Community Amenity Contribution is one of the causes of slowing down redevelopment process

Community Amenity Contribution is one of the causes of slowing down redevelopment process

  • British Columbia
  • Real Estate
  • Redevelopment
September 1, 2021

A recent report jointly commissioned by the federal and provincial governments pointed out that the municipal government’s policy is a major obstacle to increasing the affordability and supply of housing in British Columbia, especially in Metro Vancouver.

The provincial government must take strict measures to allow municipalities to adopt coordinated and effective methods to promote housing construction. Currently, the rezoning process, especially for large-scale development projects, can take several years and is a challenging process for municipal staff and city councils to achieve policy objectives.

Reviewing application in a timely period without the proper technology to process proposals was one of the problems municipalities faced. To solve this problem, the report suggests that the provincial government should establish a province-wide digital development license system to meet the needs of the city and industry in a streamlined, timely, and cost-effective manner.

The City of Vancouver relies on on-site rezoning when submitting applications. When the CAC is not pre-determined based on a flat rate based on floor area, you may get more Community Service Contributions (CAC) from the developer. In 2020, The Vancouver City council improves the timeliness and transparency to appease the complaints from the development industry. Despite area-specific target rates, CACs is largely determined through consultation with city staff.

“Going forward, the City is committed to working with the development industry to expand upon our existing internal process for resolving disputes that may arise during the CAC negotiations, whereby an escalation process will be considered so that decisions can be made to help determine a fair CAC offering from rezoning applicants,” reads a City of Vancouver staff report in January 2020.

“The principle of negotiated CACs is to capture a portion of the increase in land value as a result of the rezoning to help fund growth costs. After taking into consideration development risks, public interests and a reasonable developer profit, CACs generally represent 75% of that increase in land value resulting from the proposed rezoning.”

Cities are increasingly independent of CACs to fund new community centres, recreational facilities, parks, libraries, childcare, transportation infrastructure and social housing. The City of Vancouver claims that financing these assets through developer revenue is preferable to increasing property taxes, but the reports form the federal and provincial government indicates that the city government has gone too far because of unexpected adverse effects.

The City of Vancouver had a 2019-2022 capital plan that went for $2.9 million for new and enhanced facilities and infrastructure. $1.6 million is dependent on developers with $953 million in CAC cash and development cost tax (DCLs) combined. $570 million in CAC for developers to complete specific services or revenue instead of contributing cash.

“CACs are often negotiated between property developers and local governments, without clear indication of how long the process will take or the exact conditions for rezoning approval in advance of project proposals,” reads the government panel report. “Such delays not only add costs, including carrying costs of land and staff, but also risk reducing the number of projects that would otherwise be proposed.”

“Because zoning-based revenue tools such as CACs discourage local governments from updating zoning codes to better reflect Regional Growth Strategy and Official Community Plan (OCP) priorities, a fourth challenge stemming from these tools is that they risk undermining the participatory planning process. For example, if a community has already consented to the creation of more density along a major new transit corridor, it arguably follows that zoning and servicing infrastructure should be rapidly updated to reflect this priority, rather than reflecting the pre-OCP consultation status quo.”

Community Amenity Contribution is providing so much revenue to help Vancouver’s infrastructure development it would be reasonable for the government to maximize this revenue. The negotiation process is taking much longer than needed for not pre-determined rate forcing developer to bare additional cost on holding the piece of land. Municipalities plans to increase CAC in the year of 2022. For example, Surrey will increase to $40 per sqft and $15,000 per dwelling unit. Increasing CAC is not necessarily a bad thing due to densification; additional facility needs to be funded to support more residents in the area. However, the process is not standardized and provided the municipalities many edges in the negotiation process causing the redevelopment time to be substantially longer hurting housing affordability. A more standardized system is needed to ensure the process is transparent and smooth.

Yoyoe Lu

Founder and managing principal

Yoyoe is the founder and managing principal of Claridge. She was ranked one of Vancouver’s top real estate agents. Currently, Yoyoe is our strategic mind leading the team to success. Her affiliation with industry professionals put her ahead of our competitors. Yoyoe is also part of the Rotary Club of West Vancouver, Canadian Homebuilders Association, Urban Land Institute and Urban Development Institute.

Ashley Osborn

Development Site and Investment Specialist

Ashely is our lead land and investment advisor. He has been consistently featured in the annual top 100 real estate deals of British Columbia ranking. With over $15 billion worth of domestic and international real estate investments under his belt, Ashley is one of the top agents in the province. His 20 years of real estate and financial experience make him a master in negotiation and acquisition.

Patricia Wong Chong

Investment and Leasing Specialist

Patricia is our investment and retail leasing advisor. Her experience in brokerage and market research analysis has helped her comprise over $550 million in commercial real estate transactions. Patricia is responsible, detail-oriented, and professional. Her strong work ethic and positive attitude have led her to surpass all her competitors.

Schumann Li

Land Assembly & Residential Specialist

Schumann is a top-producing realtor in the Lower Mainland with more than 30 years’ experience. Over the years, Schumann hasn’t just garnered awards, but the trust of countless customers. Her clients continually refer to her outstanding professionalism, work ethic and poise.

Wendy Kaip

Sales Associate

Whether it’s decoding city policies, strategizing relocation plans, home sellers looking for a trustworthy advisor to unlock their property’s maximum potential- Wendy is here to help every step along the way.

Prior to real estate, Wendy spent over a decade in the mining industry with her attention to detail, keen negotiation skills, extensive network and strong reputation for getting the deal done, bringing endless value to her current real estate clients.

Whether you are thinking about selling to a developer, or have more questions about commercial real estate, Wendy invites you to connect, to see how she can utilize her expertise and team to help create value and maximize your real estate goals.

Simon Chan

Managing Broker

Simon is the managing broker of Claridge Real Estate Advisors Inc. His expertise has helped our agents resolve many difficulties. Not only is Simon knowledgeable with real estate legislation, but he is also very detail orientated. With Simon on our team, our agents are confident to conduct businesses and will always get the support they need to ensure they’re not walking on dirty water.

Frank Zhou


As the analyst of the company, my key job is to help brokers to find marketable clients and locate feasible development sites by collecting and analyzing up-to-date market transaction data and conducting target market and property-level research. Meanwhile, I am also in charge of maintaining the company’s property database to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness and continuously upgrading the level of knowledge by staying up to date with hot topics, and market trends, and incorporating findings into everyday work. Before joining the company, I worked for CR Group as a real estate investment manager, focusing on capital raising, equity and debt financing, acquisition and renovation. I hold 2 master’s degrees, one in Housing Management and the other in Economics.