Editorial: Adding up the cost of development

Proposed amendments to the amenity contribution policy elicts response

A good part of the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday night was dedicated to discussing the Amendment of the Community Amenity Contribution Policy. Amenities are what Sooke gets when a developer wants a higher density. Amenities pay for such things as parks and trails, affordable housing, public art, preservation of heritage structures, etc. The amenity contribution allows the district and the developer to give something back to the community.

Staff discovered that with the policy as it is now, there was no revenue coming to the district from development. The amenity payable (in lieu of  parks, affordable housing, etc.) in the town centre was $2,500/unit and outside the town centre $5,000/unit. The idea is to have a positive financial impact to the district, but if the amenity contribution rate was too high it could scare off development.

The amenity contribution was changed in April, 2013 to $1,000/unit in the town centre and $2,000/unit outside the town centre. This has not resulted in more developers lining up to build in Sooke.

Councillor Herb Haldane feels the town is being sterilized by having this policy and no developers were coming to build in Sooke because of the higher cost of doing business. This was countered by a comment in writing from a resident who feels the amenities are necessary to offset capital costs of a variety of socially beneficial projects in the community. Another correspondent stated that Sooke needed to retain its natural amenities and not subsidize development.

The COW decided to bring this back to the table for further discussion and public input.

The question remains — should developers pay amenities? Should the district “subsidize” development? And, what is the real cost (environmental, social, financial) for higher densities and development in Sooke?

Just Posted

Time-lapse video shows weekend work on McKenzie Interchange project

Construction crews place concrete underpass bridge beams

Years of ‘horrific, violent accidents’ at Thetis Lake prompt plea to public

View Royal fire chief asks for an end to alcohol consumption at busy park

‘Best in the country’: Formerly homeless man praises Victoria’s outreach services

Jay W. was living on the streets of downtown Victoria in 2018

City of Victoria plans workshop to determine fate of Sir John A. Macdonald statue

Conversations will happen as part of a reconciliation dialogue series in May 2020

Islanders have new cancer screening option with $6.5 M diagnostic suite in Victoria

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

EDITORIAL: Trees at the heart of Sooke

Two largely unrelated stories surfaced this week that might lead one to… Continue reading

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Most Read