Development cost charges considered to fund regional parks

Development cost charges considered to fund regional parks

DCCs to assist in funding land acquisitions and development

The Regional District of Nanaimo is working on an equitable method of financing parks for participating jurisdictions.

Neilsen-Welch Consulting was commissioned to review the funding models in use by the RDN for regional and community parks.

The review concluded that equity would be fostered greatly by allocating acquisition, capital development and operating costs using a combination (50 per cent/50 per cent) of converted assessment and population for regional parks. It also highlighted the need to introduce development cost charges (DCCs) to assist in funding land acquisitions and development for regional parks.

Town of Qualicum Beach Director Teunis Westbroek, who has been advocating for fair funding contribution for all municipalities and electoral areas, raised the lack of DCCs at the RDN committee of the whole meeting on Jan 8.

Westbroek pointed out that there had been instances where the Town of Qualicum Beach had contributed towards parks acquisition outside their municipality while others jurisdictions declined to be involved.

He cited the purchase of Moorecroft Regional Park in Nanoose as an example where the Town of Qualicum Beach assisted in funding the acquisition while Nanoose refused to help build the town’s swimming pool as it was too far. Westbroek believes the introduction of DCCs will help address funding for park acquisitions in the future and make it fair for all.

At the regular board meeting on March 26, the board reconsidered a motion that was passed on Feb. 26 for staff to prepare a plan on Development Cost Charges for Regional District of Nanaimo Regional Parks for review by the Regional Parks and Trails Select Committee.

Area G Director Clarke Gourlay made an amendment that the board approved that staff prepare a plan on Development Cost Charges for Regional District of Nanaimo Regional Parks for review by the Regional Parks and Trails Select Committee and Electoral Area Community Parks for review by the Electoral Area Services Committee.