Unanimous vote taken -against this idea.
Mayor Martin Johansen says:
“Topics of discussion around the request included future tax exemptions, benefits to the developer, impact on rental rates etc. One item of concern centered around the current DCC Bylaw review. As this review is not complete, we do not have the information to know if our DDC projects are properly funded moving forward and if we were to approve this request what would the impact be on future DCC levels. Based on the discussions and that answers to many of these questions are unknown, Council choose not to support the staff recommendation at this time.”
Initial recommendation from staff that went before council:
That Council direct Staff to bring forth amendments to Development Cost Charge Bylaw No.1172 to provide a 50% reduction for not-for-profit rental housing and for-profit affordable rental housing under the provision of a housing agreement registered on title.
Development Cost Charges are paid by a developer through the creation of new parcels via subdivision and during construction of a multi-family, industrial, or commercial building. The purpose of DCC’s are to assist local governments in the capital costs associated with providing, constructing, altering or expanding sewage, water, draining and highway facilities as well as providing and improving park land.
The affordable housing project at 5931 Airport Street is requesting a waiving or reduction of the $225,000 DCC’s payable at time of building permit issuance. The current DCC Bylaw No. 1172
does not have provisions for waiving or reducing DCC’s for affordable housing buildings, or any of the “eligible developments” listed in Section 563 (1) of the Community Charter. The Town of
Oliver is in the process of drafting a new DCC bylaw which could see provisions included for reductions or waiving of DCC’s for these types of projects. The Airport Street development is set to commence in early 2020, prior to the adoption of the new DCC bylaw in mid to late 2020.
Staff are seeking Council’s direction on the appetite for reducing or waiving DCC’s for affordable housing, which will in turn give the BC Housing project team some further comfort in their
budgeting process. Staff will work on the details of the bylaw amendment based on the recommendation from Council. At this time, Staff do not recommend waiving or reducing DCC’s for supportive living housing or the subdivision of small lots designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or for developments that are designed to result in a low environmental impact. This is primarily for the reason that these options have not been thoroughly explored at this time.
Staff are recommending amendments to the DCC bylaw to include provisions for reducing DCC’s by 50% for non-for-profit rental housing or for-profit affordable rental housing projects with a
housing agreement registered on title. This agreement would ensure that the form of tenure of the housing units are limited to rental tenure. This agreement would require that housing units
be rented for an initial monthly rate that is less than the median market rent levels most recently published by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The agreement will also be required to be valid for at least 20 years. Staff considered that a 50% reduction is a win-win, in that it assists and encourages necessary affordable housing projects in our community, while
also continuing to provide funding for future capital projects.
Randy Houle, Director of Development Services said this amendment to the bylaw would result in a decrease in DCCs received by the Town, which help fund future capital projects.
“That being said, this amendment can be viewed as the Town’s contribution to much-needed affordable housing projects,” he said.
Council heard discussion that the DCC bylaw needs to be reworked and revised and until such time that that project complete…council should not be granting relief.
Houle noted the new affordable housing project at 5931 Airport Street is requesting the waiving or reduction of the $225,000 in DCCs.
The bylaw currently has no provision to waive these fees.
Houle said staff do not recommend waiving or reducing DCCs for supportive living housing or developments that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
But Houle indicated that staff could consider a 50 per cent reduction as a win-win situation that assists and encourages affordable housing projects in the community.