Thursday, April 11, 2024

Langley City Council Approves New Development Charges in Principle

Langley City staff have been working over the last year to update our development cost charges. Developers pay development cost charges for each new building they construct or significantly renovate, whether commercial, institutional, industrial, or residential.

Langley City last updated its development cost charges rates in 2012, so it was due for an update. The provincial government strictly regulates development cost charges; municipalities can only use these charges for infrastructure directly related to accommodating a new development project. This idea is sometimes called "growth should pay for growth."

Municipalities can broadly use development cost charges for transportation, water, sewer, facility (e.g. new rec centre), and storm sewer projects, as well as for acquiring or upgrading parkland. Any project a municipality plans to use development cost charges for must also be approved by the provincial government. Municipalities usually submit a list of projects to the province for their approval. Langley City has recently done this.

As I posted about last summer, Langley City submitted its proposed development cost charges rates to the public and development community for feedback. The one piece of significant feedback we received is that our development cost charges should be updated more frequently to avoid rate jumps. The City now plans to update its development cost charges rates more frequently. Recent provincial changes expand what municipalities can use development cost charges for, and the province now allows four units of housing per detached lot by right. As a result, the City will be doing another update to our development cost chargers later this year.

Council gave first, second, and third reading to the rate as shown in the table.

Building Type Unit of Measure DCC Rate
Detached Residential Per Lot $45,563.00
Townhouse Per Dwelling Unit $32,683.00
Apartment Per Dwelling Unit $21,246.00
Commercial Per gross floor area (in sq. ft.) $14.46
Industrial Per gross floor area (in sq. ft.) $5.81
Institutional Per gross floor area (in sq. ft.) $14.46

The City will now submit these rates to the provincial Inspector of Municipalities for approval. If approved, which the City believes will be likely, Council will adopt the new rates. The Inspector usually takes about four months to review rate changes.

Setting development cost charges is tricky because we want to ensure that we can pay for the infrastructure and facilities required for new projects while also being mindful of the total cost of building a new home or other building.

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