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Residential developers in Nanaimo-Ladysmith area will help fund future schools

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools adopts school site acquisition charge bylaw
Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools has adopted a school site acquisition charge bylaw, which will require residential developers in Nanaimo paying a fee to the City of Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)

Residential developers seeking to build in the Nanaimo area will now pay an extra fee to offset costs related to future school properties and expansion projects.

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public School has adopted a school site acquisition charge bylaw, the school district noted in a press release. Any new residential builds in the region will be required to pay a fee to local governments, which will then be transfer the money to the school district to assist with purchasing or expanding school sites.

In Nanaimo, the city will collect the charge at the subdivision approval stage for single residences or when building permits are issued for multi-family residential developments consisting of two units or more.

The school district is also partnering with Ladysmith, Lantzville, Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley regional districts and Islands Trust, said the press release.

Charlene McKay, Nanaimo-Ladysmith school board chairperson, said the charge is necessary as enrolment is increasing.

“Nanaimo is one of the top-five fastest growing cities in Canada,” McKay said in the press release. “With more students coming we need to make sure we have space for them in the classroom.”

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog echoed McKay’s sentiment, noting in the release that the city is projecting continued high population growth.

“Through its long-range facilities plan, [the school district] is likewise planning for school facility needs due to growth within our community,” Krog said. “The [charge] will provide funding for the [district] to acquire land for new and expanded school sites to support new residential growth.”

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