Penticton city council approved increasing development cost charges to bring them more in line with other nearby cities. Some worry the cost will be put on home buyers. (File photo)

Penticton city council approved increasing development cost charges to bring them more in line with other nearby cities. Some worry the cost will be put on home buyers. (File photo)

Outgoing Penticton council increases development cost charges

The increase will mean new homes will cost a bit more to buy, but in line with other cities

One of the last decisions of the outgoing Penticton city council was to raise the rates of development cost charges (DCCs).

This pleased outgoing coun. Frank Regehr, who had been working on laying out all the data on Penticton’s rates compared to other comparative cities since he started his term on council.

A ‘numbers guy,’ Regehr was pleased that the hike could be done while he was a member of council. (Regehr was not re-elected).

“It’s significant to the city to keep this program in line,” said Regehr.

Coun. James Miller thanked Regehr for the work on the DCCs.

“Thank you for your incredible attention to detail on this file,” he said.

DCCs are going up and will cost about $25,000 for a single-family home compared to last year when it would cost $17,000 in DCCs.

The rates went unchanged for 13 years until 2020 when city council approved a 25 per cent hike to bring them closer to what other Okanagan communities were charging.

DCCs are mandatory levies placed on new construction to fund things like roads, sewers and parks needed to service the new homes.

In July, Wally James, president of the South Okanagan branch of the Canadian Homebuilders Association was in front of city council to ask for a smaller immediate increase to DCCs.

“We do need to catch up, we do need to pay for these future developments. What we’re asking is that these [increases] don’t all happen at once,” said James. “We’re looking at 150 to 160 per cent increases in some categories. We’re adding $10- to $15,000 to almost every form of housing coming up in the city.”

The approved option will see DCCs for multifamily residential and apartment buildings for example go from $6,672 per unit to $9,812 per unit.

The increase is even starker for a bare land strata or townhouse development, with the costs going from $6,672 per unit to $17,122 per unit.

The costs are still below what a developer in cities like Kelowna or West Kelowna would be charged, and place Penticton in the middle of municipalities in the Okanagan.

READ MORE: In a housing crunch, development costs are going up in Penticton

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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