District responsible for exempted DCCs

Exemptions and bylaw to be reviewed by District of Sooke council

Council will be reviewing a bylaw that allows reductions in Development Cost Charges for developments in Sooke’s town core.

A consultant from Urban Systems, contracted to review road DCCs, recently told council they would be accountable for approximately $40,000 of exempted DCCs for Mariner’s Village.

The reduction was permitted under the Sooke Revitalization Bylaw 408, which waives 30 per cent of DCCs on residential housing developments of 50 or greater units per hectare in the town core.

Developments are also eligible for an additional 30 per cent reduction if they are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified — which is granted to environmentally constructed and operated buildings.

The district is then financially responsible to replace the waived amounts into the DCC reserve fund.

“Places like Mariner’s Village met that requirement, so their DCC could be reduced by 30 per cent, so they went ahead and took advantage and it’s no fault of their own,” said Mayor Wendal Milne.

“What we’re going to be doing, very quickly, is reviewing this bylaw to see if in fact, it is something we want to continue to have,” he said, adding the provision maybe amended or rescinded completely.

According to Milne, the bylaw was approved in 2010 by the previous council to encourage development in Sooke’s town core.

I’m not sure that the previous council understood that when they gave this exemption that they had to pony up the money into the reserve fund, he said.

Bylaw 408 also provides a 100 per cent DCC exemption for non-profit rental housing, supportive living housing and for-profit affordable rental housing.