February 10th, 2021 ~ Vol. 91 No. 6
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Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
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Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council from left tor right: Councillors Marlene Anctil, Dave Filipuzzi, Doreen Glavin, Mayor Blair Painter, Councillors Lisa Sygutek, Gordon Lundy and Dean Ward.
David Selles
Pass Herald Reporter
The following topics were discussed at the Regular Council Meeting on February 2nd.

Bylaw 1061, 2021 – LUB Redesignation: Multiple Residential R2-A to Duplex Residential R-2

In February 2018 Council approved a bylaw to re-designate lots 1 & 2, Block 7 Plan 0613673 from Residential (R-1) to Multiple Residential (R-2A). At the time the best use of these properties was deemed to be a higher density residential (R2-A), rather than the single family residential (R-1) that was in place at the time. In September 2018, development permits for a modular home with a detached garage were received for each lot 1 & 2. Through the development permit process the properties were incorrectly identified as being located in the R-2 Residential District instead of the R-2A District. As a result of the misidentification, both development permit applications were approved by the Municipal Planning Commission for uses that are listed in the R-2 District, but which are prohibited in the R-2A District in which the properties are located. The developments have been built and completed. In November 2020 a compliance certificate request was processed and Administration found that the buildings were not in compliance with the designated district, and could not be corrected with a new development permit application because a Modular Home is prohibited in the R-2A district. By redesignating Lots 1 & 2 to the R-2 district, the Municipality will rectify the non-compliance and remove barriers to future development improvements or sales of the parcel for the property owner. Councillor Ward made a motion for first reading. The motion was carried.
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Tourism Levy Update

Council has directed Administration to impose a Tourism Levy, therefore a review of the Municipal Government Act, the presentation made by Southern Canadian Rockies DMO Strategy, as well as other DMOs currently in place was completed. In the review process it was determined that a Municipality cannot operate a DMO directly nor can they make the levy mandatory. The two areas of concern in implementing a Tourism Levy or as it is also referred to in other places, a Destination Marketing Fee, is can it be made mandatory for all organizations involved in tourism industry. The second issue to be addressed is, can a Municipality be the Destination Management Organization or does it need to be a third party. The MGA section 7 and 8, is very specific on the types of bylaws a Council can implement where revenue is concerned. A Municipality does not have authority to impose a tourism levy, only the Provincial Government has the authority. The Provincial Government would need to pass legislation enabling municipalities to impose this type of tax. This is not to say a Tourism Levy or Destination Marketing Fee cannot be implemented, but in reviewing how it has been implemented in other jurisdictions and reviewing online literature, the conclusion reached is destination marketing fees are becoming increasingly common throughout Alberta as a means of raising revenue to support tourism destination marketing.
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However, the program is voluntary, industry driven and operates with little to no local government involvement and no Provincial legislative sanction. The second issue is, can the Municipality be the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO)? The most common method of generating revenue for local tourism marketing purposes is to establish a local or regional Destination Marketing Organization and have the DMO implement and collect the Destination Marketing Fee(DMF). Through incorporation (e.g. a society or for profit corporation), the bylaws state the purpose of what the organization can do. A DMF is not a tax, but rather a fee and is not imposed by the municipality, but rather the local or regional DMO. Basically, a DMF is individual businesses collectively deciding to work together under the umbrella of a DMO and contribute funds (collected from guests) to support a joint marketing program and related initiatives. There is no one formula for who can be the DMO, usually the designated DMO is the local tourist bureau/organization of the jurisdiction in which the DMF is applied. After hearing this information, Council held some discussion. Upon hearing that it cannot be made mandatory, Councillor Ward said he'd like to see something different. "I don't want to spend the next year or three years trying to convince the hotels and whoever to participate in this. Somebody else needs to do that other than Council or Administration. Especially with no option of making it mandatory. It's not going to work." Council also discussed the negative costs of money and time from going to meetings on this and now hearing that it can't be made mandatory. After discussion, Councillor Filipuzzi made a motion to accept this as information and the motion was carried.
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February 10th, 2021 ~ Vol. 91 No. 6
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