Development Cost Charges (DCCs) Update for Parks

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Update - March 10

Thank you for the many comments and questions submitted since January 12th. Council will receive the public engagement report on March 10th that summarizes comments left on this page. Council will also consider giving the revised bylaw three readings on March 16th.


Council wants your input on amendments to Park Development Cost Charges (DCCs)

Parks, greenspace and open areas are something residents both young and old value in the community we live in. As Lake Country population grows and multi-family housing becomes more popular, the need for more places to go to enjoy the outdoors also increases.

By definition, Development Cost Charges (DCCs) are fees collected from developers by the municipality to help fund the growth-related infrastructure and parks. It is important that the costs associated with development do not create a burden on existing taxpayers.

The purpose of Parks DCCs is to assist the District of Lake Country to accommodate development by providing a dedicated source of funding for capital costs associated with providing and improving parks and greenspace throughout the community. Increasing Parks DCCs is necessary due to population growth and expanded community needs.

In 2020 Council endorsed the Parks and Recreation Master plan which provides direction for the future of Lake Country’s parks and greenspace. Due to population growth and expanded community needs, which are outlined in the master plan, the requirement to increase park DCCs is necessary to sustain growth.

DCCs are charged when developers build residential, commercial or industrial developments; and when property owners subdivide their lots.


Update - March 10

Thank you for the many comments and questions submitted since January 12th. Council will receive the public engagement report on March 10th that summarizes comments left on this page. Council will also consider giving the revised bylaw three readings on March 16th.


Council wants your input on amendments to Park Development Cost Charges (DCCs)

Parks, greenspace and open areas are something residents both young and old value in the community we live in. As Lake Country population grows and multi-family housing becomes more popular, the need for more places to go to enjoy the outdoors also increases.

By definition, Development Cost Charges (DCCs) are fees collected from developers by the municipality to help fund the growth-related infrastructure and parks. It is important that the costs associated with development do not create a burden on existing taxpayers.

The purpose of Parks DCCs is to assist the District of Lake Country to accommodate development by providing a dedicated source of funding for capital costs associated with providing and improving parks and greenspace throughout the community. Increasing Parks DCCs is necessary due to population growth and expanded community needs.

In 2020 Council endorsed the Parks and Recreation Master plan which provides direction for the future of Lake Country’s parks and greenspace. Due to population growth and expanded community needs, which are outlined in the master plan, the requirement to increase park DCCs is necessary to sustain growth.

DCCs are charged when developers build residential, commercial or industrial developments; and when property owners subdivide their lots.


CLOSED: Council will be reviewing comments submitted, thank you for participating.

 Tell Council what you think about the proposal to amend the parks DCC cost. All feedback will be summarized in a report for Council's review.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    (I had trouble submitting this yesterday...) 1. Definitely MAINTAIN the target of 2.3 hectares/1,000 population for active recreation purposes. 4 hectares/1,000 population is too much (a 43% increase!), and the regular upkeep of those parks will ultimately create a tax burden on local residents. 2. Yes, increase the DCC rates. Anyone developing property in Lake Country is making money for themselves when they sell their properties. Once they do, they leave the area, and the needs of those new buyers then have to be accommodated by the District and other tax payers in perpetuity going forward. There should definitely be an adequate and proportionate one-time fee to help cover the cost of those new, ongoing needs. 3. Why do we need to keep attracting developers to this area? While recognizing that SOME local growth is desirable and inevitable, 20+ years of 3.1% growth does not seem like a practical or desirable goal. If it happens, it will increase the current population by 79% in that period, and make this small region feel "fully inhabited” long before 2036. Consider the ever-increasing load on our entire infrastructure, not just our parks. One of the best features of Lake Country is that it's NOT clogged and congested. Residents want it to stay that way. We have a quiet, peaceful quality of life here now and already attract plenty of visitors from other local areas and parts of the country. Overdevelopment will destroy the reasons people move here in the first place. Please don’t ruin it by allowing rampant development to happen merely to keep increasing the tax base. Lake Country does not need or want to become a “thriving metropolis." Leave that for Kelowna, where we can all just visit, instead. 4. At the same time, does it even make sense to assume that this level of continuous growth is even possible for the next 20 years? The world population is aging faster than it’s growing. More elderly people are on fixed incomes in retirement. Developers facing higher DCC costs will pass their increased costs onto new buyers. So, home values will keep rising potentially becoming prohibitive for older people on fixed incomes, or for the young families you’re trying to attract here. Don’t let Lake Country become an exclusive, unaffordable enclave, with too many ugly, expensive, high density, condo developments! 5. Do we really need more parks? What about funding other local amenities and resources like a public indoor/outdoor pool, medical clinics, or a modern, full-service recycling depot? 6. Finally, PLEASE DO NOT EVER use DCC funds to build any more ugly, so-called “improvements” like the screen-less “gazebo” in Beasley Park that isn’t big enough for more than 3 people to sit under. What is it even doing there except to serve as some kind of public monument to a few wealthy people who wanted their neighbours to know how special they are? This gazebo is a true eyesore, and serves no useful function. I am dismayed by having to look at it every day, and angry that beautiful public park property (and tax dollars?) were wasted to build such a ridiculous, frivolous and non-functional structure. District officials, do not allow our IRREPLACEABLE green spaces to be cluttered by such ugliness, forever, just to create a one-time, temporary jobs, or to do a personal favour for your friends. I hope the stupid thing gets hit by lightening and burns to the ground.

