The Municipal Government Act's business revitalization regulation sets out procedures for establishing and operating a business revitalization zone (BRZ). The flow chart and the following sections summarize various steps necessary to create a BRZ.
Business owner's role
According to the legislation, it is the responsibility of local businesses to initiate a BRZ. The BRZ may consist of a street, several streets or a district.
After defining the boundaries of a BRZ, a request for a BRZ must be sent to the City Clerks Office. To be established, it must be signed by at least 25 per cent of the business owners listed on the current business assessment roll within the zone.
This request should be submitted to the City Clerk's Office by mid-year to allow time for The City of Calgary to process the application to establish the BRZ and endorse it through bylaw by January of the following year.
The City's role
After a request to establish a BRZ is received by the City Clerk, notices of the proposal will be mailed to all business owners on the business assessment roll within the proposed BRZ area.
If city council receives a petition against the BRZ, signed by persons representing more than 50 per cent of the notified business owners within a 60 day period, the BRZ cannot be implemented. If a negative petition is not received, then council may proceed with establishing the BRZ.
The BRZ is established by a bylaw. The bylaw defines the physical boundary of the BRZ area, the BRZ's name, purpose of the BRZ and confirms the board of directors' membership.
Operation of a BRZ
The board of directors is responsible for the administration of the BRZ association. The board must include up to 10 business owners who are nominated by the business members of the BRZ. The board develops the BRZs' annual program and submits the program's budget estimates to city council.
City council annually confirms the BRZ board of directors membership.
Financing of a BRZ
The BRZ receives its revenue from local business owners in the zone. This revenue is collected by means of a special BRZ levy added to each business owner's annual business tax bill.
The levy amount is based on the board's annually approved program budget, which is submitted to city council. Council passes a BRZ tax rate bylaw outlining the tax rate required to raise the BRZs' annual revenue. The levy is then collected by the municipality and forwarded to the BRZ board of directors for program funding.
Process to establish and administer a BRZ
What to do if you are interested
A successful shopping district requires active participation from its members. The BRZ is a grass-roots volunteer organization and you are encouraged to discuss the benefits and costs with other prospective business members in your area.
Contact other BRZ members to learn more about their operations. The City will provide assistance and advice to any individual or business group who may be interested in establishing a BRZ for a specific district.
To learn more about the BRZ program and how it can help your business area, please contact 311.
Note: This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the regulations currently in effect. For detailed information, consult the Business Revitalization Zone Regulation 377/94 passed in accordance with Sections 50 to 53 and 381 of the Municipal Government Act s.a. 1994 chapter m-26.1.