Bulletin: Development Cost Levies (DCLs) - Vancouver

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BulletinDevelopment Cost Levies BulletinEffective:Vancouver (City-wide) DCL By-law, January 28, 2000Area-Specific DCL By-law, January 27, 2007Vancouver Utilities DCL By-law, September 30, 2018Last amended September 30, 2021Authority: Vancouver Charter, Section 523DUPDATES:2022 DCL UpdateStaff are currently updating the DCL program and are bringing forward new DCL by-laws forCouncil consideration on June 22, 2022. A presentation on the draft policy recommendationsinclude draft DCL rates can be found on the City’s DCL webpage. To view the proposed rates,refer to “Table 2: Proposed DCL Rates by Area”.

Regulatory References Vancouver Development Cost Levy By-lawArea Specific Development Cost Levy By-lawVancouver Utilities Development Cost By-lawIntentThe purpose of the Bulletin is to provide general info about Development Cost Levies (DCL), includinginformation on DCL rates, payments, exemptions, and waivers.Background and ContextDevelopment Cost Levies (DCLs) collected from development help pay for facilities made necessary bygrowth. Facilities eligible for DCL funding include: parks, child care facilities, replacement housing(social/non-profit housing), and engineering infrastructure.The DCL by-laws establish the boundaries, set the rates, and describe how to calculate and pay the levy.Levies collected within each DCL district must be spent within the area boundary (except replacementhousing projects which can be located outside).Since January 1997, the City also collects a separate regional Development Cost Charge (DCC) on behalfof the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District for expansion of sewerage facilities required byregional growth (see Appendix B for more information).Since January 2020, the City collects a separate regional DCC on behalf of TransLink for the constructionor expansion of regional transportation projects (see Appendix C for more information).AreasThere are three types of DCL districts within the City, each with its own rates (see Appendix A for maps):1.2.3.The City-wide DCL District applies to most of the City and is levied for Affordable housing, Parks,Transportation and Childcare capital projects. Certain planning areas/zones are excluded from theVancouver DCL District.The City-wide Utilities DCL District also applies to most of the City in addition to the City-wideDCL District and is levied for utilities capital projects. Certain planning areas/zones are excludedfrom this District.Layered DCL Districts. Development in these districts is subject to the area-specific DCL, the Citywide DCL, and the City-wide Utilities DCL.If you are unsure in which DCL area your proposal is located, please contact a DCL Co-ordinator atDCLCoordinator@vancouver.ca.City of VancouverDevelopment Cost Levies BulletinPage 2September 2021

RatesThe levy is based on the gross floor area of the development as indicated on a Development Permit(minus floor area exemptions applicable under the zoning and development by-law) and varies by use andby DCL area. The current rates are shown in Table 1 of the bulletin and maps of the DCL Districts is shownin Appendix A. For more information on how the levy is calculated and applied, refer to the City-wide DCLand City-wide Utilities DCL Background reports found on the city website. The levy will not be more than10% of the value of the development as determined pursuant to the Building By-law.Annual Inflation Adjustment of DCL RatesAll DCL By-law rates are adjusted annually for changes in property and construction inflation. The Cityuses public, third-party data to calculate the impact of annual inflation on the DCL rates. Rates areadjusted annually through a report to Council every July, with new rates effective on September 30th ofevery year. Visit vancouver.ca/financegrowth for more information.In-Stream Rate ProtectionDCL payment is collected at Building Permit issuance and calculated at the rate in effect on the date ofissuance. The City of Vancouver implements DCL by-law amendments on September 30th of each year. Inorder to ensure fairness to applications that have been submitted prior to the adoption of annual DCL Bylaw rate adjustments, in-stream rate protection is offered. Building permits issued within 12 months of aDCL By-law amendment are exempt from that DCL rate increase, provided there was a precursorapplication (rezoning, development permit or building permit application) that was in-stream on the dateof that increase, and provided that: the applicant has submitted an application in a form satisfactory to the City; andthe applicant has paid the applicable application fee to the City.If a related building permit application is not issued within the 12-month period, the rate protection expiresand new DCL rates take effect.Section 523D (8.2 & 8.3) of the Vancouver Charter outlines the criteria that must be met in order for anapplication to qualify for in-stream protection. See Figure 1 as an illustration of how in-stream rateprotection is administered.Figure 1: In-stream Rate ProtectionCity of VancouverDevelopment Cost Levies BulletinPage 3September 2021

