I respond to the March 1 letter, Ignore the Cash, More Value in Built Units, and the criticism of "responsible councillors going for cash grabs."
Readers may be interested to know that in 2012 Metro Vancouver surveyed 13 member municipalities about
their density bonus policies. All deal in cash, with sometimes "in-kind" amenities in lieu of cash. The exception is the City of North Vancouver. The cash amounts are up to 80 per cent of the value of the rezoned land. Benefits are usually in the form of contributions toward community/recreation centres, parks, childcare facilities or affordable housing.
Not having a policy leads to inflated values of the provided amenities, and responsible municipalities more often accept cash for the increased value of rezoned land.
There is a strong possibility that the city could do much more for the community by taking cash and perhaps providing more units in another building for a greater public benefit.
Until the city has a clearly defined density bonusing policy, we need to suspend the current vague policy. The city would likely receive more value taking the cash equivalent and using it on identified priorities that may benefit more residents, such as purchasing a wood frame building to convert to adaptable units.
Toni Bolton North Vancouver
© Copyright 2013