Letter: Colwood policies troubling residents

One Colwood resident wants to see bylaws changed to adjust utility property tax

Re: “Rezoning pressure plagues Colwood” (Letters, Oct. 14)

The writer has it all wrong.  Far from being committed to “tax-producing” endeavors, Colwood city management goes out of its way to ignore such picayune concerns.  Witness its refusal to rezone properties that harbour Telecom towers and devices. The Telecom industry enjoys residential zoning status despite the fact that B.C. Assessments labels telecommunications as a utility.  And the tax rate for utility zoned properties in Colwood is more than 14 times higher than the residential rate.

So why is city management not rezoning these properties and taxing them at the appropriate utility rate?  Why is it not rezoning and, thereby, lessening the ever increasing tax burden on the rest of us?

Because, as city management points out, a land use bylaw allows the Telecoms to be placed on residentially zoned land and, as a consequence, to be taxed at the lower residential rate.

So what’s city management to do in such a situation?  Continue to ignore this inequity?  Or change the bylaw?  Changing the bylaw, after all, is within its functional ability.  It is certainly within its mandate.  And it’s within its obligation to the taxpayers of Colwood.  But is it within its DNA to override what, on this issue, appears to be a pathological inertia?

If the past is any indication, you already know the answer.

Dennis Noble


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