May 24, 2023Liked by Russil Wvong

You've written about CACs and I was wondering why Toronto is able to legalize fourplexes when they also have development fees. A little Googling reveals that in August 2022, Toronto made multiplexes up to four units exempt from development fees and increased development fees for everyone else: (https://storeys.com/toronto-development-charge-exemptions-multiplex/). To the best of my recollection, this isn't something that you've recommended for Vancouver (not on this Substack anyways). I am interested to know your thoughts on this.

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Thanks Jay, I hadn't seen that! On development charges for Vancouver multiplexes, Tom Davidoff proposes setting a fixed fee per square foot to target a certain rate of redevelopment (say 500 multiplex redevelopments per year), and then raising or lowering the fee to hit the target. If redevelopment is too slow, lower the fee; if redevelopment is too rapid, raise the fee. https://docs.google.com/document/d/193lrOQCEBOmI1LEQ6cWN6T3h4tqpov-3fPIq-KFRNxY/edit?usp=sharing

It's basically a way to control the rate of redevelopment. It's also an incentive for the city to pursue multiplexes, since it provides substantial revenue - at 1.5 FSR (6000 square feet on a 33-foot lot, or 1500 square feet per unit in a four-plex), Davidoff's estimate is that it would provide $1.2 million revenue per project.

It makes the tradeoff explicit: the city can keep the rate of redevelopment relatively low and try to maximize revenue, it can open things up (as Toronto has done) and accelerate redevelopment while forgoing the revenue, or it can aim for somewhere in the middle.

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May 11, 2023Liked by Russil Wvong

This sounds like great news!

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