A year after several public meetings were held to discuss infrastructure costs for new developments, Creston town council is considering changes to the development cost charge (DCC) bylaw.
The issue was discussed at the June 3 committee of the whole meeting at Creston Town Hall, where engineering manager Colin Farynowski presented an overview of the current bylaw and possible changes.
“The question we always ask ourselves in planning for projects is, ‘Who benefits?’ ” he said. “We then try to assign a cost share on that basis.”
A new sewer line installed to accommodate a new subdivision, for example, might also benefit existing homes and businesses in the neighbourhood.
Development cost charges are designed to offset actual costs over a specific time period, typically 10-15 years.
“We don’t want to discourage commercial development with uncompetitive DCCs,” said Coun. Wesly Graham.
“Ideally it should be user pay,” Coun. Judy Gadicke said, “but a 50-50 split with existing taxpayers is probably OK.”
“DCCs should be fair and equitable, and changes should be put in place as soon as possible,” said Coun. Joanna Wilson. “Then they can be tweaked if needed when the official community plan is updated (in two years).”
Mayor Ron Toyota said the town has the ability to tweak costs for specific projects if it wants to promote development.
Another committee of the whole meeting was scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on June 17th to continue the discussion.
•Toyota raised the issue of herbicide spraying in town parks. He said he had received a number of complaints after a contractor from the Okanagan was hired to spray Nufarm Trillion on lawns in Burns Park, Centennial Park and Millennium Park.
The spray is designed to control broadleaf weeds in lawns and is approved by Health Canada, Toyota said. It is considered harmless to humans shortly after application.
The issue was referred for discussion to the next council meeting and further information was posted on the town website.
•Also discussed was the controversy about the removal of pink bags placed over parking meters to promote free two-hour parking on Canyon Street. A plan by town staff to place metal signs on top of parking meter posts was deemed dangerous and council concluded that a sticker on existing posts would be more suitable.
•Council requested that staff report on the options to install a third columbarium at the cemetery, as the second one has only a few spaces left. Other columbarium options will also be considered.