TransLink hoping to charge developers at least $1,200 per unit to pay for transit plan

The Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council has approved a blueprint for a new Development Cost Charge (DCC) to help fund investment in transit.

The DCCs would be one-time fees applied to new developments across Metro Vancouver to help pay for the mayors’ council’s 10-year transportation plan.

TransLink hopes to raise about $20 million per year through the DCCs.

The transit authority is proposing a charge of anywhere between $1,200 and $2,100 per new residential unit, and between $0.50 and $1 per commercial square foot.

The charge will help fund a new SeaBus, 56 SkyTrain cars, 24 Canada Line cars, new West Coast Express trains and new buses across the region.

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“The proposed DCC would be structured in a way which is similar to charges already levied by local government and will be waived for affordable rental housing projects,” said a news release.

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But housing prices should not be affected, said TransLink, adding that the market is set by overall supply and demand.

“The DCC rates are being carefully set to not impact the viability or pace of redevelopment so the transit DCC should not have any significant impact on housing affordability,” it said.

If approved by TransLink, rates will be finalized next year after TransLink consults with interested parties.

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Meanwhile, an association of developers agrees that transportation investment is needed, but is wary about the council’s proposed charge.

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Urban Development Institute (UDI) president Anne McMullin thinks the revenue from DCCs should be capped at $20 million, so that homebuyers won’t be hit with an additional cost when purchasing a home.

“Anytime you’re adding additional costs on to housing, it does get passed onto the buyer. Especially if it’s added in after land has been purchased,” McMullin said.

She said if approved, DCCs shouldn’t become a regular revenue stream for TransLink. The new charge should have an end in sight, said McMullin.


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