We look to editorial comment for a balance of facts to become better informed. With respect, I believe yours of December 11, 2013, “Adding up the cost of development” missed the mark.
The amended Community Amenity Contribution Policy was debated by the LUEC and its recommendation was adopted by council only eight months ago. At that time, the district’s planner stated that the policy had never produced a significant amount of benefit and hence the decision to restructure the fee schedule was made. The fact that there has been no revenue from the revised policy in eight months is an indication that perhaps there is a greater problem.
The policy was intended to give developers the opportunity to enhance density in a given zone and pay for the privilege of the benefit.
Councillor Haldane is correct in that developers have generally retreated from Sooke. Our property values have retreated as well. Developers are in business for profit. The community which welcomes development will prosper.
Developers build roads, sidewalks, streetlights, schools, fire hall and homes and neighbourhoods for all of us and yes they do it for profit. The district in turn gets the benefit of an expanded tax base and revenue to support the desired social and artistic programs for the community. A developer pays not only for the cost of building infrastructure but additional Development Cost Charges to pay for the operation and expansion of existing roads and municipal services. I am unaware of any municipal subsidies to development in Sooke at present but any would be welcomed no doubt.
Good development requires cooperation of all the stakeholders in the community. Let’s stop bitching about the small stuff and focus on getting things going again.
If you are going to add up the true cost of development, please include all the facts and then consider the cost of no development.
Editor’s note: The amended Community Amenity Contribution Policy 2013 has not been adopted by District of Sooke council.