City of Quesnel Business Façade improvement Program Guidelines for 2016 year

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1 City of Quesnel Business Façade improvement Program Guidelines for 2016 year Purpose of the Program The goal of the Quesnel Business Façade Improvement Program is to make Quesnel commercial areas more inviting and visually appealing to visitor and residents; increase assessed property values; promote private sector investment; build civic pride; and to stimulate the local economy. The program offers assistance to property owners and business owners to improve the physical appearance of buildings. The program guidelines are intended to maximize the program benefit for improving the aesthetics of commercial areas. Program Overview The City of Quesnel will provide a 50% reimbursement grant up to a maximum of $5,000 per building/project to improve the facades of commercial buildings. The building must be located in one of the following Development Permit Areas: Downtown Core, West Quesnel, South Quesnel Highway, or Highway Frontage (see Eligible Properties Map). Each building or business within the area is eligible for a one time grant. Projects must have a minimum total cost of $2,000 in order to qualify. The maximum funds to be dispersed in the 2016 calendar year is $ for all projects. Eligibility: Eligible Applicants You must be either the property owner or business owner (if the applicant is the business owner, the property owner must approve the application in writing and confirm that all improvements are to be paid for by the applicant); All property taxes pertaining to the property are fully paid and current; There must be a current, valid business licenses for the property (unless otherwise exempt); There must be no outstanding building permits, stop work orders, or development permit condition requirements outstanding; and You have not received a previous grant under this program for the subject property. Ineligible Applicants Residential homes located in the designated commercial area are not eligible; exception if the home is commercially zoned and has a storefront Municipally owned buildings (even if they have business tenants);

2 Properties outside the specified area (as defined in the community s program guidelines); Non-operating business (the business must be in operation); and Eligible Façade Improvements Eligible improvements may consist of but are not limited to: Exterior lighting (new but not replacement) Exterior architectural features Exterior surfaces and details (decorative details, moldings, trims etc.) Windows (only if part of larger enhancements, no stand-alone window replacement) New siding Façade painting Entrances and doorways (if part of larger enhancements) Awnings Signage (affixed to the building) Ineligible Façade Improvements The following are improvements are ineligible: Routine maintenance Structural repairs Roofs Patios Non-permanent fixtures (benches, planters, patios, patio heaters etc.) Landscaping Paving Fencing Wheelchair ramps Interior improvements Any improvements not visible from the public right of way Construction of additions, accessory buildings or new buildings Any improvements that have been started prior to application approval Eligible Costs/ Expenses Direct project labour costs Design, architectural or engineering fees (related to facade only); Contractor fees Rental of tools and equipment Project related materials and supplies

3 Ineligible Costs/ Expenses Staff wages and/or benefits Equipment purchased; Expenses related to improvement to the building façade not visible from the public right of way Utilities (hydro, gas etc.) Shipping cost Non-permanent fixtures (benches, planters, patios, patio heaters etc.) Landscaping Paving Fencing Wheelchair ramps GST/PST Duties Permit fees Façade improvements expenses started prior to application approval Application Acceptance and Fund Allotment Applications for the 2016 year will be accepted from the start of the program announcement until all funds have been allocated. All complete applications submitted will be scored and ranked based on improvement aspects listed below. The first complete applications received will have priority for funding, however additional eligible applications which meet the minimum scoring standards will be approved in principle and will be eligible for grant monies should they become available. Actual funds will be allocated to the first projects (priority projects) that have been approved if all documentation received by December 1 st The remaining projects may be able to receive funding if they submit all required documentation and funds become available due to priority projects not submitting required documentation by December 1 st These additional projects will be funded on a first come first served basis until all grant money is utilized. Not all applications for additional projects will be guaranteed to receive grant money; it will be allocated first come first served to projects as funds become available due to non-completion (non-submission of documentation) of priority projects. Permits

4 Required Building Permits, Development Permits, and Sign Permits must be obtained prior to the start of project renovations however do not have to be applied for concurrently with Business Façade Improvement grant. Early submission of these permits is recommended in order to avoid delays with project completion. The City of Quesnel and Development Services staff is not responsible for project delays caused by obtaining permits. Approval of a Business Façade Improvement Grant does not guarantee permit approval. Work started prior to permit approval will disqualify the project from receiving business façade improvement grant funding. Design Guidelines Projects will be assessed based on their conformance (or the amount they bring the business into conformance) with the Official Community Plan Development Permit Area guidelines for the applicable Development Permit Area. Properties in the Downtown Core utilize the Downtown Design Guidelines (see Development Permit Area Guidelines) Application and Approval Process 1. Owner/Tenant submits application with designs (and approval letter from owner if applicable). 2. All required supporting materials and documents (including owner authorization, cost estimates and design drawings) must be received prior to application being considered complete. 3. Planning Staff reviews application and proposed façade improvements and issues a project score as outlined in Evaluation Process. 4. Projects will be assessed and scored in the order in which the complete application is received. 5. Grant money will be allocated to priority projects which is based on the first qualifying applications received until $ of grant money is allocated. These projects will have until December 1 st 2016 to complete the work and submit documentation. 6. Any additional project minimum scoring requirement will be approved in principle and may be eligible to receive grant funding if funds are available. 7. All business or property owners must agree to provide all supporting documentation and receipts for renovations, before and after photos, and a testimonial regarding the economic impact and benefit for the project by the end of 2016 in order to receive funds. 8. Tenant/Owner obtains permits as needed and completes renovations.

5 9. Tenant/Owner provides verification of expenditures by providing Copies of paid invoices Cleared Check/Bank Statement confirming payment or Credit Card Statement confirming payment 10. Tenant/Owner provides a declaration of completion signed by the tenant/owner and the general contractor or architect/designer as well as before and after photos, and Business testimonial and other supporting documentation as required. 11. Planning Staff verify that that the renovations meet the requirements and approve the reimbursement according to principles above until all funds are depleted. In the event of limited remaining funds and two or more projects being complete and providing all documentation within 24 hours of each other, the remaining funds will be divided evenly between these projects. 12. All projects must be complete and documentation supplied by December 1 st 2016 to receive grant funds. 13. Letter confirming acceptance of project completion is prepared and cheque is issued to the project proponent. Note: Submitting an application does not guarantee eligibility and approval in principle does not guarantee funding. Evaluation Process 1. Projects will be reviewed, scored and considered for approval in principle on an ongoing basis until all funds are utilized or the end of the 2016 calendar year, whichever comes first. 2. Projects will be reviewed for eligibility: Does it fall within the program area? Is the project an eligible improvement (described above) and meet any other eligibility requirements of the Northern Development Initiative Trust program, for example being a business or commercial property? No grant funds are to be allotted to costs associated with ineligible projects above. 3. Does the project for which the funds are being sought bring the property into greater conformity with the applicable Development Permit area guidelines?

6 To be scored based on number of ways conformity is improved based to a maximum of 5 points. 4. Will the project once complete have a noticeable impact on the streetscape? To be scored based on amount of visual impact to pedestrians and vehicle traffic up to a maximum of 5 points. 5. Will the renovation offer a noticeable improvement on the streetscape? For example buildings currently in older or poorer condition will be scored higher, to a maximum of 5 points. 6. Was a professional designer or architect used for improvements? To a maximum of 2 points. 7. Projects must score a minimum of 8 points to qualify for funding, and must score at least one point from each of scoring area 3, 4, and 5. Program Reporting Program Reporting is to be done in accordance with the Northern Development Initiative Trust program metrics requirements and the end of each year for which grant funding is provided to demonstrate the direct economic benefits of the program. This includes business testimonials and before and after photos, as well as administrative and financial reporting.

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