Saanich is asking the public to help them hammer out the final details on updates to local development cost charges.
DCCs are the fees collected from land developers, on a user pay basis, to help fund the cost of the new infrastructure needed to service new development. DCCs ensure developers contribute fairly to the costs required to develop new infrastructure, parkland and park projects.
The update to the DCC program includes updated growth projections based on a 20-year planning horizon (2018 to 2037); updated programs for water, sewer, drainage, transportation, parkland acquisition and park projects; and draft DCC program and rates. The update is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Saanich’s proposed development cost charge for a single residential home is $16,360. This compares to a rate of $13,579 in Langford, while Victoria’s rate is $6,558. Proposed charges for a 10-lot subdivision, however, would see Saanich come in lower than Langford – $163,600 compared to $264,996. Victoria’s rate is $65,825.
The head of the local builders association has already weighed in on the Saanich charges.
“There are already very good developers and builders that would rather not do business in Saanich if it can be avoided due to costs, obstructions and delays,” said Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association.
He said Saanich is proposing one of the highest DCC fees for new housing in the CRD while the municipality has a reputation for a slow and challenging development processes. Edge says this sends the message that Saanich considers housing primarily a source of revenue, with affordability being an afterthought.
Developers and other members of the public can learn more about the development cost charge bylaw update and upcoming information sessions. A development community session has been set for 1:15 to 3 p.m. July 25 in the Kirby Room of the Saanich Police Building, 760 Vernon Ave. A public information session will be held July 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Pacific Dogwood Room at Saanich Commonwealth Place, 4636 Elk Lake Drive.
You can find out more about the DCC program and bylaw update at the district website Saanich.ca.