At today's Vancouver City Council meeting, Councillor Adriane Carr submitted a notice of motion that welcomes more provincial funding for transit in the city but opposes tying it to density upzoning along proposed transit routes or using development fees to help pay for the transit. She raised these issues with Provincial Cabinet Ministers at the recent Union of BC Municipalities convention in Victoria.
"Such contingencies undermine the City's authority for zoning and planning, the integrity of the public planning and public hearing processes, and would make it impossible for the city to adequately fund desperately needed affordable housing and other essential public amenities," said Councillor Carr.
Councillor Carr's motion follows below.
Ensuring Vancouver Development Levies are Not Used to Fund Transit
- The City of Vancouver depends on development fees, including Development Cost Levies (DCLs) and the Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) from higher density rezonings to fund important civic services and infrastructure including parks, childcare facilities, and affordable housing;
- Over the past six years, Council has allocated approximately $671 million of CACs towards affordable housing, heritage protection and community facilities such as childcare, libraries, neighbourhood houses, and community and seniors centres in the neighbourhoods affected by development, yet even this spending falls short of meeting the growth in community needs given the number of new residents that the developments bring;
- In 2015 the City collected $99.8 million in DCLs, with Council allocating $25.6 million for social and supportive housing, $23.6 million for engineering infrastructure, $9.2 million for parks and $6.6 million for childcare.
- The City does not use development fees to fund transit, which has always been funded by the provincial and federal governments;
- The City would not be able to deliver the essential public amenities currently funded by development fees if development fees were used to fund transit development;
- There was indication at the recent Union of BC Municipalities conference in Victoria that the Province is considering tying provincial funding of transit projects to municipalities that upzone density along proposed transit routes and that use development fees to help pay for transit.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
Mayor and Council inform the Premier and Cabinet that:
- The City of Vancouver enthusiastically welcomes more provincial funding for public transit in our City and in Metro Vancouver;
- The City of Vancouver opposes making provincial transit funding contingent on density upzoning as that would undermine the City’s authority and responsibility regarding land use planning and zoning, including the public process of developing local area plans and the public hearing process;
- The City of Vancouver opposes making provincial transit funding contingent on the City’s use of CACs to fund transit as that would infringe on the City’s authority and responsibility to implement public amenity strategies as embedded in local area plans and would make it impossible for the City to adequately fund affordable housing and other essential public amenities.