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Some parking fines set to double in the City of North Vancouver

Other fees that affect developers will also increase by a significant amount
A man opens his car door on Lonsdale Avenue during the busy lunchtime rush. | Nick Laba / North Shore News

The North Shore’s busiest municipality is hiking some of its fines and fees, in an effort to deter risks to public safety and bring charges up to date with other municipalities.

At a meeting on Nov. 27, North Vancouver City council heard a report on its 2023 fees and charges review, before voting unanimously to amend several bylaws with the updated amounts. The various changes apply to the city’s cemeteries, streets, utilities, construction sites and potential film sets.

Some of the largest increases are related to bylaw infractions on city roads. Starting Jan. 1, 2024, parking within six metres of a crosswalk, intersection or stop sign could now cost you $110 – up from $50 currently. Similarly, parking an unattached trailer on its own or next to a vehicle incapable of towing could result in a $110 fine, up from $55.

Staff’s reasoning for the changes note the potential for injury when vehicles are parked too close to a crosswalk or intersections. “And the frequency of occurrences warrants a larger increase to help deter drivers,” reads the report. Staff also mentioned the danger of unattached trailers, which are often left outside of construction sites.

The biggest increase for a bylaw infraction was for unlawful fire or lit material, which jumped to $500 from $75. Staff recommended the change, which primarily penalizes people for flicking their lit cigarette or cigar, to be the maximum allowable fine, in line with the city’s fire bylaw.

Why does North Vancouver City charge less for community amenity contributions?

A number of the incoming fee increases affect developers. Building permit fees – including building, plumbing, gas and electrical – will be raised to roughly $15,000, from $12,000 presently, based on staff’s estimation of a mid-block duplex. That’s compared to around $17,000 in the District of North Vancouver and $14,000 in West Vancouver.

Connecting and disconnecting utilities will increase to $29,000 from $20,000 for the benchmark duplex, compared to $24,000 in the District of North Van and $29,000 in West Van.

But density and community benefits – which sit at $6,000 for the mid-block duplex – will not go up, and are much lower than North Van District at $37,000 and West Van at $51,000.

Coun. Holly Back asked staff to explain the discrepancy.

“The main reason is that the City of North Van doesn’t charge community amenity charges, typically for that size of development, whereas both of the districts do,” said Larry Sawrenko, the city’s chief financial officer.

“Is there a reason why we don’t?” Back asked.

“I think the city is able to typically raise the money that it needs for its amenities without going through every single smaller development,” Sawrenko said.

But Coun. Don Bell and Mayor Linda Buchanan both said that area could be reviewed in the future.

Changes to developer permits and fees will come into effect March 1, 2024. The last time development permit fees were updated was in 2011.

Most of the other changes to fees and charges were based on inflation, or where the city wasn’t currently recovering costs.

For example, the hourly rate for an RCMP officer to assist with film operations will rise to $163 from $155. Staff said that change will allow the city to recover costs related to driving to the set and meal breaks.

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