by Bill Granger
February 08, 2008, Bowen Island Undercurrent
Thanks for publishing Ian Fry’s letter about the horrible state of Bowen’s roads, especially targeting the heavy traffic of eighteen-wheelers coming and going, taking our precious forest logs and bringing tonnes of concrete, gravel, fill, milled wood and building materials to the far reaches of the island.
The talk in the barber shop on Saturday (with three dedicated cyclists) had to do with Ian’s letter and the sad state of our roads and verges. Development should be paying for the costs of development – Bowen is so overdue for the imposition of development cost charges against developers that it makes me shake my head. I have been advocating for this for many years – all other Lower Mainland municipalities have been collecting $24,000 to $46,000 per lot at the time of subdivision approval since the early 1990s. The DCCs are generally split between streets, sewers, water supply and parks provision and upgrading. They are meant to be collected and spent for capital works related to new development. However, in my experience, the smart municipalities save the capital DCC funds and are allowed, under the Community Charter, to spend the interest on general upgrades.
So, I would again encourage council to seriously investigate DCCs for Bowen developments. We have lost millions of opportunity dollars in the last 10 years, at least, and cannot afford to lose any more. When old houses on my street are being listed in the mid-$600,000 range, no new house buyer in our (now, regrettably) gated community will even notice the extra charges that will serve us all well.