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City improves transparency and delivery of community benefits for developer contributions

Making these amenity investments more transferable will help our fastest growing communities secure the infrastructure they need in their neighbourhoods.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart

January 23 2020 –

City Council has approved a series of improvements to a key development contribution policy today, which will ensure greater efficacy and transparency, and that the benefits of these contributions are more equally shared by all residents across the city.

The City's Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) Policy has been updated to increase equity and add a city-wide framework for all community investments, both of which are key pillars of the recently launched Vancouver Plan. With this update the public benefit strategies for community plans are maintained while addressing city-wide priorities.

As Vancouver grows, so does the need for new public benefits such as parks, libraries, childcare facilities and affordable housing. Some of the funding to create and support these facilities comes from contributions applied to new developments such as CAC's.

"Making these amenity investments more transferable will help our fastest growing communities secure the infrastructure they need in their neighbourhoods," said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. "This developer contribution model also ensures that we are not impacting housing costs or adding an additional burden on taxpayers to support the many amenities we need."

Improved CAC policy includes 5 key updates

  1. CACs will allocate development contributions to the following important public benefits: Affordable housing; Childcare; Transportation; Community facilities; Public safety; Parks and open spaces; Arts and culture; and Heritage conservation.
  2. CAC's will continue to be prioritized in the neighborhood in which the rezoning takes place, but will now incorporate a more portable, equitable approach by investing in public benefits that extend beyond a particular area so that more residents can enjoy them.
  3. The City is introducing the possibility to allow applicants to defer a portion of cash CACs valued over $20 million, to make it easier to pay over time.
  4. Consistent with current practice, the City will not refund previously approved cash CACs or alter in-kind CACs following a public hearing. In-kind CACs may only be altered through the resubmission of a new rezoning application.
  5. Ownership of in-kind CACs by non-profit, indigenous, and governments will be introduced, subject to specific legal conditions.

"One of the key city-wide goals of the upcoming Vancouver Plan is to advance overall equity for residents across the city, said Gil Kelley, General Manager and Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability. "These policy improvements will create a more portable, equitable CAC system that will allow funding to be spent in all parts of the city, providing benefits all Vancouver residents."

Development contributions like CACs ensure that as additional density is added, the costs of additional public benefits are shared between the developers and the City, instead of the growth costs being borne solely by the City and taxpayers.

Community Amenity Contributions are in-kind or cash contributions provided by property developers as part of the rezoning process, which grants an increase in development potential or a change in the permitted uses of a site. CACs are one of the tools used by the City to fund public benefits and help address the costs of growth.

Secured public benefits as in-kind CACs

Over the past 10 years, the City has secured many new public benefits as in-kind CACs:

  • 1,900 social housing units
  • 500 childcare spaces
  • 11 community facilities including neighbourhood houses, family places, and community centres
  • 8 cultural facilities including artist studios and performance and rehearsal spaces
  • 6 parks/open spaces/public realm improvements
  • Other public benefits such as heritage conservation and public art

In addition, the city has collected cash CAC contributions from new development that have helped deliver public benefits or are committed towards delivering future public benefits.

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