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)

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

HousingSaanich

Just Posted

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

A multi-building residential development on Erskine Lane in View Royal was approved by council on June 15. (Courtesy Town of View Royal)
Dire shortage of three-bedroom apartments, says View Royal mayor

New development to feature wide range of rental units, amenities for tenants

Sooke RCMP seized cocaine, ketamine, MDMA, prescription pills, $6,000 cash, a machete and pepper spray during a bust June 15. (Courtesy of Sooke RCMP)
Sooke RCMP seize drugs, machete, pepper spray

Man arrested near Evergreen Centre following drug deal

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

View Royal mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

Sooke Fire Rescue firefighters evacuate an injured hiker on Mount Manuel Quimper in March 2021. Sooke will soon be moving to a new fire dispatch service. (Facebook – Sooke Fire Rescue)
Proposed fire dispatch deal could save Sooke thousands of dollars

New dispatch needed after Langford drops out of CRD service

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

Most Read