Developers in Saanich may soon be asked to fork over the money saved from a parking variance to contribute to an alternative transportation fund.
Coun. Susan Brice, who chairs the Planning, Transportation and Economic Development Committee, was expected to bring forward a recommendation Monday night asking for support of the initiative. Money from the fund would help pay for sidewalks, transit and non-vehicular travel.
“Each development is so unique. We’re not, at this time, in a position to recommend a policy that would have applicability across all or the majority of proposals,” Brice said. “However, (the committee) did recommend monetary contributions for this infrastructure fund.”
Money wouldn’t be the be-all-end-all for developers interested in supporting alternative transportation. Council should remain open to other creative options like car share programs and transit passes, Brice said.
“We’re basically saying, ‘Okay, you want a relaxation of ten car spaces because you feel that your development isn’t going to generate the number of vehicles that the zoning bylaw contemplates? Well here are some ways that you can invest in that concept,’” Brice said.
Parking spaces are expensive – costing upwards of $20,000 per stall if built underground. Therefore, Brice anticipates developers will be willing to look at an alternative expense.
“It shouldn’t be, and is not considered new money.”