Revelstoke city council to discuss proposed development cost charge updates

Chief administrative officer expresses concern that some opinions on proposed changes could result in a break-down of community cohesion.

Revelstoke City Hall. Photo: Revelstoke Mountaineer file photo

Revelstoke city council is set to discuss proposed increases to the city’s development cost charges bylaw at the regular council meeting this Tuesday. This will be the first time council will discuss the recommended DCC updates since requesting staff look review the existing bylaw.

Earlier this year, council requested staff undertake the update project due to concerns existing DCC rates were inadequate. The development cost charges bylaw has not been updated since 2008.

The proposed new rates have been the subject of controversy in the community lately. Both the real estate and construction sectors have voiced concerns over the impacts of significant increases to DCCs, saying they will negatively impact building and real estate within the community. (You can read previous coverage on concerns expressed by the construction and real estate sectors here).

In a report to council, chief administrative officer Allan Chabot said determining DCC rates is a complex exercise and noted staff have received a large number of feedback and comments from various community members on the proposed increases. (Read a summary of public comments received here.) The responses include a diverse range of opinions, some of which Chabot said are difficult to respond to without considerable time and research.

“I am concerned that, left unaddressed, these opinions could have negative impacts on community cohesion, outside perceptions of our community, satisfaction with municipal services, trust in political and municipal legitimacy, fairness of decision-making, affordability, development potential and the appropriateness of investment, etc.,” said Chabot.

The staff report lays out multiple scenarios for the development cost charges bylaw. One scenario includes increasing the “municipal assist factor” for sewer works from 1% to 50%. This would reduce the cost of sewer fees to new development, but the costs would have to be taken up elsewhere, likely through sewer funds collected through taxation.

Recommendations in the report include asking council to receive the summary of community responses for information, setting the recommended DCC project rates, and asking city staff to prepare an updated DCC bylaw based on rate tables resulting from the municipal assist factors.

City council meetings are on second and fourth Tuesdays at 3 p.m. in Revelstoke City Council Chambers, which is located next to the Craft Bierhaus on Second Street East. The meetings are open to the public.