Council passes first reading of Development Cost Charge bylaw update

Concerns remain over the high Municipal Assist Factor rate; council wants staff to provide options on reducing user pay costs.

Elisa Becker of McElhanney talks to stakeholders about proposed growth and development at an open house held as part of the DCC bylaw update process. Photo: Melissa Jameson/Revelstoke Mountaineer.

Revelstoke city council passed first reading of the controversial Development Cost Charge bylaw update– but not without expressing concern over the high municipal assist factor and possible negative implications it could have on overall development in the community. Council also had a chance to discuss a background report on the DCC bylaw updates, provided by McElhanney Consulting.

Council discussions over the DCC bylaw updates have been lengthy, and the regular council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 15 was no exception. Discussion on the DCC bylaw update lasted well over an hour. (You can watch council’s discussion on the DCC bylaw update by clicking on the video below.)

One of the major concerns brought forward by council was over the ability to change and update the bylaw after passing first reading. Councillor Linda Nixon brought forward a motion asking staff to look into possible ways to make the bylaw more affordable for the development community and lower user pay costs. Council also asked staff to consider looking at the scope of projects included in the DCC bylaw update and whether all of them need to be included.

While council did pass the motion, director of engineering Mike Thomas expressed concern over how much wiggle room the city actually has in changing the bylaw at this point. The provincial government needs to approve any changes to the city’s DCC bylaw.

“I’m not sure how much room there really is to move from today. We’re at a point where we have this solid technical information. This has gone beyond a technical process and is more like a political/social process,” said Thomas.

Councillors Trevor English, Scott Duke and mayor Mark Mckee were vocal in stating they wouldn’t support the motion to pass first reading if there wasn’t a way to ensure changes could be made to the bylaw as it moves forward towards adoption. Despite this, both Duke and McKee voted in favour of passing the motion. Councillor Trevor English was the lone vote against.

The DCC bylaw update and background report are now available for the public to view on the city’s website and Facebook page. The public has until Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 4:30 p.m. to provide input on the proposed bylaw. After that a special council meeting set for Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 3 p.m. will determine what happens next.