The Langley School Board is hiking the fees it gets from developers to buy land for new schools in growing neighbourhoods.
The current fees are $354 per unit for low density housing, $283 for medium density and $212 for high density.
The proposed fees are slightly more than double the current rates at $737 (low), $590 (medium), and $443 (high).
"I think it's time we got on with it and adopt it," said Trustee Alison McVeigh.
Ted Schaffer, the City's acting mayor, addressed the school trustees, lobbying for a two-tier fee structure with the City paying less than the Township because most of the development taking place is in the Township.
At the request of the municipalities, the district did a study of expected future development in the next decade.
The consultant, Urban Systems, said that less than nine per cent of the future growth in Langley will take place in the City, with just over
91 per cent taking place in the Township.
Student number projections for the next decade show that about 4.37 per cent of the students would be in the City.
"The proposed doubling of the School Site Acquitition Charge for both the City of Langley and the Township of Langley, in our opinion, is inequitable and unreasonable given that the City's projected student growth in the next 10 years is minimal," Schaffer said.
Trustees questioned whether Schaffer's suggested two-tier fee is possible.
School Board Chair Wendy Johnson said the increased fees put Langley in the middle of the pack, in comparison to other Lower Mainland municipalities.
Land costs are estimated to be about $1.2 million per acre over the next five years in this communty.
The District is asking the Ministry of Education for a new secondary school in the
Willoughy area to take pressure off of R.E. Mountain Secondary.
Based on projections, the District will need to spend about $30 million over the next decade to have sufficient student spaces in the fastest growing area of this community.
Now that the school board has approved the fees, the issue goes back to the City and Township which have 60 days to give their opinion.
If they disagree with the school board, the matter goes to mediation, with the decision binding on all parties.
The fee had not changed in a dozen years, and the last time the fee was changed, the issue went to mediation.
Once the amount is settled upon, the school district will give final approval to a bylaw with the new fee structure. It would come into effect 60 days after school board approval.
@ Copyright 2013