Classification of Mixed Use Sites - Part 2
It did not seem fair that a property valued for its residential condo potential, should be given a commercial tax rate.
The Assessment Act, in a nutshell, says any land that is vacant and not zoned or held for commercial or industrial purposes should be classified residential.
What is land? In my opinion, it went from underground to the sky (if that were true, then any zoning that limited commercial development on any floors and allowed residential, should be classed residential).
Ludmila Herbst, a lawyer at Farris Vaughan, agreed with me, and together with other property tax consultants, selected Amacon as having the best property for a test case.
On Monday, February 1st, 2016, Madame Justice Lane agreed with me, when she handed down her decision. http://canlii.ca/t/gn5ml
The test case related to land with 2 commercial and 3 residential F.S.R. But it does not stop there. Don Cayo pointed out it could help small neighbourhoods in Vancouver. In any area zoned C-2B C-2C and C-2C1, such as parts of W. 4th Avenue, W. Broadway, and Commercial Drive, commercial development is not permitted above the second floor. Hence, to maximize density, which most developers would do and BCA assume when valuing sites, there must be building above the second floor. Any such air space (land), if vacant, should be classified residential.
In C-2B sites can be developed with 1.5 FSR on the 1st and 2nd floors and residential for the balance of the 2.5 FSR. 40% of the assessed value should have a residential class.
In C-2C and C-2C1, only residential is permitted on the 3rd floor. The FSR is 3 so the class should be 33% residential at a minimum.
You did need to appeal by February 1st, 2016. However, there could still be a way to benefit. I would be pleased to chat.
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