Table 1: Current DCL Rates by Area (effective Sept. 30, 2021)Base1(A)City-wideUtilities DCLTOTALCity-wide DCLs(B)(A B)Residential at or below 1.2 FSRand Laneway House 45.54/m2( 4.23/ft2) 25.06/m2( 2.33/ft2) 70.60/m2( 6.56/ft2)Medium Density Residentialabove 1.2 FSR to 1.5 FSR 98.05/m2( 9.11/ft2) 54.47/m2( 5.06/ft2) 152.52/m2( 14.17/ft2)Higher Density Residentialabove 1.5 FSR 196.32/m2( 18.24/ft2) 109.05/m2( 10.13/ft2) 305.37/m2( 28.37/ft2)Commercial and Most OtherUses3 165.70/m2 57.30/m2 223.00/m2 66.13/m2( 6.14/ft2) 22.99/m2( 2.14/ft2) 89.12/m2( 8.28/ft2) 124.30/m2 43.03/m2 167.33/m2Non-ResidentialResidentialCity-wide DCLIndustrial4Mixed Employment(Light Industrial)5Other Rates6Layered2( 15.39/ft2)( 5.32/ft2)False CreekFlatsSouth EastFalse Creek 216.91/m2( 20.15/ft2) 70.16/m2( 6.52/ft2)( 20.71/ft2) 34.64/m2( 3.22/ft2)( 11.55/ft2)( 4.00/ft2)( 15.55/ft2)Artist Studio (Class A&B)ChildcareCommunity Centre/Neighbourhood HouseLibraryPublic Authority UseSocial Service CentreTemporary Buildings 10.00/BP7 10.00/BP 20.00/BP 10.00/BP 10.00/BPCommunity Energy Centre 10.00/BP 10.00/BP 20.00/BPN/A 10.00/BPParking garage 1.08/m2( 0.10/ft2) 1.08/m2( 0.10/ft2) 2.16/m2( 0.20/ft2) 1.08/m2( 0.10/ft2) 1.08/m2( 0.10/ft2)School (K-12) 5.49/m2( 0.51/ft2) 5.49/m2( 0.51/ft2) 10.98/m2( 1.02/ft2) 5.49/m2( 0.51/ft2)N/AN/AN/AN/A 1.00/m2( 0.09/ft2)N/AWorks YardFor a map of the DCL Districts, please see Map 1 in Appendix A.1In the Base DCL areas, the City-wide Utilities DCL applies in addition to the City-wide Vancouver DCL.In the Layered DCL areas, DCLs apply in addition to the City-wide DCL and City-wide Utilities DCL.3All uses, except for those specified here, are subject to the Commercial DCL rate.4Industrial in the City-wide Vancouver DCL and City-wide Utilities DCL apply to development in the I-2, M-1, M-1A, M-1B, M-2,MC-1, MC-2 zoning districts. See DCL By-laws for definitions.5Mixed Employment (Light Industrial) in the City-wide Vancouver DCL and City-wide Utilities DCL apply to IC-1, IC-2, IC-3, I-1,I-1A, I-1B, I-1C, I-3 and I-4 zoning districts. See DCL By-laws for definitions.6Refer to DCL By-law and Zoning & Development By-law for use definitions.7BP stands for Building Permit.2

