Tuesday September 02, 2014

Land development fees rise

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A significant increase in the cost to develop land in Yorkton is on its way after a Development Charges Bylaw was given unanimous second and third reading support by City Council Monday.

The bylaw includes a major increase from the current fee of $39,604 per hectare, or $16,000 per care

Under the new bylaw fees would be split into three categories, each being assigned a different fee. Residential would be set at $36,000 an acre, with commercial and industrial land development charges set at $69,000 an acre.

Initially senior management had reviewed the increase and recommended the charge be implemented with 50 per cent of the charge is payable through the servicing agreement at the time of subdivision by the developer, with the remaining fifty per cent payable by the developer at the time of sale and transfer of title to a third party.

“This approach will mean that Finance and Planning Services will need to work closely together to monitor lot sales and title transfers in order to obtain the outstanding development charge for the individual lot. The city has leverage through building permit approval to ensure the development charge is paid. If it is not paid, no building permit is issued. There will be a time lag between the time a subdivision occurs and when the remaining development charge can be collected. This approach, however, has the benefit of not being as onerous on the developer then if 100 per cent of the development charge is collected up front,” detailed a report circulate to Council in January.

Gord Shaw, Director of Planning and Engineering with the City said Monday an amendment was suggested in terms of payment.

The Economic Development Committee reviewed the bylaw at a special meeting on January 22nd, 2014. The Committee felt that consideration should be given to adding another possibility within the Bylaw whereby the charge could be paid over five years rather than the options provided. The Committee also felt that there should be interest charged on any balance outstanding after ten years owed to the municipality. Considerable discussion ensued over applying the charge to redevelopment of land. There was also discussion whether a developer would have to pay the development charge stipulated in a Development/Servicing Agreement when it became due or if the municipality could demand an increased charge if one was adopted in the interim. Finally, there was discussion about having a uniform approach rather than a land use one as is suggested in the bylaw, he explained.

Council was unanimous is supporting an amendment which read “Twenty Percent at the time a Servicing Agreement is signed by the developer for the subdivision of land and twenty percent (20 per cent) annually for the next four years on the date of the Agreement.”

“It gives Council of the day” an opportunity “to look at different options for payment,” said Shaw.

In terms of cost to the city, “it is anticipated that the total capital cost for all new infrastructure over the next twenty-0five years is anticipated to be $129,297,500. Of this amount, the development charges are anticipated to cover $91,026,000 or 70 per cent while the City will be responsible for $38,271,500 or 30 per cent. This does not include rehabilitation work such as Broadway Street West. This work is over and above the new infrastructure contemplated for growth areas,” detailed a report circulated to Council Monday.

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