Mapleton considers changes to bylaw for development charges

DRAYTON – A new development charges bylaw is coming to Mapleton.

On Feb. 11, Peter Simcisko of Watson and Associates Economists Ltd. presented the new development charges background study to council.

Development charges help municipalities recover the capital costs associated with residential and non-residential growth.

Under the new proposed bylaw, developers of new residential and commercial buildings in Mapleton will be paying less in development charges than the current bylaw dictates.

For example, under the new bylaw a developer will pay $13,105 for a single detached dwelling unit, whereas the current rate is $16,326. Similarly, a developer will pay $4.07 per square foot for a non-residential building under the new bylaw, while the current rate is $4.20 per square foot. There are some exemption policies that could reduce this amount, including use (eg. places of worship and farm buildings), geographic area, development type and service exemption.

In rural areas the proposed total development charge for a detached and semi-detached house would be $4,802 and for commercial non-residential it would be $1.51 per square foot. These values do not include development charges for urban services like wastewater services and water services.

“The act is specific in identifying that the revenue forgone (by exemption) may not be made up by increasing the [development charges] for other classes of development,” Simcisko wrote in his presentation.

“In effect, it is a loss of revenue to the municipality which will have to be funded via taxes, rates, reserves and other financial resources.”

The decrease in development charge rates is a result of the More Homes, More Choices Act. Under the act, “soft services” – essentially anything but roads, water, wastewater, stormwater, fire, policing, transit, waste diversion and ambulance – can no longer be paid for with development charges.

The soft services will now be included in the new Community Benefit Charge under the Planning Act.

Another change to the development charges bylaw based on the More Homes, Better Choices Act is that for developments occurring within two years of a site plan or zoning bylaw amendment, development charges will be determined based on the rates at the time of the application. Whereas now, development charges are payable as soon as the site plan or zoning bylaw amendment is approved, Simcisko explained.

Additionally, under the Better Homes, Better Choices Act, second units within the house, or garden suites, will not be subject to development charges.

“Over the past five years, if someone came in with a building permit for a single detached home that had a purpose-built second unit, maybe in the basement, they would be paying development charges on the single detached home and the apartment unit,” Simicisko said.

“With the proposed changes that second dwelling is not charged. That can be either within the principle dwelling or it can be ancillary.”

Under the new bylaw the township will also provide redevelopment credits where a building or structure existed on the same land within three years before to the development charges are paid.

A public meeting to discuss the new development charges background study will be held on April 7 at 6pm.

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