Table 2: Proposed DCL Rates by Area (effective Sept. 30, 2022)Base8(A)City-wideUtilities DCLTOTALCity-wide DCLs(B)(A B)Residential at or below 1.2 FSRand Laneway House 50.01/m2( 4.65/ft2) 29.59/m2( 2.75/ft2) 79.60/m2( 7.40/ft2)Medium Density Residentialabove 1.2 FSR to 1.5 FSR 107.63/m2( 10.00/ft2) 64.00/m2( 5.95/ft2) 171.63/m2( 15.95/ft2)Higher Density Residentialabove 1.5 FSR 215.49/m2( 20.02/ft2) 128.05/m2( 11.90/ft2) 343.53/m2( 31.92/ft2)Commercial and Most OtherUses10 200.18/m2 65.41/m2 265.59/m2Non-ResidentialResidentialCity-wide DCLIndustrial11Mixed Employment(Light Industrial)12ChildcareCommunity Centre/Neighbourhood HouseCommunity Energy CentreCultural FacilityLibraryPublic Authority UseSocial Service CentreTemporary BuildingsWorks YardOther Rates13Layered9School (K-12)False CreekFlatsSouth EastFalse Creek 216.91/m2( 20.15/ft2) 70.16/m2( 6.52/ft2)( 18.60/ft2)( 6.08/ft2)( 24.67/ft2) 80.00/m2( 7.43/ft2) 26.19/m2( 2.44/ft2) 106.19/m2( 9.87/ft2) 150.09/m2 49.07/m2 199.16/m2 10.00/BP14 10.00/BP 20.00/BP 10.00/BP 10.00/BP 5.49/m2( 0.51/ft2) 5.49/m2( 0.51/ft2) 10.98/m2( 1.02/ft2) 5.49/m2( 0.51/ft2)N/A( 13.95/ft2)( 4.56/ft2) 34.64/m2( 3.22/ft2)( 18.51/ft2)For a map of the DCL Districts, please see Map 1 in Appendix A.8In the Base DCL areas, the City-wide Utilities DCL applies in addition to the City-wide Vancouver DCL.In the Layered DCL areas, DCLs apply in addition to the City-wide DCL and City-wide Utilities DCL.3All uses, except for those specified here, are subject to the Commercial DCL rate.11Industrial in the City-wide Vancouver DCL and City-wide Utilities DCL apply to development in the I-2, M-1, M-1A, M-1B, M-2zoning districts. See DCL By-laws for definitions.12Mixed Employment (Light Industrial) in the City-wide Vancouver DCL and City-wide Utilities DCL apply to IC-1, IC-2, I-1, I-1A,I-1B, I-1C, I-3 and I-4 zoning districts. See DCL By-laws for definitions.13Refer to DCL By-law and Zoning & Development By-law for use definitions.14BP stands for Building Permit.9City of VancouverDevelopment Cost Levies BulletinPage 5September 2021

Mixed-Use ProjectsMixed-use projects come in many forms. DCLs are applied based on the DCL rate by category and thenumber of square metres approved by category. When a mixed-use project has a portion which is DCLexempt (e.g. social housing), then no DCL is applied to that exempt portion and the other portion issubject to DCLs based on approved floor area and rate category.Temporary Buildings / TentsA reduced DCL rate may be applicable to temporary buildings/tents. The Building By-law defines“temporary” as a period not exceeding twelve months. Typically, the temporary DCL rate does not applyto school portables or to temporary sales centres. The DCL rate is 10 per Building Permit authorizing atemporary building or buildings under each applicable DCL By-law. For example, for Temporary buildingsin a layered DCL district, the total DCL would be 10 per Building Permit for the City-wide DCL, 10 perBuilding Permit for the Utilities DCL, and 10 per Building Permit for the Layered DCL ( 30 per BuildingPermit total).Parking GaragesDCLs are applied to parking garage floor area where they are included in total floor space (i.e. FSR)calculations. As such, for the purpose of administering the DCL By-law, parking garage floor area shouldbe charged at the “parking garages” DCL rate, which currently has a DCL rate of 0.10/sq.ft. Please notethis only applies in those circumstances where parking garage floor area is included in FSR calculations.Districts where parking garage floor area may be counted in FSR include: RS zones (including LanewayHousing), RT zones, some RM zones, and First Shaughnessy District. In other Districts, parking garagefloor area is typically excluded from floor area (or FSR) but may be included in certain circumstances.Heritage ProjectsDCLs do not apply to any heritage projects consisting solely of retention and conservation of the existingfloor area. However, new floor area that is being added to an existing heritage building/site is subject toDCLs. “Heritage Density” floor area that is purchased and transferred from a heritage site (donor site orDensity Bank) to another eligible project site (receiver site) is not exempt from DCLs. Additional densityachieved through purchasing Heritage Amenity Shares, as per Schedule G of the Zoning & DevelopmentBy-law, is not exempt from DCLs.Change of UseA change of use does not trigger a DCL. However, if a Building Permit is required as part of the change ofuse, and the change of use is from a DCL exempt to a non-exempt category (e.g., church to residential), aDCL does apply.DCLs apply to floor area previously exempt from being counted in the FSR calculation (i.e. parking orstorage) that is changing to a use that now counts as floor area.City of VancouverDevelopment Cost Levies BulletinPage 6September 2021

