Revelstoke mayor Mark McKee said he wants to ensure the community that changes to the city’s development cost charge bylaw are a long way from being finalized.
McKee addressed concerns related to the current DCC bylaw update process at the regular council meeting on Tuesday, June 26. Controversy arose when an open house meeting on June 21 drew social media attention and had some accusing the city of not following proper procedures for updating DCC’s as set out by the provincial government.
“I want to explain to the community that this is a process that is moving forward, and to assure this process is not a done deal. It’s actually just getting started,” said McKee.
Video: Mayor Mark McKee makes a statement on the ongoing Development Cost Charges process at the June 26 regular meeting. (Note: audio quality from the City of Revelstoke video feed is poor.)
McKee said the current council has budgeted to allow for the DCC upgrade process currently taking place including the hiring of outside consultants. McKee said there have been a number of sessions allowing for stakeholder input which is part of the process.
The June 21 meeting drew criticism from some attending due to a lack of clear communication and explanation. Craig Tennock, who sits on the Revelstoke economic development commission, was present at the meeting. He sent an email to the city after the open house, which he also shared with the Mountaineer. In the email Tennock said he felt council, city staff and consultants missed an opportunity to engage the community in a positive, relationship manner and did not address potential impacts.
“There are a number of pieces and questions left unanswered and clearly the DCC proposal is of major concern to the community and that is causing stress — residents are very concerned about the impacts of their social well being,” said Tennock.
Mackenzie Village developer David Evans said in an email to stakeholders, which he also shared with the Mountaineer, that the city did not consider all options prior to presenting proposed drastic increases to current DCC, saying the city of Revelstoke has “blatantly failed to make any offset for the benefit of these projects to the existing users/community as they are obliged to do.”
McKee said the current process the city is engaged in includes exploring different options and engaging stakeholders and having their input is a valuable part of the process. He said city staff and consultants are working on incorporating what makes sense and a report will be presented to council at the Tuesday, July 10 meeting.
“There are different options available and council can pick the options they think are best. The bottom line is it will be a council decision,” he said.
At the June 26 council meeting McKee said he recognized an atmosphere of angst has been created for many in the community, saying so far council has only looked at a draft report. He said council are well aware of the potential impacts on business and growth in the community and he is confident at the end of the day an updated DCC bylaw will balance those needs.
It is likely city staff’s report and recommendations could receive a first and second reading at the July 10 meeting and would then go out for public comment prior to third reading and adoption.
For background on the Development Cost Charges process, see our previous story here.