As with many recreation and amenity driven municipalities around North America, Revelstoke, the home of the most recent addition to BC’s improved skiing line up, is finding itself looking for infrastructure upgrades in the face of new development. And in deep contrast to areas of the states that are currently undergoing depressed housing markets and a sub-prime mortgage crunch, the predictions for Revelstoke are still bright, with over 12,000 people expected to live in the city by 2025. Read More after the jump…
The new DCCs [Development Cost Charges] have dismayed and angered some people in the community who say they plan to protest the increases.
“It’s not fair”, said Don and Susan Teuton, the new owners of the Christmas Island B&B.
Recent arrivals here from the popular resort town of Steamboat Springs, Colo., they said they had seen similar DCCs there and don’t think they help local people deal with the what’s happening in their communities.
Carl Rankin said the DCCs will backfire by stifling development in Revelstoke.
“Who’s going to want to develop housing here if you’re going to be hit with a per dwelling charge of $10,000?” he asked. “No one.”
Ross McPhee, the City’s Chief Administrator, said DCC increases are needed now in order to pay for the $57 million in “clearly identified infrastructure projects” that are looming on the horizon….
“The tools we have are not perfect. But there is some flexibility.”
However, the bottom line is the cost of the infrastructure that the municipal government needs in order to meet Revelstoke’s projected growth in the years to come.
So what is the increase that has these residents hot under the collar?
$10,147 for every residential dwelling unit worth more than $50,000. And on top of that, there are increases in commercial and industrial DCC’s.
It’s really hard to please everyone, some people think that the higher cost of development will drive it elsewhere, others are adamant that the City shouldn’t be responsible for picking up the tab for things that development should have paid for.
$10,000 seems to be a lot per equivalent unit, especially when you start talking secondary suites costing $50,000 or more incurring the same cost as a 4 bedroom condo which might cost $200,000 per dwelling.
Ultimately it comes down to a decision on who should pay for upgrades required by an increasing population, and how that fee is levied. The DCC legislation, as with other cost recovery mechanisms provides a clear framework for managing the process, and is required to be externally audited by the Ministry of Community Affairs through presentation of the report and cost calculations.