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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Spike in Development Fees

Grey County | by Bayshore News Staff  

Grey County Council approves 80 per cent increase in development fees for homes.

It will now cost more money to build a home in Grey County.

Grey County council approved two bylaws on Tuesday that will see residential development charges increase by more than 80 per cent between now and 2013.

The end result will mean the residential charge will jump from 23 hundred to 48 hundred dollars for the average home.

The 81 per cent increase will be phased in -- half this year and the rest in 2013.

The same will be true for increases for other homes - more than 33 hundred for smaller homes and 5 thousand for larger ones.

The decision to accept these figures was not unanimous.

Grey Highlands Mayor Wayne Fitzgerald called the increases "unconscionable," a word repeated by Hanover Mayor Kathi Maskell.

Their concern was that sharp increases to county development charges will simply drive away development.

But it was pointed out the greatest amount of development in Grey County takes place in The Blue Mountains, which has the highest charges of any municipality in the County.

Chatsworth Mayor Bob Pringle also lamented the lack of interest in a number of serviced lots in his municipality, where there are no development charges.

Council did agree -- again, not unanimously -- on a suggestion to continue to have no charges for commercial development.

Warden Duncan McKinlay from the Blue Mountains and Southgate Mayor Brian Milne both argued that a lack of charges will put financial responsibility for development on the backs of ratepayers.

Council was in unanimous agreement on the need for development charges on wind turbines. The charge will be 5 thousand dollars per turbine.

Higher development charges are seen as a necessity by most councillors.

That's because the county needs to find a way to pay for an estimated 64 million dollars worth of infrastructure that must be built or replaced over the next 20 years.


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