If you are thinking of appealing to council the decision of the planning director in West Vancouver, this is the year to follow through. Procrastinating it to next year could cost you an extra $2,000.
Fee for appealing the top planning officials’ decisions before the council will see an increase of 400 per cent, from $500 this year to $2,500 in 2020. It is one of the many fee increases the council approved in a meeting on July 8. While some fee increases are small, many fees — which haven’t been increased since 2015 — have gone up steeply.
Anyone who wants to remove rock and deposit soil material where district doesn’t require building permit will have to pay more in 2020. The fee goes up by 400 per cent, from $200 this year to $1,000 next year. Development variance permit fee goes up 127 per cent, from $1,100 to $2,500. Development permit fee goes up by 52 per cent, from $1,650 to $2,500.
Anyone planning to create more than three lot subdivision will have to pay $7,500 next year, an increase of 88 per cent from the present fee of $4,000. Boulevard permit fee will increase from $150 to $500 by next year. Fee for a heritage alteration permit requiring council consideration goes up by 52 per cent, from $1,650 this year to $2,500 next year. A heritage permit review and approval of exemption will cost an applicant $500 next year compared to $200 this year.
It will cost more to rent a facility, to access recreational facilities and to play golf at Gleneagles Golf Course although the fee increases range from two per cent to seven per cent. Dog licensing fee, parking permit fee and business licence fee are also going up in the same range.
For the past seven years, fees-and-charges revenue for the district increased on average by five per cent.
The increase in fees reflected the cost of providing services, staff told the council. Some of these fees haven’t gone up in the past three years.
“They are in alignment with the actual cost, based on the analysis developed by staff and market conditions,” said Arseniy Shchedrinskiy, financial controller at the district.
At the same council meeting, West Vancouver resident John Cave had a different take on the issue. “There was not one reduction of any fee by one per cent or by even 0.5 per cent. Looking at this thing, it would have been nice to see, say, one per cent reduction for seniors playing golf… just a little tidbit, a little something. We are always looking for tax increases here, but never to bring the taxes down,” he said.