Quoting in part:
VANCOUVER — Municipal fees and charges for townhouse projects can vary wildly across Metro Vancouver — from a low of $8,390 per unit in White Rock and Port Moody to a high of $33,713 for a similar unit in Surrey.
That was one of the key findings in a report, Getting To Groundbreaking, that examined the municipal and home builder experience in getting new housing projects approved in the region from 2011 through 2013.
Researchers used a hypothetical 22-unit townhouse development on a 1.19-acre site to determine municipal cost differences throughout the region.
“There’s a huge difference in the fees and charges that municipalities impose,” said Simon Fraser University associate professor Meg Holden, the report’s lead author. “Does it really cost that much more to service development in one city compared with another?”
She said cost differences can occur for several reasons — including having to deal with land issues such as slope protection or the need to build new roads and infrastructure to accommodate the project.
“Nonetheless, it’s a lot of variation so I think this is sort of a starting point for municipalities to see if this is really fair,” Holden said. “There is no real standard and not yet a whole lot of transparency about how these rates are calculated across the region.”
The report — more than a year in the making — is a joint research project involving SFU’s Urban Studies Program, the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association and the Urban Development Institute.
Full report here: