City of Powell River will not be waiving development cost charges for Inclusion Powell River’s Nelson Avenue lot subdivision application.
Inclusion executive director Lilla Tipton requested in a July 19 letter that the city’s charge, approximately $7,600, be waived as the organization is a non-profit society.
“We have requested that the city waive their development charges as a way for them to contribute to people with developmental disabilities and our mission to ensure the people we support have as high a quality of life as possible,” said Tipton.
About 10 years ago Inclusion, then known as Powell River Association for Community Living, purchased the lot at 5534 Nelson Avenue with the aim of constructing housing for adults with developmental disabilities and replacing the organization’s group home on Chilco Avenue in Wildwood.
The lot is much larger than what is required for the organization’s new construction, so Tipton said the plan is to subdivide the lot and sell it to help pay for the house construction.
Finance committee chair Russell Brewer said that having city director of planning Thomas Knight at the committee meeting on Thursday, August 25, to explain what development cost charges are for helped the committee come to its decision not to waive the charge.
“The committee felt that it didn’t want to go the route of waiving the development cost charges for the subdivision itself,” said Brewer. “The lot that is being subdivided off will be sold and the intent with those development cost charges is to cover our costs for the water and sewers.”
Knight said he explained to the committee that development cost charges go toward the expansion of the city’s water, sewer and other services. When lots are created developers pay the charge or additional charges depending on how much the development will use. He said lots with duplexes pay twice as much as lots for single family homes.
Based on the size and use of Inclusion’s new group home, a higher development cost charge could have been issued, but that was waived, said Knight.
“They have built an institutional building on the lot much larger than a single family home,” he said.
Knight added that if the city were to grant an exemption for the lot that was to be sold it would cause problems for other developers in town who pay the charge on lots they create for sale.