Langford council is close to approval of a reduction in most of the fees the city charges developers that go toward buying and renovating city parkland.
Under proposed changes to the city’s structure for development cost charges (DCC) – the fees charged to a developer after a building permit is approved – only single-family home developments would see an overall increase from $2,990 to $3,357. The end number included an increase to the portion charged for the park improvement fund ($3,146 versus $1,890), but a significant decrease in the money going towards the new parkland fund (down to $211 from $1,100.)
Small lot, duplexes and townhouse developments will have a slight increase in the portion going toward park improvements – up to $1,948 from $1,890 – but a drop in fees going to new parkland, down to $133 from the previous $1,100. The changes result in an overall reduction of these fees by just under a third.
Multi-family developments, such as condominium or apartment buildings, saw the biggest reduction in DCCs, more than 50 per cent. Fees for parkland improvements dropped to $1,348 from $1,890 and fees for new parkland dropped to $90 from $1,100 – fees charged on a per-unit basis.
The fee structure was last refreshed in 1997, when a flat rate of $1,890 was set for park improvements and a flat rate of $1,100 was charged for new parkland.
The decision was made based on public feedback and a review of the city’s project list, looking at how development has shifted, completed projects and current construction costs.
Public feedback was gathered through an online survey and targeted outreach to youth, seniors, and low-income residents. The consultation determined residents’ top five priorities were protecting greenspace (45 per cent), more trees and greenspace throughout the city (41 per cent), better trail connectivity (40 per cent), more recreation for older children (22 per cent) and more indoor recreation (22 per cent).
Council passed first, second and third readings for the proposed bylaw changes at their Feb. 22 meeting. A vote on adopting the bylaw has yet to come before council.
A motion that council revisit the development cost charges bylaw every five years was also approved.