Development costs keep Kamloops competitive

Home builders in Kamloops are looking at a minor increase in development costs - from $9,342 to $9,525 for single family residential units.

By Jennifer Stahn

A presentation to the city of Kamloops Tuesday afternoon had councillors asking questions about the trend of residential housing in Kamloops and whether the city is competitive when it comes to development costs.

Development cost charges – or DCCs - are used in more than 100 communities in British Columbia and have been in place in Kamloops since the mid 1970s. They are used as a way to help cover costs of off-site infrastructure projects required to support new development – such as transportation, water, sewer, drainage and parks.

When it comes to DCCs for single family housing Kamloops has the second lowest costs when compared to many other cities and a table presented to council showed only Prince George with lower with fees - in the range of $3,500 to $6,500. Kamloops rate will likely see an increase from $9,342 to $9,525 per unit following approval by council and the province.

Bryan Hayashi, president of the Canadian Home Builders Association Central Interior, spoke to council about the increases and the recognition that while no one in the industry wants to see fees go up they realize it is a necessity regardless of the current economy.

Hayashi fielded questions from council member on whether home builders are worried about what will happen to the market if the proposed Ajax mine goes forward to whether builders would start looking at building more modest housing.

An optional assist factor is also being recommended, which caps the amount of funds from development that can be used towards infrastructure and park projects. Kamloops is looking at a 10 per cent rate for transportation projects and one per cent for other projects.

DCCs contribute $68.1-mil – or 44 per cent- to the city's total revenue with 88 per cent of projects benefiting the entire city.

To contact the reporter for this story, email jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call (250) 819-3723.


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