Mayor calls for review of DCC missteps

'This needs to see the light of day': Van Laerhoven

Almost $400,000 was never collected for agricultural road DCCs in the District of Kent, dating from 2005 to 2008. A section in the now-defunct bylaw 1306 stated that development cost charges be paid for new barns, shops and other farming buildings, similar to regular construction road DCCs. However, there was backlash from the agricultural community about the fees and subsequently none were ever collected, according to documents received through a Freedom of Information request by local developer Allan Bott. Bott addressed Kent council on Oct. 15 with his findings, and posed several pointed questions at council and staff. “Is it possible that the council that passed Bylaw 1306 in 2004 had not even read or failed to understand that document? Even I would not suggest such incompetence,” he said. “But is it possible?” What followed after the passing of Bylaw 1306 was a series of “half steps and missteps” to repeal and replace the bylaw without section F, which outlined the agricultural road DCC fees. That finally happened in 2009, just as current Mayor John Van Laerhoven was learning the ropes as a new councillor. Bott has been working with the District of Kent to unravel what happened from 2004-2008, so his presentation wasn’t a shock to anyone, Van Laerhoven said. Still, he expressed concern for what processes were ignored. He asked council to carefully consider the issue, and plans to have it on the agenda for the Monday, Oct. 28 council meeting (7:30 p.m.). “I, too, am somewhat perplexed by what occurred,” Van Laerhoven said. “Was there a policy shift in place? I will be asking council to review this carefully.” He would like to see an independent review of the situation, possibly by the provincial ombudsman. “This needs to see the light of day,” Van Laerhoven told the Observer. “This is all public information and I think it’s good. It needs to be talked about.” Development cost charges are to be collected at time of building, and help cover costs of infrastructure changes, such as road widening.

Just Posted

District of Kent yet to set date for cannabis consultation

Open house, questionnaires coming before council makes decision on marijuana sales

Fraser River First Nations say they aren’t getting their share of sockeye

Shortage is a result of decisions made by DFO, not a shortage of sockeye, complaint says

More funding for Harrison tourism projects on the horizon

Village could see increased funding by 2020

Chilliwack celebrates Oktoberfest with Jens Lindemann and the Bergmann Duo

Jens Lindemann is one of Canada’s top trumpet soloists

Most cows saved during massive fire on Agassiz farm thanks to fast work of farmers, neighbours

Agassiz Fire Department responded to late night call Wednesday

VIDEO: More cameras, police coming after Marissa Shen killed in Burnaby park

B.C. privacy watchdog worries that the cameras are a ‘slow creep’ to a surveillance state

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Abbotsford raccoon dies from injuries suffered in a trap

Wildlife protection group offering $1,000 reward for information about incident

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read