Letter: If we compensate New West landlords, they should compensate us


Re: New Westminster aims to protect rental housing on 18 sites, Record, Jan. 29
In response to council’s decision to approve site-specific rental tenure restrictions in New Westminster, Dale Darychuk recently penned a letter for the Record arguing that these restrictions should remain in place, but that affected rental building owners should be compensated for the resultant devaluing of their property.

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While this point certainly merits consideration, such compensation would only be fair and just if it were to work both ways.

If we hold that property owners should be compensated for losses due to zoning amendments, we should also hold that property owners must likewise compensate the city for any gains in the speculative value of their property that result from zoning changes (or public infrastructure projects).

A model of this latter idea can be found in Vancouver Councillor Christine Boyle’s recently proposed land value capture policy; indeed, such a policy may be worth exploring in New Westminster. What is unequivocally clear, though, is that it is only just for risks to be shared if the rewards are as well.

Elliot Rossiter, New Westminster

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