These storefronts on Trunk Road have been informed by the City of Duncan that they must change their addresses to Festubert Street. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

These storefronts on Trunk Road have been informed by the City of Duncan that they must change their addresses to Festubert Street. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Duncan business owners upset about being forced to change address

Owners say City of Duncan’s plan will hurt their business

The owners of Invis Mortgage on Trunk Road don’t understand why the City of Duncan wants them to change their address.

Greg Clifford and Cheryl Kothlow have rented their office space on Trunk Road for more than 11 years in a building that has been there for more than 50 years.

Clifford said that recently, a small older building on the lot was demolished and the city advised them that the municipality wanted driveway access on Trunk Road to be blocked off, and access to the parking lot to be from a driveway on Festubert Street.

He said that while the reduction of one access to the parking lot is not a real inconvenience, the city is forcing a number of units in the building to change their addresses to Festubert Street.

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“The reasoning is that if there is no access off of Trunk Road, the address should be changed to the side street address,” Clifford said.

“These units have been on Trunk Road since the building was erected 50 years ago, and the storefronts are still on Trunk Road. What would possess the city to make such a change that will no doubt be very confusing to our clients?”

Clifford said it’s not only an inconvenience to clients, it’s also an inconvenience for small business owners like him and Kothlow.

“What does it cost to change an address?” he asked.

“Well, you will require new stationery, business cards, business cheques. You will be required to notify hundreds of clients and suppliers of your address change. Some of our businesses will be required to change the information on websites, yellow and white page advertising, Google rankings, licensing and so on. Knowing the city, they will probably require us to buy another business licence.”

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Peter de Verteuil, the City of Duncan’s CAO, said that upon receiving the demolition permit for the demolished building Clifford was referring to, the city needed to review the addressing for the entire block of buildings on Trunk Road.

He said the city fully understands that address changes can be disruptive to businesses that are existing, and does not make these changes lightly.

“It is not typical to have individual units with different building addresses as it indicates multiple buildings and adds confusion for both dispatchers and first responders,” de Verteuil said.

“As three of the occupied units were addressed off of Festubert Street and two were addressed off of Trunk Road, it was least disruptive to change the two Trunk Road units.”

In addition, de Verteuil said addressing standards are such that each building on a commercial property, like the one that Invis Mortgage is in, has a street address, and unit numbers are assigned for individual units within each building.

“Addresses for each building are off the street to which the primary driveway or access serves the particular building, which in this case is Festubert Street,” he said.

“Staff spoke with the owner to explain the reasons for the change, but did not speak to the tenants, so we are not sure how much of the reasoning was passed on to the tenants.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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