Champlain Township council tabled a proposed business license by-law until its February meeting.

The proposed by-law was part of the agenda package for the township’s committee of the whole meeting which took place on December 3, 2019.

The business by-law would be the first of its kind in Champlain Township.

West Hawkesbury ward councillor Gerry Miner asked for a copy of the pedlars by-law to be included in the agenda for the February 2020 meeting, with the business license by-law is considered. Fees are charged to businesses who are not located in Champlain Township who may set up within Champlain Township to sell items for a weekend or an extended length of time.

In his report to council, Chief Building Official Jacques Gauthier said that most of the neighbouring municipalities have a business license by-law (with the exception of East Hawkesbury, Alfred-Plantagenet and The Nation Municipality).

“This type of By-law would give us the opportunity to establish a list of businesses in our Township. It would also facilitate our duty to engage with, inspect and verify the new businesses coming in, by introducing ourselves as a Municipal Authority having the jurisdiction to ensure proper zoning and adequate building construction practices. This By-law will help us ensure that businesses opening their doors in the community will have access to resources and obtain certificates confirming their authorization as well as knowledge regarding the required approvals from the Ontario Building Code, Fire Code and Zoning By-law,” said the report.

One of the main reasons for the by-law would be to ensure that all new (and existing) businesses do have buildings that conform to the Ontario Building Code and Fire Code. The Building Department, the Fire Department and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit would have the opportunity to inspect and certify that the physical characteristics of the building are in conformity for their uses for the safety of the occupants.

The new by-law includes provision for charging a business license fee to businesses, according to their category and type of business. The fees would be established by comparing fees with other municipalities (Rockland, Casselman and Cornwall) and being on the low side of average costs, according to the report.

In Cornwall, the cost of building license fees vary according to establish. For example, a business license for a second-hand store would cost $175 for the first year and $135 for each year after that. The issuance of the license shall be subject to the written approvals of the following: Zoning Administrator; Chief Building Official or Designate; Fire Prevention Officer; Plumbing Inspector; Municipal By-law Enforcement Officer; and Chief of Police or Designate.

In Clarence-Rockland, business license fees range from $52 per year for new businesses, to $26 for changing the name of your business. The form includes space for zoning, building, by-law, fire, and health unit comments.

In Hawkesbury, a $100 fee is charged for business licenses. A minimum of 10 days might be required to study the application and inspections of the site may be required, according to the Town of Hawkesbury website.

The Champlain Township by-law department report says there is no cost for preparing the by-law, except for staff time to research and create the by-law and that the cost of enforcing the by-law “will mostly be covered by the Business License fees and Building permit fees, where applicable.”