The District of Sooke has been reviewing Development Cost Charges and consultant Fraser Smith from Urban Systems presented a preliminary report to council on May 28.
Development Cost Charges are charges levied on new development to assist in financing the cost of upgrading or providing infrastructure (roads, sewer, etc.) services to support new development.
Smith said that Sooke is expected to have a 3.75 per cent growth in the next 10 years with development taking place in the town centre. The average annual increase in growth between 2006 and 2011 was 3.57 per cent. The consultant proposed decreases to the DCCs which include: Single family with a 5 per cent decrease; Townhouse, 4 per cent decrease; Apartment (per unit) a 7 per cent decrease and a 13 per cent per square metre decrease in commercial.
The proposed road projects include the Throup Road collector with a cost estimate of $2.9 million; Maple Avenue/Hwy. 14 signal, $375,000; Murray Road road widening, $1.25 million; Goodmere Road collector $1.32 million; Waterview Stree collector road, $1.33 million; Church Road collector widening, $1.94; and Grant Road collector, $1.58 million.
The Throup Road collector road will cost the district $1.43 or 48 per cent of the total cost, and the Maple Avenue signalization will cost the district $181,950. Other projects, which are not in a priority order will cost the district approximately 10 per cent of the total cost. Total district responsibility for all the projects listed is $3,361,786.01 with a total cost estimate of $10,762,391.22 with a DCC cost recovery of $7,400,605.21.
District engineer Elizabeth Nelson said that projects would be added as funds came up.
Councillor Rick Kasper asked whether fees could be kept the same but the time frame spread over 15 years as opposed to 10 years.
Some discussion ensued on the wastewater portion of DCCs and what was a priority considering the wastewater system was only six years old while the roads needed help.
“This is not about fixing up infrastructure,”said Smith, “it’s about expansion.”
A proposed wastewater program would see the district responsible for $10.86 million in costs for pump stations, force mains, gravity mains and sewer installation. The district’s would be responsible for $1.58 million in costs with DCCs covering the remaining $9.27 million.
The new DCC bylaw will come into effect once the bylaw is given fourth and final reading. Subdivisions that are in-stream prior to the fourth reading are entitled to a one year grace period by legislation, and complete building permits (in process) are exempt from rate increases.
The next step is to meet with the public and development industry.
“I see this as important and consistent with the priorities council has established,” said Mayor Wendal Milne. “Let’s get some input and make some decisions — let’s move forward.”