by Dave Preston | Peachland News
March 24, 2011
The District of Peachland will forge on with plans to start charging developers for future public amenities even though several council members seem reluctant to do so.
Plans are to collect $17.8 million from developers over about the next 20 years to help build everything from a new fire hall to a trail system.
The Ponderosa/Pincushion Ridge development has already agreed to pay nearly $4.2 million on its own toward future amenities. It was the successful negotiation with developer Treegroup that spurned the district into coming up with an amenity contribution policy.
“I have a problem with these amenities,” said Coun. Schierbeck on Tuesday. “We have a pipe dream of what we want in 20 years.”
The current plan, drawn up by district staff, would see developers pay $1,877 per residential unit constructed and $26.80 per square metre of non-residential construction.
Schierbeck raised the issue at Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting that the policy is considered voluntary.
“This is a voluntary amenity,” said Schierbeck. “What if they say no?”
Mayor Keith Fielding responded that council can manage that situation. “It could delay their application as we talk to them.”
Coun. Vern Moberg expressed concern that in the current tough economic times it’s not a good idea to tag another $1,877 onto the price of every new house.
“$1,000 per door would be maximum,” said Moberg.
Schierbeck said he would prefer to see public amenity contributions negotiated with individual developers, rather than having a policy that lays out what a developer must pay.
Council voted in favour of first and second readings of an Official Community Plan amendment that would allow for the new policy. A public hearing will be held in the future.