PaymentsTiming of PaymentPayment of the levy is a condition of Building Permit issuance and the levy is calculated at the rate ineffect on the date of issuance. If a DCL by-law rate amendment occurs after a building permit applicationis submitted and still in the approvals process, then a 12 month rate protection is applied from the date ofby-law amendment (see the “In-Stream Building Permit Applications” section for details). DCLs have thefollowing payment options: submit payment in full, orsubmit an initial payment of 100 and an irrevocable letter of credit (with interest payable) whichwill be cashed at project completion.Credit cards are not accepted for DCL payments.Phased Projects and DCL PaymentsA Building Permit for a project constructed through the Certified Professional Program may be processedthrough Staged Building Permits. Subsequently, individual Building Permits are issued as the constructionof the building and/or phases of a project progress. DCLs are payable in full at issuance of the Stage 1Building Permit (scope of work is usually limited to excavation and shoring). Alternatively, applicants maypay 100 and deliver a letter of credit securing the outstanding balance (with interest) prior to BuildingPermit issuance.Project Cancellation and RefundsThe DCL will be refunded if the project is cancelled prior to any new construction being carried out on theproject. The applicant should be advised to write to their Project Coordinator and ask for the BuildingPermit to be cancelled and for a refund of Building Permit fees. The District Building Inspector will beasked to confirm that no work has been carried out and the Building Permit will be cancelled. Once it isconfirmed that no new work has taken place and the Building Permit is cancelled, applicants can submit arequest to the DCL Coordinator (DCLCoordinator@vancouver.ca) for a refund of DCL fees.City of VancouverDevelopment Cost Levies BulletinPage 7September 2021

ExemptionsDCLs do not apply to the following:1.2.alterations to an existing building where the total floor area of the building is not increased;social housing (subject to meeting DCL By-law definitions and receiving clearance from theHousing Centre);3. churches exempt from taxation but may exclude ancillary buildings on a church property (i.e. halls,residences).;4. additions, which are smaller than 500 square feet, to existing buildings containing fewer than fourresidential units and no other use; and5. small residential units of 29 square meters (312 square feet) or less.Waivers & ReductionsThere are a number of uses that Council has elected to benefit from either DCL waivers or reduced DCLs.Rental HousingDCLs are waived across all DCL districts on construction of secured rental housing (subject to meeting theDCL By-law definition and requirements of “for-profit affordable rental housing”), except for the UtilitiesDCL. See the Rental Incentive Programs Bulletin for more information.Other UsesFor other reduced DCL rates for specific uses included in Table 1 of the DCL rates, please consult thedefinitions of each use under the DCL By-laws or Zoning & Development By-law.Relation to Other Development ContributionsAs part of the capital planning process, staff review all funding sources available for capital projects. Insome cases, capital projects eligible to be funded by DCLs are provided on-site as part of a rezoning (inkind Community Amenity Contribution or CAC) or development application (in-kind density bonus). Whenthis occurs, it should be on prior approval of City Council and cannot be in lieu of payment of DCLs.DCLs are in addition to CACs or Density Bonus Zoning Contributions where applicable. For moreinformation on CACs, please see the Community Amenity Contributions Policy for Rezonings. For moreinformation on Density Bonus Zoning Contributions, please see the Density Bonus Zoning bulletin.City of VancouverDevelopment Cost Levies BulletinPage 8September 2021

