Case Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA), said the “large” DCC increase proposed by Saanich could slow or halt development entirely. (Black Press File Photo)

VRBA warns Saanich of negative consequences if new DCC bylaw approved

Builders association says the cost of increasing DCCs will be borne by consumers

The Victoria Residential Builders’ Association (VRBA) warns the “large” increase to development cost charges (DCCs) slated by a new bylaw recently passed by Saanich could slow or halt residential development in the municipality entirely.

READ MORE: New Saanich bylaw to reduce cost to taxpayers for infrastructure upgrades

On November 25, Saanich council unanimously passed a new bylaw to increase DCCs, which have not been increased since 1997. Coun. Nathalie Chambers put forward the motion in council, stating: “for me, everybody paying their fair share and inter-generational equity is an important part of my platform”.

VRBA Executive Director Casey Edge said the large increase does not provide stability or certainty for developers and in not doing so is in conflict with the provincial government’s DCC best practices guide. He said this undermines the development industry’s ability to plan their projects.

Edge said part of the problem is that Saanich wants to apply the new rates to projects already costed out and submitted to council. “If the product you’re selling is no longer marketable, it won’t go forward,” Edge said.

Edge said developers assume risk when developing a new property because the market can change from the time a proposal is approved by council to the time the development hits the housing market. He said increasing DCCs by the rate Saanich proposes will further increase risk for developers, which could affect how much new housing reaches the market.

Edge said this means Saanich residents will miss out on amenities and revenue planned for developments already submitted to Saanich if they don’t go forward as a result of the DCC increase. This is just one of the costs the VRBA said consumers will bear.

READ ALSO: Supportive and low-income housing doesn’t hurt nearby property values, B.C. study says

“The costs are always borne by consumers, which is why the cost of housing goes up,” Edge said. VRBA member Gordon English also said “any and all costs related to the development of a property are passed on to the consumer and are reflected in the increased cost of new homes and higher rents”.

Senior Vice President of Real Estate at Wesbild, Steve Forrest, said in a letter to Saanich council dated November 22 that the proposed DCC bylaw represents an increase of 390 per cent. The VRBA agreed with this characterization.

The VRBA and Forrest have put forward a number of suggestion for Saanich to reduce the increase in DCCs. These include raising the rate by 2 per cent per year in line with inflation for a total increase of 40 per cent, removing a portion of costs that make up DCCs (such as park acquisitions), or delay the increase by 36 months to allow in-stream projects to be completed first.

The bylaw still needs to approved by the provincial government, which council said could take some time.

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow @yrlocaljourno

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Southern resident orca L41 considered missing and feared dead

The orca was last spotted in Aug. 2019 when photographed in western Strait of Juan de Fuca

West Shore Pickleball Association serves up idea for View Royal tennis court

‘We don’t have a place to call home’, says avid pickleball member

Indigenous youth arrested during 15-hour occupation to hold press conference Wednesday morning

The speakers are expected to condemn police, RCMP actions towards Indigenous people

VIDEO: Saanich family competes on first season of ‘Family Feud Canada’

Charania family will face off against the Torres family from Hamilton, Ont.

Oak Bay confirms first heritage conservation area

Heritage bylaw for The Prospect neighbourhood in final phase

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

Sooke Minor Fastball to host coaching clinic

Clinic ideal for those planning to coach U6 to U18 teams

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Most Read