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Victoria wants to double fees for builders


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#1 martini

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 11:52 PM

Victoria wants to double fees for builders
Critics say costs will rise in region’s already expensive housing market

By Bill Cleverley, Times Colonist March 11, 2010
http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz0hwjuVdTt
The cost of development in Victoria is about to go up as the city looks to more than double many of its fees and to create a host of new ones.

But builders, who say they weren’t consulted about the proposed changes, say it’s the wrong move at the wrong time and the new fees will simply make the already expensive Victoria housing market even more so.[...]

#2 G-Man

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 07:11 AM

This is crazy. They are raising costs and taking longer to do the same work.

“The last time these fees were updated was 1998, and today’s processes are much more complex and time-consuming than they were 10 years ago,” Alison Meyer, assistant director of development services, told members of Victoria’s corporate services committee Thursday. For example, she said, the most basic rezoning application takes 62 hours of staff time to process. The new fees are intended to cover costs

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How about the process be simplified take out some steps so there is at least a benefit for the builder for the extra cost

“Currently, we’re not collecting fees for the creation of legal agreements, amendment to legal agreements … and any number of other miscellaneous reports that staff generate to deal with these requests,” Meyer said

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I don't think most public service agencies charge for producing reports. What control does the buyer in case have over how many reports are written and thus raising the cost? Sounds like an auto mechanic tactic.

- Sure bring in your rezoning and we will get it done for you by this afternoon.

6 hours later...

- Well we had our rezoning technician open up your proposal and they filled out a J457-F and a 327-K and that of course led to legal review and we are thinking that the it needs to go LUC, CoTW and Public Hearing.

- Also staff are recommending you consider environmental review and a full consultation with neighbours, we can set these up for you no problem.

- Of course this is all going to a bit of time so we can have your rezoning back to you in 4 months and we will have to add our costs for each of the items above which will double the quote you received this morning.

- Of course you can take your proposal somewhere else Saanich or Langford are just down the road, but no one does a rezoning like we do.

#3 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 07:16 AM

What they need to do is tackle this in the correct order:

Coun. Sonya Chandler said she doesn’t think the new fees will make or break any project budget.

“What we’ve heard from the development industry all along is that they want us to be functioning and working at our top capacity. In order for us to do that, I think we have to leverage the fees to offset the costs of doing so,” she said.


Read more: http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz0hyYMcavz

Fine, make a written promise of "full capacity" when you collect the fees, or show us first that you are capable of full capacity before you raise fees.

#4 AnonAnnie2

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 07:30 AM

........."doesn’t think".........

Sadly by the time people begin to see the results of higher fees, its to late.

#5 jklymak

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 08:32 AM

This certainly seems an odd business model. The yearly tax revenue from a single 100-unit building exceeds $150k, you'd think there would be plenty of incentive to do the planning.

#6 rjag

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 08:58 AM

^exactly, seems to me the City is missing the bigger picture here. Sounds like they want to fund all their Planning Dept Staff through fees.

#7 yodsaker

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 10:18 AM

They claim the fees haven't been changed for 10 years so why the hell didn't they do it a few years ago instead of waiting for the economy to dip then piling on.:confused:
HST for homebuyers is already a nasty blow that won't encourage things.
Too often governments don't make themselves more efficient they simply use their monoploy tax and regulatory powers to mask inefficiencies.

#8 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 10:24 AM

They claim the fees haven't been changed for 10 years so why the hell didn't they do it a few years ago instead of waiting for the economy to dip then piling on.:confused:
HST for homebuyers is already a nasty blow that won't encourage things.
Too often governments don't make themselves more efficient they simply use their monoploy tax and regulatory powers to mask inefficiencies.


Why don't they take a sampling of 5 nearby municipalities and place their rates somewhere in the mix.

If I own a restaurant, I have to price my fare competitively amongst my competitors. I can't just say that I have high expenses (reports and legal) or labour costs (policing) and therefore just set my menu prices as high as I want.

#9 Sparky

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:27 AM

If I own a restaurant, I have to price my fare competitively amongst my competitors. I can't just say that I have high expenses (reports and legal) or labour costs (policing) and therefore just set my menu prices as high as I want.


You could if you were the only restaurant in town.

#10 davek

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:43 AM

^ Not even then. Set prices too high, and consumers will decide to do without.

#11 aastra

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 02:08 PM

This certainly seems an odd business model. The yearly tax revenue from a single 100-unit building exceeds $150k, you'd think there would be plenty of incentive to do the planning.

It's the Victorian way. Instead of growing the resource they prefer to suck the resource dry. It's the tourist trap mentality.

#12 yodsaker

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 02:50 PM

This certainly seems an odd business model. The yearly tax revenue from a single 100-unit building exceeds $150k, you'd think there would be plenty of incentive to do the planning.


Yes, but its not a business model, its a frickin monopoly.
Like the crappy boulevard maintenance we pay for. Most of my neighbours and I would happily do it ourselves and do it better. But the city (OB) won't forego the boulevard fee.

#13 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 11:12 PM

It's the Victorian way. Instead of growing the resource they prefer to suck the resource dry. It's the tourist trap mentality.


Exactly.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#14 yodsaker

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 12:13 PM

What they need to do is tackle this in the correct order:


Read more: http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz0hyYMcavz

Fine, make a written promise of "full capacity" when you collect the fees, or show us first that you are capable of full capacity before you raise fees.


So what does the esteemed councillor mean by this?
The fonctionnaires will work harder and take shorter coffee breaks?
Or the city will hire even more paper-pushers?

#15 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 05:53 AM

Builders set to fight city fees


Times Colonist
March 17, 2010



Capital region homebuilders are ramping up their opposition to the city of Victoria's planned increase to development charges.

"We will be attending the council meeting on March 25 to oppose this increase and we hope those interested in housing affordability will attend and express similar concerns," Casey Edge, executive officer of the Canadian Home Builders Association's Victoria branch, said yesterday.

Victoria is considering doubling many of its fees and adding new ones to cover costs.


Read more: http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz0iRSH2dz9

#16 G-Man

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 06:44 AM

I think I will write a letter on this.

#17 Dennis Carlsen

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 04:23 PM

This is an issue that has really riled up the construction and development organizations including the Urban Development Institute. The increase in development fees is just one of a number of increased development fees together with a increasingly complex and lengthy approval process.

These organizations are questioning the timing and rationale for this at a time when the development and construction industry, which is a major economic driver in the region, is just beginning a fragile recovery. What has been the most irritating is that this was not done with any consultation with the development industry.

#18 Maverick

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 04:39 PM

So what does the esteemed councillor mean by this?
The fonctionnaires will work harder and take shorter coffee breaks?
Or the city will hire even more paper-pushers?

Just what we need ,more union employees,most will say they are overworked already and don`t get enough breaks.
I believe if you laid off one or two and did away with the unions, all the employees doing the paper pushing would get more work done.

#19 Rob Randall

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 08:14 PM

Don't forget they've already boosted Development Cost Charges.

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#20 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:19 PM

Not much on the council agenda for tomorrow night, but one item is Casey Edge from the Homebuilders addressing council about the fees.

 



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