City fees a hard balancing act

That business-friendly Langford had some of the highest property development fees in the region would surprise many people.

That business-friendly Langford had some of the highest property development fees in the region would surprise many people.

Over the past decade, Langford has used money wrestled from developers to help install sidewalks, improve roads and streetscapes, and to build some of the most progressive recreation facilities in the region.

Further, it used “density bonusing” — high density development — to create a celebrated affordable housing program where qualifying Langford residents can buy a three-bedroom house for far less than market rates.

But the heyday of milking developers in return for allowing large property development projects seems to be slipping away.

Housing prices have risen in Langford, making the development community complain the affordable housing program was becoming untenable. Earlier this year, Langford responded and reduced the number of affordable units required by developers.

Now on Saturday, Langford announced that it will reduce some amenity contributions that come through rezoning, such as open space contributions and possibly quality of street and sidewalk upgrades. It wants to cut developer and new business costs by 25 per cent.

There is nothing wrong with Langford striving to stay competitive within the region with regards to fees and permits. But the City needs to stay cognisant that there are plenty of neighbourhoods that need sidewalks and road improvements, notably on Sooke Road in the Luxton area.

Langford still has low property taxes and the most affordable housing in the region. It has the highest rate of population growth in the province. That means there are plenty of reasons for businesses and jobs to stay, and for property developments to continue.

Cutting fees is a balancing act between pleasing businesses and developers and creating public amenities. Langford needs to watch that give and take doesn’t swing to far away from the needs of its citizens.








Just Posted

Rebels season over after loss in Cullen Cup Final

Westshore had won ten straight games prior to championship game

Cigarette butts the main culprit in lagoon beach cleaup

Thousands of butts were picked up by the Greater Victoria Green team recently

West Shore fireworks courses start next week

Course required for mandatory permit

More than 900 new units planned for Langford Lake development

Council still has to sign-off on rezoning application

Hey Amazon, the bid’s in the mail: Langford mayor

The City of Langford has officially submitted its bid to become the home of Amazon HQ2.

Sooke fudge company on Dragon’s Den Nov. 2

Fudge in A Round appearance on Dragon’s Den celebrated with a viewing party at the local Legion Nov. 2

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

EDITORIAL: It’s time to change the sexual assault conversation

The words “Me Too” are taking social media by storm this week,… Continue reading

Pumpkins’ versatility goes beyond Halloween

Linda Geggie For the Saanich News Get this. My 13-year-old just came… Continue reading

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Event puts pets in the picture for Halloween

Pets West holding Halloween party Oct. 29 at its Broadmead Village location

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Most Read