Revelstoke council selects DCC option for further detailing and feedback

Revelstoke city council has decided on an option to pursue in regards to their Development Cost Charges Bylaw update.

The option, referred to as Option 5.1, was selected during Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, in which DCC discussions were continued after council requested more options at Tuesday’s regular council meeting.

While the option was selected for bylaw drafting, council was in agreement that the current decision will only act as a starting point to allow for a deeper dive into information, leading to an official decision with help from public feedback.

“What we’re doing is we’re bringing back a bylaw, we’re bringing back more information so that we can get this out to the public and it’s a little bit more refined than the first go-round,” said mayor Mark McKee during Thursday’s meeting. “There will be opportunities for the public to engage and let council know what they think about the direction we are starting to move towards.”

Now that the option has been chosen, a bylaw will be drafted in more detail and return to council for a first reading.

Option 5.1 aims to phase in full costs of the DCC until 2023 in order to lower immediate development costs.

Using a Municipal Assist Factor of 60 per cent for sanitary projects, the development charge for a single-family home with water and sanitary sewer will initially, after instating the update, be $20,482.

Currently, the DCC rate is $12,768.

RELATED: How could changing the DCC in Revelstoke affect locals?

Through annual decreases, the Municipal Assist Factor would reduce until it reaches 50 per cent, resulting in a development rate of around $22,000 by 2023.

Through Option 5.1, a multi-family development would face an initial development rate of $13,711.

Commercial developments would be charged $158.26 per square metre.

Industrial developments would pay $283,600 per hectare of a portion of the site to be developed.

Institutional development rate would sit at $116.13 per square metre.

The report, presented by McElhanney consulting firm, noted that the figures may differ in the final bylaw.

The Development Cost Charges Bylaw allows the city to charge developers and use the money to assist paying capital costs of installing services such as roads, sewer and water infrastructure, instead of that responsibility resting exclusively on existing tax payers.

The responsibility of determining DCC rates falls on the municipal government.

Selection of rates can directly impact community development, housing affordability, quality of life, social development and equity among other aspects within the municipality.

Projects eligible for DCC financial use are those which relate to city growth, and are divided into four categories: water, sewer, parks and transportation.

While the cost of development is lowered through the higher Municipal Assist Dactor, the difference would be covered through existing resident taxes.

The option came through an amendment of the original “Option 5” presented in the McElhanney report, which included an initial 70 per cent Municipal Assist Factor for sanitary projects.

Potential increases in resident taxes for the option are currently unavailable due to its alteration, though should be made more clear once the bylaw is drafted.

Council chose to pursue the option as a way to have a background report and bylaw drafted, giving more precise detail into what the path entails. These documents would then be used to gather public feedback.

During Tuesday’s regular council meeting, two options for the DCC update were presented for consideration, however council requested further options be presented, delaying the decision until Thursday.

The original “Option 1” saw a Municipal Assist Factor of one per cent for water, transportation and sanitary, and a 50 per cent factor for parks, leading to a DCC rate of $32,378 for a single family development with water and sanitary service.

Option 2 saw one per cent factors water and transportation and 50 per cent factors for both parks and sanitary, resulting in a $22,498 on the same development. Due to higher the Municipal Assist Factor on sanitary, the difference would be covered through existing resident taxation.

Ultimately, Option 5.1 would result in a settling of Municipal Assist Factors at the same percentage as Option 2 by 2023.

While option choice was delayed until Thursday, council did carry a motion on Tuesday to put the DCC update into effect on June 1, 2019.

Projects eligible for DCC financial use are those which relate to city growth, and are divided into four categories: water, sewer, parks and transportation.

According to a report by director of engineering and public works Mike Thomas during Thursday’s meeting, the largest cost of a project under the proposed bylaw is the sewer treatment upgrades, which has an estimated cost of $30,000,000 with expected grants.

The total cost of projects across all four categories as is outlined in the report is $67,507,087 net grants.

Revelstoke’s DCC bylaw was last reviewed in 2008.

RELATED: City DCC reserves dwindle while review delayed

The current upgrade project, according to the council report from Tuesday, has resulted due to an understanding from the city that existing DCC rates are “inadequate to fund the infrastructure required as a result of development.

Revelstoke McElhanney DCC Report by Revelstoke Editor on Scribd


@NathanKunz1
nathan.kunz@revelstokereview.com

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