    S.H. Miga asked about 2 months ago

    thank you for your comments - they will be passed on for consideration by Council. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Thank you for clarifying that you are, in fact, doing what I thought you were doing. If new parkland needs are to be met by the new DCC's ($12,790.00 per home across the board), the 5% land acquisition becomes unfair and wrong. If anything, it should be limited to the total dollar figure being collected through the "neighbourhood park acquisition" portion of the DCC's and purchased at that price via the credit. That would be fair. In the example below, the parkland acquisition should be limited to a dollar figure of $192,800.00 (100 lots x $1928.00), not $2,420,820.00 (actual value) and the 5% figure should be removed entirely. If you did this, you would make your targets laid out in your report and not end up with the surplus of land and/or cash you are essentially taking from residents who are trying to subdivide their properties. You still have not explained why you are taking this EXTRA land and/or money and what you are planning to do with it.

    MichaelLewis asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for the comments - they will be forwarded to Council for consideration.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What's the current amount of greenspace required in a development area, as in what's the responsibility of a developer to give back or leave in green space to the bordering properties that are affected by having all the trees removed next to their residential homes?

    Judy Holt asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question. 

    There are many factors involved to answer the question and to provide you with the correct information. If you would like details regarding a specific property or development, please email communications@lakecountry.bc.ca with the property information.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Cole is right. I have also read the report. They calculated everything down to the penny to attribute it ALL to the new DCCs but they still want their MILLIONS in land and cash in lieu on the side via the 5% that is supposed to go to parks. Cancel the 5% land acquisition or cancel the new DCC increases. YOU CAN'T HAVE BOTH! You have laid out what you need, how much it costs, and how to get it through an increase in DCCs. The 5% land dedication on the side (which in reality is worth millions and should in itself be enough to cover all of theses costs if managed correctly) just seems like stealing at this point. How do you justify taking more than you clearly state that you need? I recommend reading the report you wrote and hopefully common sense or at least common decency will prevail.

    MichaelLewis asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your questions and comments, they will be passed on to Council for consideration.

    Please refer to the response to your previous question. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Here's some simple math. If you have 100 RU1 lots with an average size of 1200sq/m including roads. Your 5% parkland dedication is 6000sq/m (0.6 hectares). Your new proposed DDC's (meant to cover all new parkland purchasing and developing) are $12,790.00 x 100 = $1,279,000.00. But the 0.6 hectares you just acquired through parkland dedication is worth $2,420,820.00 (by your own calculations of 1ha = $4,034,700 for Urban Residential land). How can you say that the 5% parkland dedication, which also includes a cash-in lieu option, is not enough?? Also, why are you not counting the $2.4 million towards your budget calculations (land or capital required to buy land)? Instead, you are saying we need $1,279,000.00 from these lots to cover ALL of our needs for new park acquisition and development. But we're going to take an additional $2.4 million (because we can) but offer a rebate (in form of a credit) of $1928.00 per lot ($198,800 total) as a thank you. Please tell me I am wrong. The consequences of driving up real estate prices by a minimum of $10,000.00 per home are real. Are you really doing this!? Also, what are you planning to do with the massive surplus of cash and land you just acquired under the guise of "parks"? I think we have a right to know where our money is actually going. Clearly, the only logical approach is to drop the 5% land dedication requirement if you are going to increase DCC's to cover everything. Can't we all see that?

    MichaelLewis asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your questions and comments, they will be passed on to Council for consideration.

