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Langley Township tweaks developer fee scheme to cover debt servicing costs

CACs can now cover debt used to fund parks and rec centres
The Township of Langley Civic Facility. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley Township revamped a major policy that collects funds from developers, allowing money to be used to service debt for some civic projects.

At the Monday, Sept. 25 meeting, council approved a number of changes to the Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) policy.

CACs were first implemented in 2018 in the Township, then significantly revamped and increased by the current council shortly after the members took up their roles in late 2022.

The changes were designed to include a number of projects that could be funded by CACs, including a new indoor pool planned for the Willoughby area, new ice rinks at the Langley Events Centre, new fire halls, and more parks.

The changes also boosted the amount flowing to an Affordable Housing Reserve Fund, and added a flat rate density bonus category to the CACs, meaning the Township collects more CACs when developers raise density of new developments above a certain level.

The changes approved Monday included a number of tweaks that are being made to the CAC formulas based on feedback from developers, according to a staff report.

There are no changes to CACs for single-family homes or townhouses, but changes were made to CACs for apartments and condos. They largely simplify the system. One change is that each apartment would now pay the same flat fee of $11,000 per unit, as compared to the previous rules, which saw low-rise apartments paying $11,000, and apartments of seven storeys or more paying $9,500 per unit.

But the biggest change may be the rule adjustment allowing CAC funds to be used for debt serving.

The Township council, under Mayor Eric Woodward and his Contract With Langley slate majority, have launched an ambitious program of building new civic infrastructure, from widening 208th Street to building new ice rinks and soccer fields.

Many of those projects could be funded by CACs, but they are currently being funded by debt.

In the long run, the plan is to pay for the bulk of projects such as the new Langley Events Centre ice and dry-floor rink expansions using CACs, but in the short term some of them will be funded by borrowing money. The budget envelope for that project was expanded to $149 million at the same council meeting where the CAC changes were approved.

Changing the CAC rules to allow CACs to be applied to debt servicing for such projects comes as the projects are moving through the planning stage and get closer to breaking ground over the coming years.

READ MORE: Funding for Langley Events Centre expansion rises to $149 million

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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