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Sicamous updating DCC bylaw with focus on carriage houses

Last updated in 2018, council reviews DCCs to align with inflation
Sicamous operations manager Darrell Symbaluk reviews the proposed changes to the development cost charges bylaw at the Nov. 1 open house, with input from that being forwarded to council for review. (Heather Black - Eagle Valley News)

As Sicamous grows and changes, so too must the development cost charges (DDCs) to help pay for necessary infrastructure upgrades.

The district is in the process of reviewing the fee structure, and held a open house for public input on Wednesday, Nov. 1. The bylaw, which hasn’t been updated since 2018, is currently charging much less than other local jurisdictions, while projects and costs have also changed since present rate was set. DCCs, generally paid by developers at the subdivision stage for single detached lots, or at the issuance of a building permit for new commercial, industrial or multiple unit residential buildings, are used to fund the infrastructure required to service growth, including roads, water, sewer and parks.

As the existing bylaw stands, DCCs are $6,577 per lot,while higher density designations have different rates on a per unit basis. As Sicamous’ residential rates are lower than the closest comparison of Enderby at $7,427, council is now considering increasing the amount to $12,107. One of the main focuses of the proposed changes is in regards to carriage houses/detached secondary units.

“That’s the big, burning question for us out of this whole thing,” operations manager Darrell Symbaluk said. “Is what are we going to do about carriage homes?”

In a report from Urban Systems, there are two proposed options for the district to consider; either charging the same as a single-family dwelling at $12,107, or as a mobile home subdivision or unit at a lesser amount of $8,777.04. The latter, however, would increase the amounts charged for other land uses, though the increase would be minimal. In looking at that comparison, of a carriage house having a typically smaller footprint than a regular home, Urban Systems said it also begs the question of whether or not single family dwellings should pay more according to square footage as the potential for more occupants could have a bigger impact on infrastructure.

Symbaluk confirmed the district has received input from people interested in building carriage houses, as the associated DCC charge could encourage or discourage growth in that sector.

“DCC costs associated with secondary dwellings such as carriage houses will be topics of discussion for council going forward as the bylaw continues to get refined,” he stated, adding that people can still provide input but that comments gathered at the meeting will be forwarded to council”And the feedback received at the public open house will be summarized and presented to council for consideration before formal adoption of the bylaw takes place.”

The Urban Systems report can be found in the Oct. 11 committee meeting agenda at

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About the Author: Heather Black

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