Community Amenity Contribution Policy - Town of Gibsons

Current Project Status

At the Regular Council Meeting held November 2, 2021, Council adopted Community Amenity Contribution Policy 3.14.

The final policy reflects amendments to the previous draft as requested by Council, including:

    • Combine all multi-family development into one development category (to include duplexes, three-family dwellings, apartments, and townhouses) with an updated CAC target of $5,000 under Section 4.1.2;
    • Increase 50% to 75% under section 4.1.4;
    • Add to the bullets under section 4.1.4 to include:
      • Where the proposed density includes more than 10 units; and
      • Where the proposed development is located with the Harbour Plan Area.
    • Amend section 8.1.1 such that the CAC Policy be reviewed one year from adoption, and then every 2 to 5 years after that.
Project Background

The Town began revising its Community Amenity and Affordable Housing Contribution Policy in late 2019, with the goal of developing a policy that is transparent and easy-to-understand, as well as fair to both the development community and the Town.

Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) are monetary or in-kind contributions made by the developer to the Town as part of a rezoning process. CACs are intended to help offset the cost of providing community amenities associated with new residential development that requires a change in land use or density.

Cash contributions collected from developers may be placed in two reserve funds.

The first is the “Community Amenity Contribution Reserve Fund”, which is used to pay for public amenities that can enhance the quality of life for a community. Examples of community amenities include playground equipment, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, public art, community events, or improvements to recreational facilities.

The second reserve fund is the “Affordable Housing Reserve”, which helps support the development of affordable housing options in the Town.

Project History

The Town established its first CAC policy in 2007.

In 2016, the policy was updated to include a provision for, and definitions of, affordable housing.

In Q4 2019, Urban Systems began working with the Town to further update the Community Amenity and Affordable Housing Contribution Policy, with the goal of developing a revised policy that is transparent and easy-to-understand, as well as fair to both the development community and the Town.

The work began with a background review on financing growth and the role of CACs, best practices, CACs in comparable communities, a review of the Town’s existing policy, and a staff/Council workshop.

In Q3 2020, Urban Systems interviewed stakeholders, identified suitable options for Gibsons, and delivered a draft report to staff.

In Q4 2020, Urban Systems completed pro forma financial analyses of case study sites under multiple land use types and tenures.

In Q1 2021, staff received a draft policy, which was presented to Council on June 1, 2021. Read the related Staff Report, which includes the draft policy, and a report from Urban Systems  here.

View Urban Systems’ presentation to Council here.

At that meeting, it was determined that the policy required further revisions, and that the public would be consulted on the draft document prior to its adoption.

On July 6, 2021, staff presented a revised Community Amenity Contribution policy to Council. Read the related Staff Report, and view revised policy, here.

In summer 2021, an online survey was conducted to help identify which amenities are a priority for our community.

On October 5, 2021, the results from the online community survey were presented to Council.  The survey attracted 384 respondents, and showed that affordable housing, ongoing investment in our outdoor recreational spaces and maintenance of our existing infrastructure (water, wastewater and roads) remain the top priorities for our community. Read the related 09-21-2021 Staff Report and CACs Survey Results.

On October 19, 2021, Council resolved that section 4.1.1 of the Community Amenity Contribution Policy be updated to allocate the CAC revenue as follows:

      • 44% to the Town’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund
      • 56% to the Town’s General Community Amenity Contribution Reserve

Council also resolved that further discussion of the Community Amenity Contribution Policy be referred to the November 2, 2021 Committee of the Whole meeting.