Development Charges... the final weeks?

 

Once again, on Monday, January 28th, development charges will be discussed at Saugeen Shores Town Council Meeting.

There are those developers who are against the charges, taxpayers who want to see them implemented and still others who may not realize the consequences of either action.

The Development Charges Act of 1997 was enacted to allow a municipality the opportunity to recover costs for services attributable to growth. These services include the installation of water as well as sanitary and storm sewer services and the construction of roads, hospitals and other facilities.

Almost every other municipality, from Kingston to Burlington to Toronto to Niagara to Kitchener to Vaughan to Owen Sound ... and the list goes on, have some form of development charges. These municipalities implemented them to help deal with growth and provide the funding needed for expansion in areas such as --

  •  Engineering Services
  •  Public Works
  •  Indoor Recreation
  •  Park Development and Facilities
  •  Library Services
  •  General Government
  •  Fire and Rescue Services

How many studies are going to be required before this issue is resolved or has it already been decided? Watson & Associates, who conducted the most recent study, performed the same study in 2004

What are the options? Some feel it will completely stifle growth, others feel not implementing charges will result in on-going, escalating taxes to support the growth. Is there a solution somewhere in between?

What do individual council members think? Since the public elected them, the public should know, in detail, their thoughts about what Development Charges are.

Why do the documents on the Town web site not state in plain lay language what development charges will entail and give the options that the Council are considering, if any?

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One of the largest representative groups, the Southampton Residents' Association (SRA) did not raise the issue of development charges at the last council meeting held January 14th, but chose instead to present to council the issue of beach dunes, water quality testing methods and the timeliness of posting notices on the Town web site. Why was one of the most contentious issues now in Saugeen Shores not raised? ...  The issue of development charges is vital.

Residents who want to make their views known should do so. The only one who did speak at the last council meeting held on January 14th was a representative of Reid Heritage Homes. He presented a developer's viewpoint in a very organized and articulate way. So, who is speaking out from the other side of this issue?

These are just some questions that should be asked of those who were elected by those who elected them.

Please read further with the articles and sources we've developed for you and stay tuned for our coverage over the next few weeks.

Sandy Lindsay/Editor

Of Direct Interest:

  • Development Charges Difficult Decisions (more)
  • Fiscal imbalances seem to be everywhere these days ---even in Saugeen Shores. (more)
  • One Saugeen Shores councilor came dangerously close this week to moving the Development Charges debate to a higher level. (more)
  • Tim Anderson of the Southampton Residents Association (SRA) presented a number of concerns to Saugeen Shores Town Council at their first meeting of the new year on Monday, January 14  (more)
  • The Provincial Government and Bruce Power should be taking a very close look at the monetary shortfall in Saugeen Shores that is being created by this project (Bruce New Build)," said Deputy Mayor Doug Freiburger at Monday's Town Council meeting  (more)
  • Development Charges... Long time Coming or Rush to Judgment? (more)
  • What's on the Town Web Site to Help? (more)
  • Note Tim Anderson's response in the Letters section representing SRA.

Of Related Interest

  • Another New Study? (more)
  • The Costs of Future Traffic (more)
  • Planning -- Are there local experts who can help? (more)
  • Why Have an Official Plan? (more)
  • Let's Not Forget Small Business in the Area (more)
  • Small High Tech Business too?  (more)