Appendix A - MapsMap 1: DCL DistrictsCity of VancouverDevelopment Cost Levies BulletinPage 9September 2021

Map 2: Layered DCL District MapsFalse Creek FlatsSouth East False CreekCity of VancouverDevelopment Cost Levies BulletinPage 10September 2021

Appendix B – Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage DistrictDevelopment Cost Charge (GVS&DD DCC)Metro Vancouver applies Development Cost Charges (DCC) to users that are part of emerging LowerMainland developments to pay for new sanitary sewer works such as additional trunk lines, pumpingstations, and wastewater treatment plant expansion. Local municipalities are responsible for collecting theDCC on behalf of Metro Vancouver. The City of Vancouver collects the DCC prior to Building Permitissuance.The GVS & DD has two service areas in the City of Vancouver. There are different rates for each area andfor different types of development:Table 2: Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District Development Cost ChargeRate CategoryVancouver Sewerage AreaFraser Sewerage AreaResidential Dwelling Unit 1,811 5,428(per dwelling unit)*Townhouse Dwelling Unit 1,618 4,695(per dwelling unit)Apartment Dwelling Unit 1,072 3,530(per dwelling unit)Non-residential use 0.93 2.67(per square foot)* Under the GVS & DD DCC By-law, residential dwelling unit is defined as a dwelling unit in a building or structure thatcontains up to three dwelling units.In-stream rate protection for the GVS & DD DCC applies to applications submitted prior to the adoption ofthe new DCC rate, provided that: the applicant has submitted an application in a form satisfactory to the City; andthe applicant has paid the applicable application fee to the City.If a related building permit application is not issued within the 12-month period, the rate protection expiresand new DCC rates take effect. Section 568 of the Local Government Act outlines the criteria that must bemet in order for an application to qualify for in-stream protection.For further information, visit the Metro Vancouver website or contact a DCL Co-ordinator atDCLCoordinator@vancouver.ca.Waivers and Reductions for Metro Vancouver GVS&DD DCCMetro Vancouver’s GVS&DD DCC includes waivers or reductions on developments that meet thedefinitions of “not-for-profit rental housing” or “not-for-profit” student housing.Visit the Metro Vancouver website for more information.City of VancouverDevelopment Cost Levies BulletinPage 11September 2021

Appendix C – TransLink Development Cost Charge (DCC)TransLink’s DCC is applied to new developments in Metro Vancouver to help fund the construction orexpansion of regional transportation projects. Local municipalities are responsible for collecting the DCCon behalf of TransLink. The City of Vancouver collects the TransLink DCC prior to Building Permitissuance.Rate CategoryaSingle Family Dwelling(per dwelling unit)Duplex(per dwelling unit)Townhouse Dwelling(per dwelling unit)Apartment(per dwelling unit)Retail/Service(per square foot)Office(per square foot)Institutional(per square foot)Industrial(per square foot)aTable 3: TransLink Development Cost ChargeRates EffectiveJanuary 15, 2019January 15, 2020January 1, 2021 0 2,100 2,975 0 1,900 2,470 0 1,900 2,470 0 1,200 1,545 0 1.25 1.25 0 1.00 1.00 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.30 0.30Refer to section 2 of the TransLink DCC By-law for more information about the definitions for each rate category.Waivers for TransLink DCCThe TransLink DCC includes waivers or reductions on developments that meet the definitions of “not-forprofit rental housing” or “not-for-profit” student housing.Visit the TransLink website for more information.City of VancouverDevelopment Cost Levies BulletinPage 12September 2021

Since January 1997, the City also collects a separate regional Development Cost Charge (DCC) on behalf of the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District for expansion of sewerage facilities required by regional growth (see Appendix B for more information). . Vancouver DCL District. 2. The City-wide Utilities DCL District also applies to .

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