Cranbrook, BC (April 25, 2022) – Important proposed updates to the City of Cranbrook’s Development Cost Charge bylaw came forward for three readings by Council at their regular meeting Monday night.
Development Cost Charges (DCCs) are funds collected from land developers by a municipality to offset some of the costs of new infrastructure (water, sewer, roads) to service the needs of the growing use as a result of new subdivisions and developments being added in the City. The infrastructure installed inside a new subdivision or development is paid for by the developer.
Council also directed staff to forward the DCC bylaw the Inspector of Municipalities for approval.
The City’s DCC bylaw has not been updated since 2004 and costs for infrastructure and roads construction have risen significantly over the last 18 years. There is a cost to service new roads, water, and sewer due to new development growth in the City. Along with new development comes more traffic, more demands for water in homes and business, and more sewage flowing in the pipes, these road, water and sewer systems need to be expanded to deal with the growth and these expansions cost money. The DCC review is to determine how much of that cost should be paid by the developer and how much of that cost should be paid for by the taxpayers, ensuring there is a fair balance in place.
“It’s important that this bylaw is kept current, as infrastructure costs have jumped significantly in the last18 years,” says Mayor Lee Pratt. “Although there is a significant proposed increase in DCC’s over the next four years, we need to ensure that new growth pays for growth and the brunt of the cost is not resting on the backs of our existing residents.”
DCCs are paid by developers who create new lots at the time of subdivision, or who build new commercial, industrial, institutional, and apartment buildings. When someone buys a lot to build a house the DCCs will have already been paid. If a new single-family house were being built at a cost of $600,000 for the lot and the house, as an example, the developer would have paid DCCs of about $11,000 to $12,000 for the new lot. That means roughly 1.8% to 2% of the total value of that home and lot will help pay for the installation of the infrastructure needed to support growth.
“Right now, the current DCC bylaw really places a heavier burden on our current taxpayer, and we are expecting this bylaw update will help balance that burden out, so that development pays for a fair portion of the costs to service new development while ensuring that we remain competitive with other communities,” Mayor Pratt adds.
The DCC bylaw is scheduled to come forward to Council for adoption later this spring, after approval by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
The City plans to phase in the new DCCs over a three-year period.