New fees considered for Erin planning applications

ERIN – The first increase in planning fees since 2001 may soon be approved by Erin town council.

A  Nov. 19 report by chief building official Paul Evans recommended increases of up to 300 per cent for various fees and deposits.

Councillors were hesitant to approve it, and agreed with a motion by councillor John Brennan to refer the matter back to staff for further data collection and analysis.

Evans noted that current rates cover only a portion of expenses – 41% in 2017, 66% in 2018 and 37% up to Oct. 31 in 2019.

He said that is “significantly less” than in neighbouring municipalities.

Some councillors were concerned about discouraging new development, with councillor Rob Smith saying that a 300% increase is “a lot to take in”.

If the list of non-refundable fees is approved, the cost for an official plan amendment would rise from $2,500 to $10,000, a general zoning bylaw amendment from $2,000 to $5,500, a subdivision plan base fee from $3,000 to $5,000 and a part lot exemption bylaw from $500 to $2,000.

The draft plan of condominium fee would stay the same at $3,000, though the deposit would rise to $10,000, and the fee for creation of a development agreement would drop to $2,000.

New fees would be introduced, including for site plan control: $2,000 for building additions of less than 50% of floor area, and $5,500 for new buildings or additions of more than 50% of floor area.