Cost of applying to develop in Esquimalt going up

New charges expected to keep township competitive in region

As part of a comprehensive review of outdated bylaws, Esquimalt is planning to increase its development application fees.

The old development fee schedule was passed in 1995 and is “not up to snuff,” Bill Brown, director of development services, told council Dec. 17.

He said staff looked at similar fees in other Greater Victoria municipalities and found the updates are competitive. But he admitted there was “enormous variation” in how municipalities charge for development application fees.

“Because we all use different types of categories, it’s impossible to make direct comparisons,” Brown said.

Council passed the first reading of the updated bylaws and directed staff to forward the documents to relevant stakeholders for feedback. The Esquimalt Residents Association, the Urban Development Institute and the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce will all weigh in on the proposed changes. The township is also accepting public input until Feb. 1.

Coun. Tim Morrison said developers have complained about bureaucratic delays when applying to build in Esquimalt. He said staff should be working to provide incentives for builders.

“We also hear about Langford waiving charges or negotiating reduction (in fees),” Morrison said. “Is there an option there?”

Brown said staff won’t be waiving fees, but said Esquimalt will remain competitive against building boom areas such as Langford.

“A development variance permit in Langford is $1,250. In Esquimalt, it’s $250,” he said.

Mayor Barb Desjardins pointed out that Esquimalt, unlike many municipalities, has no development cost charges. Rather, it’s the cost of land that makes it expensive to develop in township.

“This is information we really need to put together so that we’re very clear, and people understand what we’re saying about costs,” she said.

Coun. Dave Hodgins said the township should be working to entice developers. “We need to be sure we’re treating developers with a lot of respect.”

The new fees accurately reflect the amount of time staff devote to processing development applications, said Coun. Lynda Hundleby.

“I know a lot of these applications do take a lot of staff time and I’m happy to see we’re asking for more money,” she said.

To review the bylaw, visit esquimalt.ca and look under “news releases,” or call Bill Brown at 250-414-7146.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing 12-year-old girl found

Victora police say missing youth has been found and is safe

The blind lead the blind at the Pacific Training Centre

Centre specializes in teaching visually impaired people everyday skills to live an independent life

Fewer Greater Victoria residents collecting EI benefits

The number of local EI recipients dropped by 5.5 per cent from January 2018 to January 2019

Sidney woman hosts charity shabby-chic furniture sale

Upcycled and refurbed furniture sells to benefit the Alzheimer’s Society of BC and Crohn’sColitis Canada

Student Voice: Reynolds ReyBots qualify for Texas-sized Robot championship

ReyBots robot met premier, ‘dodged’ the competition

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training for

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Jr. B Cougars advance to both league finals and provincials

Victoria beats Nanaimo 4-3 in Game 6 Friday night to win series

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

Most Read