    In addressing a communities’ needs for parkland, many municipalities collect parkland DCCs and make use of the 5% dedication/cash-in-lieu provisions of the Local Government Act. These tools may be applied separately, or used in combination with one another. In keeping with the principles of fairness and equity, municipalities that choose to combine DCC’s with 5%/cash-in-lieu must be careful to avoid charging developers and owners twice for the same acquisitions. 

    The 5% dedication/cash-in-lieu provision can only be used in residential subdivisions where 3 or more new lots are created and the District currently uses it as an effective tool for neighbourhood park acquisition in those areas. However, approximately 50% of anticipated new residential units in Lake Country will come without subdivision (typically condos & townhomes). These types of developments do not currently provide funding toward neighbourhood park acquisition and are often in more densely populated areas where people may need them the most. To address this inequality, a new neighbourhood park acquisition component has been added to the DCC program. In fairness, developers of residential subdivisions where 3 or more lots are created will receive a full credit for this new component when providing 5% dedication or cash-in-lieu for neighbourhood park purposes. They will not be charged twice for the same acquisitions.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Explain this to me. If I have 20 hectares of rural residential land and I subdivide in to 20 parcels which is the minimum size allowed in most cases, I have to give 5% of that land to park dedication. That's one hectare. By your own calculations, that's worth $1,644.300 (where did that insanely inflated number come from!?). I now have 19 lots to sell and for each one of those I have to pay $12,790.00, a huge portion of which is for you to buy land (a targeted 20 hectares over 15 years I think). Why is the 1 ha of land I just gave you not calculated in to the 20 ha of land you are acquiring?? It looks to me like for 19 families, we are giving you close to 2 million dollars for park and you are double dipping. This is outrageous. Why is council considering this??

    Cole asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question and comments. Council will receive your input for consideration.

    The Parks DCC update does include provisions for a developer credit when parkland is acquired through 5% dedication.

     

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I think everyone would agree that parks are essential and incremental increases over time are necessary. I would be concerned that such a massive increase at one time to one segment only (new builds) will have rippling negative effects on everyone. Going from $1400 to almost $13,000.00 in one jump for only one element of DCC's (parks) seems irresponsible. I work in the construction business and have lived in townhomes and condos for most of my life (because of cost). Usually it is young families or younger people trying to get in to a difficult real estate market. Driving prices up in that segment is only going to drive prices up everywhere in Lake Country. Higher prices means higher assessments which means higher property taxes for everyone. If parks really do need more money, doesn't it make sense to increase DCC's a little and also spread that cost across everyone in very slight property tax increase since everyone uses the parks? Not to mention the fact that construction is by far the leading employer of locals in Lake Country over every other industry by a huge margin. In the middle of a pandemic, does it seem like a great idea to go after that key segment in such a HUGE way? One of the only segments still employing people with well paid work. Again, we all love the parks and believe they have to be maintained. I think that pretending that this increase will only affect a few people is wrong. I would support a reasonable increase to DCC's and property taxes across the board and I think most people would too over pounding one very important sector too hard all at once. Just my two cents.

    MikeL asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your questions and comments. They will be provided to Council for consideration.

    The Parks DCC rate increase is driven by two main factors. First, construction and land costs have increased significantly, outpacing inflation since the DCC was first introduced. Secondly, current Parks DCC policies have proven to be insufficient in attaining fair cost recovery, instead placing a burden on the general tax base to provide for capital costs of park infrastructure and acquisition required from growth. 

    This increase is necessary to maintain the current level of park provision in a fair and sustainable way to meet future community needs.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Wow, you want to increase the amount x5 for a regular single family lot and almost x10 for multi-family. That is a HUGE increase that will go right to the end buyer on top of the recent increase to building code requirements. You are going to drive the price of new homes here so high that no one is going to want to build/buy here. Despite what many people think, I actually think that is bad for the community and the planned growth in the OCP. We have so much nature and park space here already, is this really necessary? This seems extreme to me.

    MikeL asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comments, they will be passed to Council for consideration.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    There are so many horses inLake Country. Why could we not have a trail area for them to go?

    Deborah asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comments, they will be passed to Council for consideration.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    An increase from $1200 to $12,000 for single family homes is a 10X increase and excessive. I strongly disagree with such a large increase in the DCC cost. Adding and maintaining parks and green space is vital to keeping the Lake Country a preferred community, however all residents enjoy the parks facilities and as such should bare some responsibility for the upkeep.

    Dereck T asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comments, they will be passed to Council for consideration.