The Regional Municipality of Halton. Chair and Members of the Administration and Finance Committee

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Approved - Administration and Finance - Jul 06, 2011 Adopted - Regional Council - Jul 13, 2011 The Regional Municipality of Halton Report To: From: Chair and Members of the Administration and Finance Committee
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Approved - Administration and Finance - Jul 06, 2011 Adopted - Regional Council - Jul 13, 2011 The Regional Municipality of Halton Report To: From: Chair and Members of the Administration and Finance Committee Mark G. Meneray, Commissioner, Legislative and Planning Services and Corporate Counsel Date: June 16, 2011 Report No. - Re: LPS Tourism Exemption under the Retail Business Holidays Act for Whole Foods Market, 301 Cornwall Road, Town of Oakville RECOMMENDATION REPORT THAT Regional Council not approve the tourism exemption application by Whole Foods Market to permit its retail business establishment located at 301 Cornwall Road in the Town of Oakville to open for business on all holidays, except Christmas Day, in accordance with Report No. LPS45-11 re. Tourism Exemption under the Retail Business Holidays Act for Whole Foods Market, 301 Cornwall Road, Town of Oakville. Halton Region has received a tourism exemption application under the Retail Business Holidays Act, R.S.O 1990, c. R.30, as amended (the Act ), from Whole Foods Market requesting that its retail business establishment located at 301 Cornwall Road in the Town of Oakville be permitted to open on holidays, except Christmas Day, for tourism development purposes. The Act requires that retail business establishments remain closed for holidays. Subsection 1(1) of the Act defines a holiday as: New Year s Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, and any other public holiday declared by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor to be a holiday for the purposes of this Act. However, the Act does allow for exceptions related to tourism. Under subsection 4(1) of the Act, the Council of a municipality may by by-law permit retail business establishments within their municipality to open on holidays for the development or maintenance of tourism (i.e. the tourism exemption ). Subsection 4(8) of the Act outlines that the by-law would come into force on the 31st day after it is passed by Council, provided it is not appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) within the 30 day appeal period. Any person who objects to a tourism exemption by-law may appeal to the OMB under Section 4.3 by filing a notice of appeal which sets out the objection to the by-law and the reasons in support of the objection. Regional Council has recently dealt with two other tourism exemption applications under the Act. At its meeting of May 11, 2011, Council approved Report No. LPS36-11 re: Tourism Exemption under the Retail Business Holidays Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. R.30 for the Burlington Downtown Business Improvement Area and the Downtown Oakville Business Improvement Area which 1 recommended approval of the tourism exemption applications for the two respective downtown Business Improvement Areas. Also at that meeting Council passed By-Law No to put into effect a tourism exemption for the retail business establishments in the two downtown BIAs. By- Law No shall come into force and effect, subject to any appeal under Section 4.3 of the Act on the 11 th of June, Tourism Criteria Ontario Regulation 711/91 Applicants interested in obtaining a tourism exemption under the Act pursuant to subsection 4(1) must complete Halton Region s application form. The form requires the applicant to state how it meets the tourism criteria set out in Ontario Regulation 711/91 passed under the Act. All of these criteria must be met by an applicant before a municipality may pass an exemption by-law under subsection 4(1) of the Act, permitting the applicant to open for business on holidays for the maintenance or development of tourism. Subsection 2(1) of Ontario Regulation 711/91 indicates that a municipality may grant a retail business establishment an exemption if it is: (a) (b) located within two kilometres of a tourist attraction; and it is directly associated with the tourist attraction or relies on tourists visiting the attraction for business on a holiday. It should be noted that Ontario Regulation 711/91 identifies tourist attractions as natural or outdoor recreational attractions, historical attractions, and cultural, multi-cultural or educational attractions. Further, Section 3 of Ontario Regulation 711/91 requires that a retail business establishment that on days other than holidays normally uses a total area of 2,400 square feet or more for serving the public or normally has four or more employees serving the public must, in addition to meeting the tourism criteria set out in subsection 2(1), provide goods or services on holidays primarily to tourists. Whole Foods Market Application for 301 Cornwall Road, Town of Oakville Whole Foods Market submitted an application to Halton Region requesting that its retail business establishment located at 301 Cornwall Road in the Town of Oakville be granted an exemption under subsection 4(1) of the Act and that the exemption would apply to all holidays, except Christmas Day. Attachment A to this report depicts the location of the subject retail business establishment in the Town of Oakville. Regional staff have reviewed the