New fee would make developers pay to construct Kelowna parks | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

New fee would make developers pay to construct Kelowna parks

Neighbours around Lost Creek Park, an undeveloped park in the Wilden subdivision, are offering to pick up a quarter of the $400,000 price tag and they’ve persuaded Wilden developer Blenk Development Corp. to put up another 25 per cent.

KELOWNA - Staff are recommending new ways to pay to develop parks in Kelowna including the possibility of a parks development cost charge on future developments.

Staff are also recommending beginning a two per cent infrastructure levy to address general deficits and a shift in focus from buying land for linear parks to developing existing park land.

The move is in a bid to reduce a backlog of undeveloped parks in the city, ideally by raising an additional $8.4 million a year over 20 years, according to report by parks and buildings manager Robert Parlane.

It outlines four options for council consideration, which at a minimum would see the addition of park development cost charges added to those levied for roadway, sidewalks and sewers for new subdivisions.

Staff favour option two which would also add a two per cent infrastructure levy on general taxation, in theory raising 61 per cent of the $8.4 million and extending the timeline to 35 years from 20.

Option three would go further still, adding a $4 million parks-specific parcel tax over five years while option four would also included an increased airport dividend and a focus on community partnerships.

Parlane has previously told council that Kelowna falls short of providing the provincial recommendation of 2.2 hectares of parkland per 100,000 population because of all the undeveloped parkland in the city.

Developers currently pay over $5,000 per unit for parkland acquisition but nothing toward their development, leaving the city with dozens of parcels sitting as bare land without equipment and amenities.

Kelowna councillors will consider the staff recommendation at the regular council meeting, 1:30 p.m. June 11 in Kelowna city hall.

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