Guelph-Eramosa expected to okay new development charges

Only two people showed up to a public meeting on May 19 about development charges in Guelph-Eramosa, and neither was a developer.

Gary Scandlan, of Watson and Associates Economists Ltd., said he thinks that is likely an indication that most local developers see the Guelph-Eramosa proposal as reasonable.

But one man in attendance said he found it very disturbing that no residents were present to at least find out from where some of the township’s money comes.

Scandlan explained the new development charges study and proposed bylaw, which will replace the current document, set to expire on June 8.

All charges are set to increase, including the following single detached or semi-detached homes:

– roads and fire protection services, up 29% from $1,084 to $1,401;

– parks and recreation services, up 95% from $1,898 to $3,705 (though the new charge also includes administration fees); and

– urban water and wastewater services, up 11% from $12,011 to $13,298.

If approved, the increases mean Guelph-Eramosa will have the highest residential development charges in the county, though Scandlan noted Centre Wellington is the only municipality that has updated its bylaw already.

Guelph-Eramosa already has the highest industrial and commercial development charges in the county, though those will also increase slightly if the new bylaw is approved.

Councillor Doug Breen acknowledged there are a lot of increases in the new charges study, but said they are necessary to recover costs.

Other than that, council had very little to say on the proposed increases. It is expected to pass a bylaw at its next meeting on June 1.