Electoral area directors approve development cost charges

·2 min read

Development cost charge bylaws approved by Regional District of Nanaimo electoral area directors will go to the board of directors for approval Oct. 26 before heading to the province for review.

The bylaws establish development cost charges (DCCs) for community parks in electoral areas A, B, G, and H. Once in force, the charges would apply to new single family and multi-family residential development.

For Area B, the DCCs will be $530 per parcel for single family developments and $354 per dwelling unit for multi-family.

The only eligible project on the current parks work plan for Area B is a masterplan for Cox Community Park, estimated at this time to cost $50,000. The benefit allocation for the project is set as 100 per cent, meaning it is expected to primarily benefit new residents over existing residents. Urban Systems, the contractor for the DCC review and bylaw development, estimated the population of Area B to increase by 280 residents, and development to increase by 20 single family units and 110 multiple dwelling units between 2019 and 2039. With a contribution of one per cent by the RDN, developers would pay $49,500 of the masterplan project cost.

Under the bylaw for each electoral area, eligible infrastructure includes fencing, landscaping, drainage and irrigation, trails, restrooms, changing rooms and playground equipment. Operation and maintenance of parks, new or upgraded works needed for the existing population and new buildings, parking, sports field lighting, artificial turf and sport courts are not eligible to be paid for through DCCs.

A separate waivers and reductions bylaw would need to be adopted should area directors want to exclude developments like affordable housing, non-profit housing, low environmental impact as allowed by the Local Government Act (LGA). But that development of such a bylaw would need to be added to the upcoming financial plan and staff work plan. The LGA doe not allow DCCs to be levied on places of worship, value of work that does not exceed $50,000or for unit sizes no larger than 29 square metres.

The DCC bylaws would undergo an annual review; adding or removing projects would need ministerial approval.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

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