Development cost charge bylaw inches closer

Township of Spallumcheen road DCC bylaw has been more than a decade in the works

It’s a slow movement, but the Township of Spallumcheen continues to pave the way for a roads development cost charge bylaw.

After waiting nearly a year, the township received approval on the bylaw from the provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Discussions on the proposed bylaw began in 2006 and have been the subject of several open houses.

“It’s been a long-time coming,” said township public works manager Roger Huston.

The Local Government Act provides one year of protection for residents with ‘in-stream’ applications, that is, applications submitted before the bylaw comes into effect.

Ready to give fourth and final reading, Coun. Christine Fraser motioned for an amendment prior to adoption, calling that council withhold fourth and final reading until May 7.

This gives, said Fraser, a three-month grace period to residents who own property in the township as of Feb. 5, 2018.

“I felt like when we did the open house and we said we were going to adopt DCCs, we told people there was going to be a grace period,” said Fraser. “We have a duty to our residents to at least let them know. There could be somebody working on a subdivision application right now and have no idea this is being adopted today.

“If we announced we’re going to be adopting it three months from now, it gives people three months, or anybody close to having their stuff ready, to make that application.”

Coun. Todd York said a grace period won’t make much of a difference.

“It’s been no secret that the development cost charges were coming,” he said.

If adopted on May 7, the rates for DCCs would be $2,521 for single family residential (per parcel); $1,639 for multi-family residential (per parcel); $10.59 for industrial (per square-metre of gross floor area); $7.56 commercial (per square-metre of gross floor area); $10.36 agricultural (per square-metre of gross floor area); and $7.56 institutional (per square-metre of gross floor area).

Fraser’s amended motion passed by a margin of 4-2 with Coun. Ed Hanoski and Mayor Janice Brown opposed. Coun. Andrew Casson excused himself from discussions due to a potential conflict of interest.

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