New developments to face additional charge

New developments at Sun Peaks may have to pay a development cost charge (DCC) on new construction before the end of the year.

Rob Bremner, chief administrator officer of Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality, said an engineering consultant has been hired to help the municipality create the bylaw which would see developers pay the costs associated with updating infrastructure and utilities for their projects.

For example, if a road or sewer needed to be upgraded to handle increased capacity due to the new build, the developer would pay an amount determined by a formula accounting for population, density, number of units and other factors.

Other communities in B.C. have DCCs in an effort to ensure taxpayers don’t bear the costs of growth.

“The idea is to get something forward pretty quickly in order to capture some of the development that will be coming forward,” Bremner said. “Because of the significant growth that we’re seeing and the fact that there’s a lot of things like our roads that you don’t want to keep heaping back to the taxpayers, development should pay for its own way.”

The bylaw would also be used if the municipality takes over community utilities from Sun Peaks Utilities Co. Ltd, that currently privately owns and manages gas, water and wastewater within the municipality. Municipal management would allow DCCs to be collected for upgrades or changes to those utilities in addition to the infrastructure currently under municipal management.

“If we take over the utilities then water and sewer would come into the DCC bylaw. We would have to own the utility in order to collect the DCC on it,” Bremner said.
Four readings and a public hearing are needed before the bylaw can be passed as
well as a review by the provincial government. Bremner said the municipality will also meet with stakeholders as the bylaw is created.