At the March 23rd meeting of the Township of Langley council, final adoption was given to the new Development Cost Charge (DCC) bylaw, finalizing the massive increases in rates. This shouldn’t be a shock, as it has been over a year in the making, but what is significant is that the adoption of this bylaw is the critical milestone that triggers the 12 month grace period for instream applications. In a preceding staff report to council from last June (click here to download), it was explained that instream applications would have 12 months from the adoption of the DCC bylaw to receive either building permits for multi-family development applications or final adoption of subdivision for single family development applications. The clock has now started ticking as of March 23rd.
Despite not having increased DCCs since 2012 and lagging behind some other Metro Vancouver municipalities, the increases are enormous and not phased-in over multiple years, like other neighbouring municipalities. In an article I wrote last year about the DCC increases (click here), I provided a table outlining the magnitude of the increases and illustrating their impact on land values. Since then the final rates were decreased very slightly (it was pointed out that the TOL was attempting to have DCCs cover non-DCC eligible infrastructure projects). The updated table is below.
At the same council meeting, the Mayor and Council voted to cancel all public hearings for at least the months of April and May in light of social distancing requirements brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This two-month blackout will kick applications down the road at least the same amount, inevitably pushing some past the end of the 12 month grace period. This could be devastating to some projects. Take a 50 unit townhouse site for example. If the builder is unable to receive building permits by March 23rd 2021, the builder would be faced with an additional bill of approximately $700,000, a cost that may be difficult to absorb if the builder purchased the land recently or has a tight cashflow schedule from the lender.
You can download the complete DCC Bylaw by following this link.