Regina councillors want vacant gas station land cleaned up
Some of Regina's city councillors say the city is hoping to use some federal money to rehabilitate vacant land that once held gas stations.
The empty lots, also known as brownfields, are usually in great locations such as busy intersections or on main streets and are often looked at as missed development opportunities.
"Having any space, brownfield, around our city in the middle of our city or around our city when it could be developed for residential, commercial or parking — we want to see that happen," said Michael Fougere.
But Fougere said clearing them is complicated because the land isn't owned by the city and usually needs environmental cleanup work done before the sites can be redeveloped.
He said one thing that can be done to pressure land owners to decontaminate the lots is increase property taxes.
"Perhaps we can look at some tools of higher taxation to give the impetus to clean those spots up, but it's the owner of the land, they can keep those spots as they want." said Fougere.
Fougere said a fund shared by municipalities across the country may be used to help with removing brownfields, so eventually the land can be developed.