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Surrey council hikes development cost charges rates by 4.3%

This is related to parkland acquisition, roads, sewer and water to address inflationary cost increases for capital construction in 2024
Surrey City Hall. (Photo: Anna Burns)

Surrey city council voted Monday to increase the rates of development cost charges by 4.3 per cent for 2024 related to parkland acquisition, roads, sewer and water to address inflationary cost increases for capital construction.

A corporate report that came before council Feb. 26 indicates that upon approval at third reading, which the related bylaw received, the bylaw is to be forwarded to the provincial inspector of municipalities for approval and once that is achieved, the city clerk will then bring the 2024 Development Cost Charge Bylaw back to council for final adoption.

The bylaw is reviewed each year to make sure DCC rates can fund the city’s “growth component” of its 10-year servicing plan for roads, water, sewer, drainage, and parkland acquisition.

Meanwhile, city staff recommended that drainage DCC rates not be increased this year.

“In addition, the city is eliminating the West Clayton premium DCC because the city-wide DCC rates are sufficient to fund servicing in West Clayton,” the report advised.

On the affordable housing front, the bylaw currently holds exempt construction of not-for-profit rental housing, “defined as housing developed under a Memorandum of Understanding with the BC Housing Management Commission to address homelessness.”

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The report – by engineering manager Scott Neuman, parks, recreation and culture manager Laurie Cavan and Don Luymes, Surrey’s general manager of planning and development – proposed that in accordance with the Local Government Act the DCC bylaw be “amended to broaden the conditions for DCC fee exemption to address housing affordability” to enable exemptions for rental housing developments that are operated by “public housing bodies,” as prescribed in Residential Tenancy Act and Regulations.

The conditions being that the units are subject to a legal agreement that secures rental tenure for at least 60 years, are owned and operated by a public housing body, or are “operated by a public housing body, pursuant to a legal agreement with the property owner.”

The corporate report notes that in Surrey’s context public housing bodies include BC Housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation, “and any housing society that has an agreement regarding the operation of housing with the government of British Columbia, BC Housing, CMHC, the municipality or regional district.”

About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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