Metro Vancouver collects development cost charges (DCCs) for new residential and non-residential
developments in the region to pay for new infrastructure needed to provide services to the future occupants of these buildings. These charges are defined in bylaws of the legal entity responsible for the infrastructure.
Water Development Cost Charge
Metro Vancouver is in the process of establishing a new DCC for regional water infrastructure. The concept of funding regional water infrastructure through DCCs has been encouraged by most Greater Vancouver Water District (GVWD) members, and is a critical component of our long term financial plan.
Until now the larger regional water infrastructure – water treatment facilities, reservoirs, water mains and pump stations that deliver the water to the municipalities – have primarily been paid for through user fees. The Metro Vancouver Board has recommended the implementation of a water DCC as one funding tool that enables development to contribute towards the cost of the infrastructure needed to service our growing region in its 2019–22 Board Strategic Plan.
Implementing A Water DCC
The Greater Vancouver Water District is guided by distinct legislation. An evolved interpretation by the Province on our legislative environment was proposed to allow the GVWD to collect DCCs under the Local Government Act. The Local Government Act provides local governments and greater boards, such as the Greater Vancouver Water District, the authority to charge DCCs in relation to servicing, directly or indirectly, the development for which the charge is imposed. This provision allows the GVWD to establish a DCC bylaw in accordance with the Local Government Act for the purpose of raising funds to pay for population growth related infrastructure costs.
Water DCC Rates
The rates which include the application of interest are as follows:
|$6,692 / unit||$5,696 / unit||$4,261 / unit||$3.39 / ft2 of floor area|
A list of DCC water capital growth projects can be found in the DCC Capital Growth Program 2021 Budget.
I started my development application process before the proposed water Development Cost Charge (DCC). Am I subject to the new DCC?
New development cost charge bylaws are subject to “in-stream” provisions as determined by Section 568 of the
Local Government Act.
Local Government Act - Effect of bylaws adopted after application for rezoning, development permit or building permit submitted
568(2) - Subject to subsection (3), a development cost charge bylaw that would otherwise be applicable to the construction, alteration or extension of a building or structure has no effect with respect to that construction, alteration or extension if
- the building permit authorizing that construction, alteration or extension is issued within 12 months after the date the bylaw is adopted, and
- a precursor application to that building permit is in-stream on the date the bylaw is adopted.
Learn more about Division 7 — Development Permits
Water DCC Framework
The framework of the water DCC implementation program has been designed to align with the liquid waste DCC policy framework, including the following:
Land use categories
DCCs are to be based on four separate land use categories: residential, townhouse, apartment, and non-residential.
Units for charging DCCs
Residential developments will be charged per unit/dwelling, while a DCC for a non-residential development will be charged per square foot.
The assist factor is the portion of the growth project that is to be funded from water sales to GVWD members rather than DCCs. Increasing the assist factor shifts more of the cost of system expansion (growth) from DCCs to water sales.
The one significant point of difference between the proposed water DCC framework and the existing liquid waste DCC policy framework is that the water DCC implementation program will operate at the regional level with one fee structure. The liquid waste DCC program is separated into four sewerage areas: Vancouver, Lulu Island West, North Shore, and Fraser. Each sewerage area has its own unique fee structure based on its development requirements.
Waivers And Reductions
Water DCCs may be waived for Not-for-Profit Rental Housing that is owned, leased or otherwise held by a Not-for-Profit Society, BC Housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a Non-Profit Municipal Housing Corporation, or a Registered Charity at the time of any application for, or issuance of, a waiver of DCCs. Details, other waiver conditions, and application form can be found here.
Impact On The Region
Water DCCs will ensure water infrastructure can consistently and reliably be provided to new developments and address the needs of region’s growing population. Rather than an increase in existing user water rates to fund growth infrastructure, DCCs attribute the costs of growth infrastructure to those new developments that benefit from those costs. DCCs have not been estimated to significantly impact housing affordability nor impair development in the region.
Your Opinion Counts
Metro Vancouver is committed to engaging audiences who may be impacted by or have an interest in the proposed water development cost charge implementation program. They will be asked to provide feedback during our engagement period. Key examples include:
- Government and regulatory agencies, including Indigenous Nations in BC*, provincial government, and member jurisdictions
- Development and building industry, including developers, urban development associations, business associations and professional associations.
- Metro Vancouver residents
* While Indigenous Peoples will be invited to participate in public engagement activities, a separate Indigenous engagement strategy outlines a government-to-government engagement approach with Indigenous Nations.
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. The public engagement period for the proposed water development cost charge has ended.
Metro Vancouver hosted webinars on June 3 and 6, 2022 to gather your input and answer questions.
The information that you have provided will be considered in updating the proposed bylaw to the GVWD Board in Fall 2022. Following the endorsement by the Board, a bylaw would then be forwarded for approval by the Inspector of Municipalities and subsequently for final approval by the GVWD Board.
GVS&DD Liquid Waste DCC Update
In 2018 the Greater Vancouver Sewerage & Drainage District (GVS&DD) Board updated its
DCCs for the first time since DCCs were introduced in 1997. As part of that process, industry feedback indicated that more frequent updates were preferable. As a result, Metro Vancouver committed to regularly scheduled updates of its DCC Bylaw.
Following analysis and engagement in 2020/21, Amending Bylaw 353, 2022 and the new DCC rates were approved by the Board with an effective date of June 24, 2022. The rates which include the application of interest are as follows:
|Fraser||$6,254 / unit||$5,390 / unit||$4,269 / unit||$3.30 / ft2 of floor area|
|Lulu Island West||$3,313 / unit||$2,756 / unit||$2,042 / unit||$1.54 / ft2 of floor area|
|North Shore||$3,300 / unit||$2,786 / unit||$2,030 / unit||$1.67 / ft2 of floor area |
|Vancouver||$3,335 / unit||$2,983 / unit||$1,988 / unit||$1.63 / ft2 of floor area|
View the list of
DCC Liquid Waste capital growth projects.
The ‘in-stream’ provisions, as described above, also apply to the new liquid waste DCC rates. Complete development applications with that were submitted prior to June 24, 2022, provided the related building permit is approved within 12 months of June 24,2022, will be charged the previous DCC rates.