Vancouver approves new development fee to support $1 billion cost of new utilities

Jul 12 2018, 3:25 am

The growing trend of densification within the city of Vancouver, particularly along the Cambie Corridor, is necessitating the construction of new utilities to support the influx of new residents and businesses.

Earlier today, City Council approved a new Utilities Development Cost Levy (UDCL) that will cover $543 million of the estimated $1-billion construction cost to build new and enhanced sewer, water, and drainage systems in districts and neighbourhoods experiencing growth. The remaining cost will be covered by the municipal budget.

Vancouver Utilities Development Cost Levy projects

Vancouver Utilities Development Cost Levy projects, 2019-2026. (City of Vancouver)

The UDCL rates for residential developments are set for between $1.98 per-sq-ft to $8.63 per-sq-ft, with higher density projects paying more. For new industrial and commercial spaces, the UDCL will range from $1.44 per-sq-ft to $3.58 per-sq-ft.

This exponentially increases the portion of the existing, overall Development Cost Levy (DCL) that goes towards utilities.

Work on the utility projects will occur between 2019 and 2026, with citywide growth during this period projected to entail 3,300 low-density homes, 1,900 townhouses, 47,000 apartment units, 700,000-sq-ft of industrial space, 2.8 million-sq-ft of mixed employment space, and eight million-sq-ft of commercial space.

The first new utilities will be built along the Cambie Corridor.

By 2014, the city anticipates there will be an additional 50,000 people living within the Cambie Corridor and an overall citywide population growth of 150,000 people.

The existing DCL already helps fund new community amenities and facilities such as parks, childcare centres, and social and non-profit housing.

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Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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