"Very close proximity" to SkyTrain line chops $1.3 million off Minoas Greek Taverna property assessment

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      The owners of a Burnaby property located very near a SkyTrain line are going to get some relief from property taxes.

      Based on submissions to a B.C. property assessment appeal board, only five metres separate the property line of 3823 Kingsway from the rapid transit column.

      Due to its location, the development potential is limited.

      Because of this, the 2018 assessment of the site, home to Minoas Greek Taverna, will be reduced by $1,328,800.

      The Burnaby property previously had an assessment of $6,644,000 for land and $14,000 for the building, for a total of $6,658,000.

      For SkyTrain users, the colourful establishment is part of the scenery between Joyce-Collingwood and Patterson stations.

      Across Kingsway is Central Park.

      Georgia Chronakis and family opened Minoas Greek Taverna in 1986.

      The property fronts a one-way access road from Kingsway leading to Smith Avenue.

      The assessor acknowledged before the appeal board that proximity to the SkyTrain line makes it difficult to develop the property.

      The assessor suggested a 10 percent reduction on land value for equity purposes, or a $664,400 discount.

      However, in a decision and order, panel chair Candace Owen ruled that a 20 percent reduction on land value is more appropriate.

      Owen acknowledged Chronakis’ arguments that the highest and best use for the property, which is a mix of residential and commercial uses, is “not imminent because [land] assembly is required and that there are several specific circumstances that affect the development potential of this property and therefore affect its market value”.

      “These include the probable requirement of a setback from the property line during development due to the close proximity of the SkyTrain line and the possible requirement by the City [of Burnaby] of road widening to accommodate a higher density of development,” Owen wrote.

      “I consider the property to have poor access and exposure relative to other properties in the immediate vicinity mainly due to the very close proximity and specific siting of the SkyTrain line,” Owen continued.

      With a reduced land value of $5,315,200 and the building’s worth unchanged at $14,000, the new assessment is $5,329,200.

      But that may still be too high for Chronakis.

      Chronakis had wanted the assessment reduced to $3.5 million.