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Richmond developers could pay more for new schools

The Richmond School District expects a new school site in City Centre will cost about $75 million.
Richmond School District office

Developer fees to help buy new school sites could go up about 25 per cent.

At its Wednesday meeting, the Richmond Board of Education will consider whether to raise school site acquisition fees, a set fee paid by developers per housing unit built.

Developers currently pay between $463 and $772 per unit that they build – the cost depends on the density of the project.

These fees are proposed to start at $600 per unit for the highest-density developments and go as high as $1,000 in the lowest-density developments.

These are the maximum rates allowed by the province.

The school district expects to need a new school in the City Centre within the next 10 years – given all the new homes coming online - and the land for the school is expected to cost $75 million.  

Lansdowne Shopping Centre, owned by Vanprop, is currently being planned as an urban centre with about 8,000 homes in a high-density area. If these new fees are in place, the entire development would contribute about $4.8 million to the school site acquisition fund.

If the school board approves the fees this Wednesday, developers will have a two-month grace period, till May 30.

Any development applications submitted before May 30 will have a year to be approved to qualify for the old rates.

School acquisition fees are meant to cover 35 per cent of the cost of buying land for new schools.