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

Sooke takes a step toward Lot A plan

Final proposal anticipated for the end of February

What to know before you tow: Langford bylaw weighs in

Officials don’t recommend personal towing, like viral video viewed 42,000 times and counting

Victoria boxer gets second chance after provincials

Fighter looks to win ‘box-offs,’ take spot at nationals

Push for a new libary in Victoria would also benefit Saanich

Victoria Needs a Hillside Library could also check in with Saanich during their push

Greater Victoria officials take climate emergency request to CRD

CRD environment committee gives support for emergency climate change declaration

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob‘ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Widow’s petition demands mandatory training for truckers

Truck driver Stephen Babij was killed in a head on semi truck collision on Highway 1 in 2017

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Man pulls over to help injured owl, gets hit by SUV

Chase RCMP say owl flew away while they were on scene

Most Read