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

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Trio brings roller skating fever to Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Westin Bear Mountain hotel sold to local businessman and entrepreneur

Ecoasis will maintain responsibility of golf and tennis operations and developable lands

Public warned of night firing exercises in Saanich after evidence of trespassing

Routine shooting practice to take place at Heals Range from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday

Riders roll to help Island hospices

$240,000 raised so far for this weekend’s seventh annual Cycle of Life Tour

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Most Read