Higher development charges approved in Erin

ERIN – A new development charges (DC) bylaw approved by Erin council on July 22 is designed to protect existing residents from the costs of new infrastructure needed for future residential and business growth.

The decision follows a background study that estimated levels of service required for the future, as well as public and stakeholder consultation.

The new DC rates are effective immediately, with development fees increased by 48% for construction of new homes in urban areas and by 58% for business growth.

Rates will be even higher once wastewater service is available in urban areas.

DCs are a one-time fee to help municipalities fund projects related to growth.

The Erin bylaw conforms to Ontario’s recently approved Bill 108, designed to promote affordable housing by providing exemptions and deferrals on some DCs. Parks and recreation costs will soon be exempt from DCs.

The new bylaw means the DC rate for a single or semi-detached house in rural areas is increased by $5,707 for a total of $17,258, and in urban areas by $7,180 for a total of $22,284 (including water services).

The non-residential (business-commercial) DC will increase by $2.94 per square foot for a total of $7.52 per square foot in rural areas, and by $3.49 per square foot for a total of $9.55 per square foot in urban areas (including water services).

“Council approved the increased rates of development charges to ensure that the taxes of the current residents are not directly affected by new development,” said finance director Ursula D’Angelo.

Mayor Allan Alls said, “The new development charges rates are conservatively set in comparison to our neighbouring municipalities and will continue to assist Erin as we prepare for future growth.”

A recent DC report for Erin by Watson and Associates Economists is based on a forecast of an urban population increase of 1,607, with 650 new homes within 10 years. The outlook to 2041 shows 6,589 more residents and 2,283 more homes.

The report shows the new rates are similar to those in other Wellington municipalities. The rates do not include wastewater, which will be instituted once that service is available.

The Watson report calculated the development charge for a new single or semi-detached home in an urban area with wastewater sewers could be about 34% higher than the rate just set, rising from $22,284 to almost $30,000.

Even then, the Erin DCs would be very similar to those for urban properties in Centre Wellington, and lower than urban DCs in Guelph, Guelph-Eramosa, Halton Hills and Caledon.

Appeals of the new bylaw can be made to the Ontario Municipal Board through the town clerk up to 40 days after it is passed.

For more information on the bylaw or background study, go to erin.ca/development-charges.