The grace period for the city’s development cost charges bylaw has been extended.
Port Alberni city council voted to change the bylaw’s text and extend the grace period past its planned March 22 effective date.
The bylaw passed three readings and now goes to a public hearing on March 14.
The new grace period ends on July 22.
The issue was broached at council’s Feb. 14 meeting when local developer Clark Power requested one for his 30-lot development on Tomswood Road.
At Monday’s meeting, Power said he would work with whatever new deadline he was given.
The ground would be drier and easier to work with in August, “But I’ll work with July if that’s all I can get,” he said.
Coun. Jack McLeman asked how many projects are on the go in the city.
“How many will benefit and how much will we lose (in fees)?” he asked.
Projects are at various stages of development so it’s hard to tell how many would benefit, city planner Scott Smith said.
For a subdivision, the charges are $6,200 per lot in Port Alberni.
In comparison, the DCC charges in Parksville and Nanaimo are $21,000 and $16,000 per lot respectively, Smith said.
There would be no monetary loss per se by extending the grace period because the fees go into a specific reserve account, he said.
The bylaw has been 10 years in the making and everyone knew when it was coming, Coun. Cindy Solda said.
The fees collected are needed to shore up the city’s aging infrastructure, she added before declining to move the extension motion.
McLeman moved the motion instead.