BLACK PRESS file photo

RDN looks at funding sources for acquiring and improving parkland

Develpment cost charges study is expected to take place in the fall

The Regional District of Nanaimo staff will conduct a development cost charge study for regional parkland acquisitions and improvements for community parks in five of the seven electoral areas.

According to a press release, the protection and acquisition of parkland is a priority for the RDN board, which directed staff to initiate the study which is expected to start in the fall. Once completed, a report of the study will be presented to the RDN board for consideration in 2020.

A consulting firm specializing in DCC development will be retained to prepare the review. The regional district currently manages 12 regional parks and over 200 community parks throughout its seven Electoral Areas. A 2017 service review recommended DCCs be developed and implemented for parkland management. The RDN is allowed to do so under the Local Government Act to acquire and improve parklands, and make improvements that include the construction of trails, playgrounds, landscaping and restrooms.

RELATED: Development cost charges considered to fund regional parks

“Many local governments in B.C. use DCCs to facilitate parkland acquisitions and improvements, and this study will look at how we can effectively advance the RDN parks and trails system,” said RDN board chairman Ian Thorpe.

“Taking into account the growing population within the RDN, we are looking at all available financial tools to sustain the maintenance and future supply of parklands for recreational and conservation purposes.”

As part of their work, the firm that will be commissioned to do study will provide guidance in developing the bylaws and including stakeholder input.

Under the Local Government Act, future eligible parkland improvement expenses will be examined for inclusion in the bylaw, and the study will include a review of eligible costs for the RDN’s regional parks and rural area community parks system.

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