Parksville city council looks to increase DCCs

The charges are meant to have developers pay the costs to the city of increased infrastructure costs

City council is looking at a difficult decision on an appropriate increase to development cost charges (DCCs).

In response to the 20-year capital expenditure plan being passed in May, Parksville city council received a proposed bylaw which would see the charges increase by an average of more than 50 per cent in five different categories.

The charges are meant to have developers pay the costs to the city of increased infrastructure costs (road, storm, water, sewer and parkland) associated with new buildings, explained mayor Chris Burger.

Pamela Lovegrove, city manager of budgets and special projects, presented the new bylaw and explained the rates haven’t changed in five years. Director of Finance Lucky Butterworth said the city has fallen behind.

Butterworth said development in the city has only been half of what was projected five years ago, meaning the city only collected half of the projected DCCs.

The capital plan projects infrastructure costs over the next 20 years of $46.2 million, including $14.5 million for roads and $26.8 million for water, but Lovegrove admits the water numbers are just estimates as the city is in the early planning stages of a new water treatment facility and doesn’t have detailed costs yet.

The total projected costs are then divided by the number of structures, splitting the cost equally.

The proposed new rates include $20,895 per single family residential unit (it’s currently $14,473), $151 per sq.m of multi-family residential and $153 per sq.m of commercial space.

“We’re caught between a rock and a hard place,” summed up coun. Marc Lefebvre of council’s recognition that they need the funds to keep up the city infastructure but don’t want to scare away development.

Burger pointed out if new developments don’t pay their own way the existing residents are left making up the difference through property tax increases.

While each council questioned the size of the increase, they all agreed in principal the rates needed to go up.

Council passed first reading unanimously sending it to an information open house next Wednesday, July 17 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the Parksville Civic and Technology Centre Forum (city hall — 100 Jensen Avenue East). There will be presentations at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

A copy of the presentation made to council is available at:

www.parksville.ca/cms.asp?wpID=41.