The Town of View Royal has changed its community amenities contribution policy to enhance contributions and create a dedicated reserve fund.
At a Nov. 16 council meeting, a bylaw to create the reserve fund and a policy amendment were approved unanimously.
With the adoption of the bylaw, all contributions under the policy will be held in a separate reserve which may only be used for projects which provide “public benefit, improvement or contribution that can enhance the quality of life for a community.”
“I think it is always better to have a dedicated fund,” View Royal Mayor David Screech said. “It will clearly be money that has been contributed for the community, and may be used for things that otherwise might not get built or done.”
The policy guides the town’s negotiations with residential developers to seek financial contributions as part of any rezoning process, to be earmarked for projects which make the community more enjoyable to live in.
The public is typically invited to have a say in the use of the funds, Screech said, when the time comes to spend them on a project.
While total contributions are negotiated on a case-by-case basis, council increased the town’s targeted rate for each new detached dwelling unit from $5,000 to $6,000, while the target for each new residential unit of any other type jumped from $3,500 to $4,000.
The policy changes also include a new requirement for 10 per cent of cash amenities received to be transferred to the Capital Regional District’s housing trust fund.
”We felt there should be some contribution toward the (CRD’s) affordable housing fund from development in View Royal,” Screech said. “View Royal has contributed to (the fund)] directly since its inception. This is over and above that, and we feel the more that can be contributed to affordable housing for the region can only be a good thing.”