North Cowichan considers raising development charges for new construction. (File photo)

North Cowichan considers raising development fees

Council asks for staff report

North Cowichan is considering raising its development fees for new construction projects.

Development fees are typically charged by municipalities to developers to pay for increased infrastructure costs required due to the increased needs for services arising from development of an area.

Coun. Tom Walker said he’s not necessarily in favour of increasing development fees, but it’s something that should be monitored from time to time.

“I think we need a review and check with neighbouring jurisdictions to determine if we are competitive,” he said at the council meeting on Nov. 15.

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Currently, the municipality charges $600 for development fees to new multi-family, commercial and industrial projects in which the structures are less than 200 square metres, and $1,200 for projects larger than 200 square metres.

The fee is $600 for development applications for marine waterfront areas in North Cowichan, and for “hazard lands”, which are on property with steep slopes that are more than 20 per cent, lands vulnerable to interface wildfire and lands on flood plains and coastal properties.

But Coun. Joyce Behnsen said she was of the understanding that development fees in North Cowichan were already recently reviewed.

“The development community has indicated that they want input into any decision that could see development charges increased,” she said.

“I suggest that until our official community plan is reviewed, revised, and brought up to date, discussions on increasing development charges is premature.”

The motion passed with Behnsen opposed.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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