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***The decision to expand a BIA can only be made by people who own or lease commercial and/or industrial property in the area.***

STEP 1 – Establish a Steering Committee for a BIA Expansion

Once the BIA Board of Management, with the approval of its membership, approves of the expansion proposal a Steering Committee must be formed. Comprised of five or more people, the Steering Committee should include commercial and/or industrial property owners and business tenants that represent various types of businesses and geographic sections within the expansion area and existing BIA. The Committee’s main role is to gauge stakeholder interest in the expansion area and to define the geographic area. With assistance from the City the Committee must develop an implementation strategy addressing the rationale for expanding the BIA including potential benefits for the area and objectives for future improvements.

STEP 2 – Determine Community Interest with the Expansion Area

The Steering Committee must provide business and property owners within the expansion area with information about BIAs. Informal meetings and consultation sessions with area stakeholders are good ways to confirm the area boundaries, clarify issues, and validate the level of interest.

The Committee should report the level of stakeholder interest to the City BIA Office in order to determine sufficient support in proceeding to step three.

STEP 3 – Hold Public Meeting(s) and Formal BIA Expansion Request

On behalf of the Steering Committee, the City will organize and host formal public meeting(s) to determine if there is sufficient interest in expanding the BIA. If more than 50 per cent of those in attendance support moving to the formal polling stage, the Steering Committee then makes a formal request to proceed.

STEP 4 – Polling Process for Expansion

The City will conduct a poll of all commercial and industrial property owners within the proposed expansion area. Property owners must forward a copy of the poll to their tenants.

The Steering Committee is responsible for distributing a copy of the notice to commercial/ industrial tenants in the expansion area. Property owners and business tenants are asked to return ballots to the City Clerk’s Office.

City Council can approve the expansion of a BIA if:

  • at least 30 per cent of the ballots mailed (or a minimum of 100, whichever is lower) are returned to the City Clerk’s Office
  • more than 50 per cent of the ballots are in favour of expanding the BIA.

https://www.toronto.ca/business-economy/business-operation-growth/business-improvement-areas/start-or-expand-a-bia/

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