An excavator tears down the old building at the corner of Bowker and Cadboro Bay that had been there 94 years. The site is now home to Abstract Development’s Bowker collection. (Black Press File Photo)

Development charges won’t fix Oak Bay’s looming infrastructure costs, says mayor

DCCs will have small effect on infrastructure budget

As Oak Bay continues to consider the implementation of development cost charges, the mayor has words of caution.

Don’t expect the introduction of community amenity charges (CACs) and development cost charges (DCCs) to rake in millions of dollars towards infrastructure improvements as they do in Langford.

Mayor Kevin Murdoch said there is a misconception that CACs and DCCs will play a significant role in addressing the looming infrastructure costs.

READ MORE: Saanich set to raise development cost charges by 180 per cent

“It will not,” Murdoch said. “The DCC and CAC dollar amounts will help. But if we go back and look at what they would have earned int the last seven years, it’s around $40,000 to $50,000 per year, sometimes less, and that’s even less than a quarter per cent of our taxes.”

Langford, which is known for its accelerated growth, received development cost charges of $6,606,753 in 2019 (expected) and $3,479,383 in 2018. Those monies are reserved and offset the infrastructure costs incurred with the increase in housing and building stock.

DCCs are restricted by provincial registration. DCC policy is to look at the current state of all main water lines, sewer, roads, etc., its condition and capacity, and how it would be impacted by new development.

Once adopted, both the CACs and DCCs will kick in with a rezoning and the amounts will be based on units. The timeline is in fairly short order and can be expected in a matter of months, he said.

“In fairness to Oak Bay staff, it’s important to note they’ve already been negotiate for CACs,” Murdoch noted. “The difference is now it will be in a policy.

“It’s not a big solution, but it’s part of the puzzle.”

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