Saanich council approved a temporary policy on community amenity contributions for developments, to guide staff and council until a permanent policy is approved, likely in late 2022. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich council approved a temporary policy on community amenity contributions for developments, to guide staff and council until a permanent policy is approved, likely in late 2022. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich staff, council gain help in amenity package negotiations with developers

8-1 vote puts temporary policy in place, more clarity provided for now

An interim policy regarding community amenity contributions (CAC) moved forward with an 8-1 vote by Saanich council on July 19.

The temporary policy seeks to provide guidance for council, staff, developers, and the public to help clarify parameters for negotiations on rezoning, height variances for new buildings and more.

In a report, staff recommended a 50-per-cent CAC exemption for rental housing projects. The approved motion stated that applications received up to one month after the adoption of the interim policy should be subject to a CAC target rate of $3,000-$5,000 per unit.

CACs approved by council in rezoning or variance decisions on developments typically include subsidized units in a project, or financial contributions to such public amenities as the affordable housing trust fund, parks and open spaces initiatives, and onsite childcare facilities.

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“If you bring forward a complete application in the next 18 months for a rental project, for example, you won’t be paying community amenities, it’s a way to try to help de-risk the financing, ” said Mayor Fred Haynes.

The temporary policy will be replaced with a formal CAC and inclusionary housing regulations, once developed and approved by council. The permanent policy is expected to be implemented approximately 18 months from now.


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