City of Vancouver report calls for increase in public-art contributions from developers

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      The cost of construction in Vancouver has risen significantly over the past six years. And this is the justification for a city staff report calling for developers to pay larger contributions for public art when their land is rezoned.

      On Tuesday (December 14), city council is scheduled to vote on a recommendation to boost fees in this area from $1.81 to $1.98 per square foot of floor-space ratio, effective September 30.

      "The new contribution amount represents an average annual increase of 1.5% since 2009, the date of the last adjustment," the report states.

      It notes that the intention is "to maintain the constant dollar value of public art budgets".

      "I'm really happy about the public-art fund going up based on the fact that it hasn't caught up with costs," Coun. Heather Deal told the Straight by phone. "It seems like a small amount but  it will add a robust amount of money into the public-art program."

      The timing of the increase would coincide with an annual adjustment to development-cost levies.

      The city's public art program for civic and private development was created in 1990. Initially, developers were charged $1 per square foot floor-space-ratio before the fee was hiked to $1.81 in 2009.