Progress made with DCCs

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Development Cost Charges have once again been a focal point at Fort St. John City Council.

On Monday, Council revisited the development cost charge idea, after asking for clarification on two issues that came up during the Jan.10 meeting. The issues revolved around the assist factor involved when the program comes into effect in 2012 and a written definition regarding non-profit housing.

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Three options were presented regarding city assist factors. The first option started with a 30 per cent city assist factor in 2012 which then reduced to 15 per cent in 2014. The second option started with a 40 per cent assist factor in 2012, reducing to 25 per cent in 2014 and once again to 5 per cent in 2016. Both of these assist factors were presented at the meeting on Jan 10. Since Council was unable to come to a conclusion at that meeting, a third option was created and presented at Monday’s meeting.

The third option started with a 40 per cent assist factor for 2012, then lowered to 25 per cent in 2014. It then reduced even further, providing a 15 per cent assist factor in 2016.

After some time debating the issue, the third option was approved and eventually passed.

Once Council voted in favour of the new option, Mayor Bruce Lantz spoke on how tough an issue the development cost charges was to resolve.

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In terms of not-for-profit housing, the following definition was provided for Council.

“Property owned, developed or operated by either a non-profit society, the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia or the local government as rental units for persons living in Northeastern British Columbia, where the income of such person falls beneath the low income cut-off amounts published by Statistics Canada from time to time, or as otherwise determined or agreed to by the local government, and where a Housing Agreement and restrictive covenant are registered on title."

Since a DCC option has now been selected, the next step involves submitting the final DCC background report and bylaw to the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural development. After consideration and approval by the Ministry, Council will be able to adopt the new DCC Bylaw.

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