The Regional District of Nanaimo wants to standardize its community amenities contributions policy.
With the regional district experiencing continued growth, particularly in the residential sector, the demands on public facilities and services are also on the rise.
To cope with the increase in residents and businesses in the area, the RDN is ensuring that it capitalizes on the community amenities contributions through the development application process.
“We need to ensure acquisition of amenities is consistent, transparent and equitable across all electoral areas within the RDN,” said Kim Fowler, manager of long range planning, energy and sustainability. “A CAC policy will help to ensure development is acceptable to the community and the appropriate infrastructure amenities and services are in place to accommodate continued growth.”
A report, presented to the RDN’s Electoral Area Services Committee on Feb. 4, recommended that the board direct staff to develop a work program and budget for the creation of a CAC policy in 2022. The committee passed the motion.
Fowler said a review of the RDN’s Regional Growth Strategy has shown that the six electoral areas’ Official Community Plans lack policy guidelines on community amenities in some of the more dated plans.
Currently, the RDN negotiates CAC at the rezoning stage by requesting applicants via a letter for voluntary community amenities. They include parkland dedication, trails and cash-in-lieu in varying amounts.
The plan is create a clear list of amenities and they may include water tower, child care and affordable housing that developers can anticipate when they apply for rezoning.
“Those are all the things that the process we’re going to go through that we’re proposing that would be reviewed to determine what the type you would want and the other key thing is the amount,” said Fowler. “And we’re getting reports from current planning it’s everything from nothing to a lot.”