This map shows the proposed location for the upcoming Eagle Mountain elementary school. The district is now considering how to fund site acquisition for further future schools. (Abbotsford School District)

Abby Schools

Abbotsford considering raising education fee on new developments

Fee, which funds property acquisition for new schools, hasn’t budged since 2007

The Abbotsford School District estimates it will need to spend another $14.1 million on land acquisitions for more school space in the next 10 years.

The district hasn’t even gotten shovels in the ground on the newly funded elementary school on Eagle Mountain, and they’re already looking at potential locations for new school sites.

The estimation comes as part of the district’s analysis to inform its municipal government-enforced fees on new developments that increase the housing stock in the city, which may increase for the first time in 12 years.

RELATED: Province pledges $25 million to build new Eagle Mountain elementary school

RELATED: Abbotsford school officials hope for new school approval before July

According to a report to the board of education, the city expects 8,850 new development units in the next 10 years. The district estimates an increase of 2,439 students over that time, with 2,361 (90 per cent) of those students anticipated to be coming from those developments.

That increase would necessitate one new school site and one expansion over that time, requiring 4.56 hectares of land at an estimated cost of $14.1 million.

The district anticipates needing a 600-capacity middle school site, requiring 3.4 hectares of space. As well, the district currently owns a site suitable for a 900-capacity high school, but new modelling anticipates need for a 1,400-capacity school, requiring an additional 1.16 hectares.

Both sites would be in the east end of the district, in an area known as the McKee Peaks.

The district initially looked at updating its eligible school site proposal (ESSP) in 2016, but deferred the process until the city’s official community plan was completed.

The ESSP, passed to the City of Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley Regional District for approval, forms the basis for a fee paid by developers on construction that increases housing stock. That charge has not been increased since 2007, the school board heard recently.

No fee proposal has been made public yet, but a bylaw is expected to come before the board at their June 18 meeting, and the development fee would be updated 60 days from the adoption of that bylaw.

On average, the current charge in Abbotsford is about $355 per unit – that ranges from $266 for units in high-density developments to $444 for low-density developments.

That’s compared with a maximum charge of $600 for high-density units and $1,000 for low-density units, so the district has some latitude to work with if they do intend to raise that fee.

The school district is only allowed to raise one-third of the cost of school site acquisitions through the development fees. However, and once that amount has been raised, it will cease collecting the charges.

Find more of our coverage on the Abbotsford School District here.

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: One woman taken away on stretcher after three-vehicle collision at Maclure and Clearbrook Road intersection

Abbotsford emergency crews are on scene but traffic is slow eastbound on Maclure

Mennonite Central Committee hosts 50th annual Festival for World Relief

All the funds raised are going towards helping vulnerable people across the world

Zumiez coming to Abbotsford’s Sevenoaks Shopping Centre

Action sports retailer opening soon in Abbotsford mall

Missing man last seen in Chilliwack Sept. 7

Friends concerned for well-being of 44-year-old Jean Pierre Baril

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Pedestrian struck and killed by vehicle in Surrey

Investigators were asking anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Vancouver’s Tristan Connelly shocks the UFC world

Late replacement upsets big favourite Pereira, main event sees Gaethje stop Cerrone in round one

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Most Read