Qualicum Beach town council is reviewing its Development Cost Charges (DCCs) again.
In 2012, council initiated “a review of barriers to development in the Village Neighbourhood to better understand what the town could do to encourage infill and redevelopment in accordance with the Official Community Plan (OCP),” according to a staff report.
The report said development was occurring on the outskirts, or just outside the town, rather than downtown, despite DCCs being 10 per cent lower there.
As a result of that review, council passed a ‘DCC reduction bylaw’ that added potential reductions in the downtown Village Neighbourhood, including a 30-70 per cent reduction of the residential portion of the DCCs for meeting density targets, 30 per cent for meeting a high environmental standard, a 100 per cent reduction of the commercial DCCs for high density and a 100 per cent reduction for affordable housing. A subsequent DCC reduction bylaw in 2014 eliminated DCCs for secondary suites to match Parksville and the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN).
The staff report gives the example that DCCs for a single family residence after the changes is $11,733 in downtown Qualicum Beach, compared to $14,489 in Parksville, with all of the various categories, like commercial, also being lower in Qualicum Beach.
Both municipalities also collect a $7,337 DCC for the RDN.
The report gives examples of actual DCC reductions. The affordable Kiwanis Housing development would have been charged $94,853, but didn’t pay any DCCs.
Two small developments on Second Avenue received a total of 75 and 89.7 per cent reductions for density and green building, with the larger paying $3,113 instead of $30,230.
A subdivision on Mill Road didn’t receive any reductions.
DCCs are one time charges to offset the costs to the town of new development, the report explains, adding that those costs are not necessarily at the property, and may include things like requiring increased sewer and water capacity in the town.
The item was referred to council’s Jan. 27 committee of the whole meeting for in-depth discussion. Any decisions will be referred to a regular council meeting, with their next scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, February 1 at town hall.