City Council considers development charges


Photo: City councilors ask questions during the Development Cost Charges presentation on Monday – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca

The City of Fort St. John is looking into making future development fair for everyone.

On Monday, councilors met at City Hall, to listen to a presentation on Development Cost Charges.

DCC is a concept that shifts some of the costs of new capital infrastructure directly onto developers. The money then goes towards expanding and upgrading services like water and sewer mains. It would not fund existing infrastructure.

Mayor Bruce Lantz was concerned about the fate of future commercial development, especially since development usually equals a larger tax base for the city.

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Urban Systems’ Joel Short says there haven’t been many studies how DCC’s affect commercial development numbers.

But, City Manager Dianne Hunter says DCC’s are fair to residents, because costs are shifted to those who are developing.

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One option would see the city able to choose which capital programs the DCC would fund.

The city would then be able to choose between programs like transportation, utilities, and parkland acquisition and/or development.

The city is growing at an average rate of about 2.5 per cent per year. Short says compared to other cities, that number is quite substantial.

The city didn’t make any final decision as to whether or not it will adopt the policy on Monday. If the city were to adopt the DCC, it would take around one year to come into effect.

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