Resident challenges new development cost

A Wellington North resident has challenged the way council brought in new development charges in June.

Jens Dam says his challenge, which is headed for an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing, has nothing to do with the fact council reduced development charges, but with the way it was done and made retroactive to January of this year.

Dam contends council had no right to make the new charges retroactive after passing them in June.

“I’m saying the municipality just can’t go and make retroactive bylaws,” Dam said in an interview with the Advertiser.

Council approved the reduction in development fees in June, bringing the charge on a single family home down from $17,429 to $10,000.

It’s hoped the new charge will add more development activity in the municipality. When it was passed council made it clear it would be a one-year trial to see whether development would increase.

The reduction came after considerable lobbying by developers and a promise during the election by Mayor Ray Tout to reconsider the size of the charges. The new charge is retroactive from Jan. 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012.

Dam doesn’t dispute the new charge, but doesn’t think council can make it retroactive.

“This has nothing to do with the development charges; it’s the procedure,” Dam said.

Township chief administrative officer Lori Heinbuch said council is within its right to make bylaws retroactive from the time they are passed.

The issue will go before an OMB hearing scheduled at the municipal office on Nov. 10 starting at 10:30am.