application relative to the statutory tourism criteria set out in Ontario Regulation 711/91 noted above. The application would appear to meet subsection 2(1)(a) related to its distance from a tourist attraction, as the applicant s retail business establishment at 301 Cornwall Road is located within two kilometres of the Oakville downtown waterfront which is an important natural and outdoor recreational tourist attraction for the Town. Further, the application provides information outlining that there is a direct and complementary association 2 between the subject retail business establishment and the Oakville downtown waterfront area in accordance with subsection 2(1)(b) of Ontario Regulation 711/91. Whole Foods Market has provided recent customer polling data to address Section 3 of Ontario Regulation 711/91 which requires the applicant to demonstrate that the retail business establishment provides goods or services on holidays primarily to tourists. The customer polling data details the home address of 3,591 customers at the company s Cornwall Road store. Regional Staff have formatted the applicant s survey data to indicate the percentage of customer survey respondents who are from Oakville, from within Halton, as well as other major markets outside Halton, per the table below: Table 1 Customer Origin Analysis of 3,591 Customer Survey Respondents Whole Foods Market, 301 Cornwall Road, Oakville Local Municipality Region No. of Customers % Share of Total Customers Oakville Halton 1, % Burlington Halton % Milton Halton % Halton Hills Halton % Total - Halton Region 2, % Mississauga Peel % Brampton/Caledon Peel % Total - Peel Region % City of Toronto % City of Hamilton % Other Municipalities % Total - Outside Halton Region 1, % Source: Whole Foods Market, 2011, Halton Region 2011 From Table 1, it would appear that over 53% of the retail business establishment s customer survey respondents are from Oakville and a total of 65% of customer survey respondents are located in Halton. Of the 35% of customer survey respondents that originate from outside Halton, the store s major markets appear to be Mississauga, Toronto and Hamilton. Section 3 of Ontario Regulation 711/91 specifically requires that a retail business establishment provides goods or services on holidays primarily to tourists. The term primarily would suggest that over 50% of the retail business establishment s customers would be tourists. In a local context, tourists could be defined broadly as people who reside outside the subject local municipality (Oakville). Using this broad interpretation, the retail business establishment does not meet the test as less than half (47%) of its customer survey respondents reside outside Oakville. 3 Looking at Section 3 of Ontario Regulation 711/91 from a regional perspective, and defining tourists to be people who reside outside of Halton, the retail business establishment again does not meet the test set out in the Section, as 35% of the retail business establishment s customer survey respondents originate from outside Halton. Regional Staff have circulated this staff report with the Halton tourism working group, which is the successor group to the Halton Tourism Advisory Committee, for their information. Administration and Finance Statutory Public Meeting A Statutory Public Meeting was held on June 15, 2011 to consider the Whole Foods Market tourism exemption application. Regional staff presented a background on the Retail Business Holidays Act and the tourism exemption application from Whole Foods Market. Whole Foods Market delegation representatives France Fournier, Marketing and Community Relations Specialist, and Tyron Goss, Store Team Leader provided a presentation in support of the application. There were no additional delegations in attendance and there were no additional requests to make representation. All submissions would be referred to Regional Council in their consideration of the tourism exemption application on July 13, The Downtown Oakville Business Improvement Area has provided a letter of support for the Whole Foods Market tourism exemption application dated June 10, 2011 which is attached as Appendix B to this report. It is our understanding that the Oakville Chamber of Commerce may be providing a letter of support for the application in conjunction with the Administration and Finance meeting of July 6, Town of Oakville s Consideration of the Whole Foods Tourism Exemption Application At its meeting of June 14, 2011, the Town of Oakville s Administrative Services Committee considered a Town staff report dated May 18, 2011 regarding the tourism exemption application from Whole Foods Market. A motion to approve the Town s staff recommendation that The Region of Halton be advised that the Town of Oakville does not support the Whole Foods Market application for tourism exemption for its retail business establishment located at 301 Cornwall Road, Oakville, was carried. At its meeting of June 20, 2011, Town Council adopted Administrative Services Committee Report No , June 14, 2011 as presented. 4 FINANCIAL/PROGRAM IMPLICATIONS There are no financial or program implications associated with this report. Respectfully submitted, John Davidson Director, Economic Development Mark G. Meneray Commissioner, Legislative & Planning Services and Corporate Counsel Approved by Pat Moyle Chief Administrative Officer If you have any questions on the content of this report, please contact: John Davidson Tel. #
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