Reducing filming impacts

Delta to amend regulations and create coordinator position to address merchant complaints

Delta is looking at amending its filming application process after receiving some complaints from local businesses.

Film crews have become an increasingly familiar sight in Ladner Village in recent years and while many production companies work well with merchants, said Ladner Business Association president Jackey Zellweger, there are some that have caused frustrations.

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"When they come in, they have such a huge impact on businesses," Zellweger said.

Parking is the primary concern for many business owners, she said.

"It's always a huge issue."

Some businesses have also complained about a loss of income during filming and the large number of film crews in front of stores.

"As a result of the concerns raised and a subsequent review of the filming application process, some process amendments have been identified," stated a staff report to Delta council last week. "The goal of these changes is to improve the filming process and address concerns raised by local businesses and residents."

In addition to changes to fees and the application process, civic politicians also approved the creation of a filming coordinator. The coordinator will act as a liaison between businesses and production companies, and will be on the street during filming.

Zellweger said the additional communication and having someone on location to deal with issues immediately would go a long way to help the situation.

"That's really what you need," she said.

In the past, production companies have made a donation to the LBA in return for the use of the two municipally-owned parking lots in Ladner Village.

The municipality will now charge $500 per day and a portion of the money collected will be given to the LBA as a grant.

Under the current permitting process, vehicle and pedestrian traffic can be held up for no longer than three minutes at a time when cameras are rolling, and production companies pay for Delta police officers to provide traffic control.

Zellweger was quick to say that not all filming creates problems and businesses are supportive of filming in Ladner Village as it can be a boon for some merchants.

According to the Delta staff report, one production company reported spending an average of $50,000 a day in and around Ladner.

In the spring, Impastor Productions Inc., which spent about 10 days filming in Ladner, purchased $22,500 in gift certificates from local businesses and then handed them out to merchants and shoppers.

At last week's council meeting, Mayor Lois Jackson said Delta was wary of levying too many fees, suggesting that some municipalities charge film companies too much.

"It's like killing the golden goose," she said.

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