Council wants to explore options beyond DCCs

City staff brought a draft bylaw of Development Cost Charges, which council discussed and was unhappy with.

City staff brought a draft bylaw of Development Cost Charges (DCC) at Monday’s Committee of Whole meeting.

The draft bylaw included five options for DCCs, which council discussed and, ultimately, was unhappy with, because the report gave little detail on other tools the city could use for charges.

DCCs are charged to developers when properties are subdivided. This allows the city to collect funding for infrastructure additions that may be needed to accommodate new development.

Coun. Kathy Moore said that in most cases DCCs are applied in fast growth areas. adding that the AECOM report that the staff used as a reference for the draft bylaw was from a time of faster growth.

“We’re not in boom times now, but we were four years ago and we may in four years hence, so we need to think about a long-term view – a longer term view than just what’s happening right now.”

Moore said that she doesn’t think bringing the DCCs up to higher levels, as suggested in the report, would work for Rossland.

“I think there may be other ways to go,” she said. “You look at the list of communities that have DCCs and there aren’t that many small towns.”

She hopes that the city can find other tools that would still allow them to collect from developers.

CAO Victor Kumar said that another option is to charge connection fees rather than DCCs. For instance, without DCCs a new developer would have to have an assessment done on how the properties would effect infrastructure downstream.

Kumar gave an example of a new developer wanting to subdivide a property into 500 lots. The developer would have to do their analysis and come back with a report.

Kumar said the city could then use Section 219 and property buyers would know that the city can charge them down the road for infrastructure costs.

“At least we have a tool that will do the job.

In that case the city would need to take out a short term loan to begin projects. The loan would be against the property.

Kumar said it’s like a parcel tax; if the city doesn’t plan ahead of time, they are instead dealing with 500 individual  property owners, instead of just the one developer.

Council have now asked that staff provide a recommendation of the combination of cross-charge tools that staff believe would best meet the needs of the community.