Comment 120271

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted October 13, 2016 at 19:03:27 in reply to Comment 120270

Once it is clear that incentives are no longer necessary to make downtown developments economically viable they could be eliminated. The incentive boundaries could be shifted further east or, even better, we could move to a "true cost" DC model.

One of Pamela Blais's findings was that many costs of development do not increase proportional to number of residents, but are much cheaper per resident for denser developments.

For example, compare a 200 unit condo building housing 300 people with 100 detached houses housing the same number.

Clearly, the 100 houses will have a much larger footprint (about 30 to 50 times larger not counting access roads) than the condo, so 30 to 50 times more runoff to the sewers.

The 100 houses will require at least 1 lane km of access road at 10m per house (with associated sidewalks, lights extra utility runs). The infill condo building doesn't require anything extra.

But a 200 unit condo could generate as much tax revenue as 200 houses, if they have equivalent property values. They could generate much more if they were rental apartments with a similar value.

In fact, multi-residential buildings (i.e. rental apartment buildings) are taxed at a much higher rate (3.35%) than residential, which includes condos (1.34%). This is obviously unfair, given the lower load multi-residential places on services, but it does show that those resident living in multi-residential units are often paying far more per resident than those living in detached houses.

Because of the unfairness of taxing rental apartment buildings so highly, there is a move to lower the rate to the overall residential rate:

And as you mentioned, more density means that transit and local shops and services are viable so people will drive less.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2016-10-13 19:05:39

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