I was in Victoria yesterday and stopped by to see the revitalization work done in the centre of Langford over the last number of years. It was impressive to say the least. From what I can see, it appears as though the city made a decision to improve the climate for business by reducing red-tape and encouraging new companies to open up shop in the area. Development is not encouraged at all costs – projects have to meet criteria for design, materials, look and the like. From a strong business climate comes strong and recurring tax revenue which is being used to revitalize streets, build bike lanes, create community rec centres and the like.
Langford is working on creating more density in the core of the city, multi-purposed buildings that have retail shops on the ground floor, professional offices on the second and residential apartments on the third or fourth floors. I wonder if we could adopt some of these ideas in Comox, perhaps on the site of the Lorne or if the mall is re-developed. One of the neat projects built in Langford is a fountain in the centre of the main roundabout; it dances, like the fountains at the Bellagio, every half an hour to different tunes!
We have a lot going for us in Comox but I think we could offer so much more. Take a look at the City of Langford website and time yourself to see how long it takes for you to find information on how to start a business. Now visit the Town of Comox site and do the same.