Development Cost Charges (DCCs) may not be the right fit for Rossland. That was the message that came out of Monday’s committee of the whole meeting on the subject.
The committee voted to forward a recommendation to get rid of DCCs to an upcoming regular council meeting.
DCCs are upfront charges, by the city, to developers when they subdivide a property to pay for the infrastructure costs.
CAO Victor Kumar explained that when they were first implemented the rate of Rossland growth was higher, now it has slowed and so DCCs no longer are functional for the city.
DCCs look at the potential impact of to the infrastruction in way of new roads, sidewalks and parks.
The reports that came back to council showed that Rossland was not meeting the necessary number of new developments to warrant the that type of charge.
“Based on our construction and all of that, for small communities, this one doesn’t work,” Kumar said, explaining that these projects will not materialize in a reasonable timeframe.
For that reason, he said, DCCs are not reasonable and there are other rules available for a municipality to accomplish the same thing, but more effectively.
Rather than the city charging the fees at the time of development, they could have agreements to tax as the properties are sold.
He said it’s a misnomer that developers pay the charge as it is actually passed down to the home buyer.
Mayor Greg Granstrom said that they are trying to make sure the developer pays for the added costs to infrastructure that the development will cause, rather than general taxes.
Kumar suggested one option is to make developers pay at the time they sell the property so that the developer is not paying up front with the possibility of never selling the property.
Coun. Kathy Wallace said she was in favour of the direction that staff was taking, but she wondered if there were any precedents in B.C. where a DCC bylaw has been repealed and what the consequences to the funds payed in were.
Kumar said there were a lot of precedents and the funds would be kept by the city to be used in another infrastructure project, and not payed back.