More money going into building Maple Ridge

New charges on housing projects.

Maple Ridge will make another couple million dollars a year after council gave a final approval to a set of charges it will place on new housing projects.

“Community amenity contributions” are charges that developers pay over and above standard development fees. Most cities in Metro Vancouver already impose such fees to pay for parks or public art, trails and community centres.

From now on, developers building more than three single family lots will pay $5,100 for each, or $4,100 for each townhouse and $3,100 for each condo they build.

The fee schedule was to be approved Tuesday and go into a fund that will pay for public art, parks, trails, heritage projects or community centres.

“This is a pretty amazing thing that we’ve done as a council,” said Mayor Nicole Read.

People will understand that developers play a big role in building the community, she added.

“I think this a huge milestone and achievement for us.”

Coun. Craig Speirs said he’s been calling for such charges for years.

“It will allow us to do some stuff we haven’t really budgeted for.”

Coun. Gordy Robson said it was tried 10 years ago, under a previous council, unsuccessfully, saying that’s why Maple Ridge is behind in building recreation facilities.

Coun. Bob Masse said the previous council deserves some credit for starting the process by introducing a density bonus charge for new homes in the Albion area.

Developers in the Albion area who want to increase the number of housing units beyond what’s in the city plan, have to pay another $3,100 for each extra housing unit.

“A lot of the heavy lifting on that happened with the last council. We managed to get it done and that made it so much easier for this council to go ahead,” Masse said.

That density bonus fee will still remain in place in the Albion area while the amenity contribution charge will be reduced to $2,000.


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