacant properties to list them for sale, promoting development and reducing land banking.  

However, community feedback suggested the program be expanded. According to Isert, “We did receive feedback from a member of the community who owned property that fell within that class, and they had made some recommendations that the program be expanded with some additional information they provided about how commercial properties in particular may be advertised for development.” 

Based on this feedback, the Corporate Priorities Committee directed an amendment to the program, addressing the need to include properties marketed through commercial real estate sites, not just those listed on Multi-Listing Sites (MLS).  

As Isert explained, “At the April 16 Corporate Priorities Committee, the administration was directed to bring forward a policy amendment to expand the eligibility criteria for the program and that would be to ensure that properties that were actively being marketed for development through other commercial real estate listings… would also qualify for the program as long as they met the other requirements.” 

According to information from the City of Cold Lake, the proposed amendment acknowledges that properties actively marketed through commercial real estate listings, such as SpaceList.ca or LoopNet, could be eligible for the rebate program.  

Isert clarified, “The amendment to the policy recognizes that some of the vacant properties may not be listed for sale, but they may also be listed for development, developing opportunities and franchising to become involved in the property so it becomes developed.” 

The administration proposed the policy for the council’s approval, which was approved. 

By Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 06, 2024 at 09:37

This item reprinted with permission from   Lakeland This Week   Bonnyville, Alberta

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