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Public invited to comment on proposed development charges bylaw

The public will have another opportunity to comment on the development charges background study and proposed bylaw at a public meeting Wednesday.

“We are committed to hearing from the public and considering all stakeholder viewpoints before setting the development charges,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff. “We encourage members of the public to learn more and plan to attend the meeting.”

The municipality collects development charges when a building permit is issued to help pay for the cost of infrastructure – such as roads, fire protection services, and library services – to accommodate growth. Any portion of growth-related costs not funded by development charges have to be funded from the tax levy, user rates, or other sources.

To continue collecting development charges, the County must update and adopt a new bylaw before the expiry of the current bylaw in March. Before passing the bylaw, the municipality is required to prepare a comprehensive background study that includes information on the legislation, the study’s recommendations, and the basis for these recommendations.

The County has worked with Watson and Associates to draft the background study, which has been posted on the municipality’s website (bit.ly/DCbackgroundstudy) since Dec. 1, 2017. The study includes a forecast of the amount, type, and location of growth, rules and requirement governing the imposition of the charges, asset management plan requirements, and the proposed bylaw.

The proposed bylaw maintains the majority of The County’s current bylaw policies and exemptions, including exemptions for:
– Places of worship
– New industrial development, excluding wind and solar energy facilities
– Affordable housing (a reduction of 30 per cent)

The proposed by-law revises several non-statutory exemptions:
– Phasing-out the 50 per cent reduction for residential development occurring in fully or partially serviced areas and for all non-residential development by January 1, 2019.
– Ending the development charges exemption for park model trailers (less than 50 square metres).
– Excluding retail sales activities – such as the production and processing of alcohol and marijuana – from the non-residential farm building exemption.
– Refunding development charges paid on temporary building or structures once they are removed within eight months of The County issuing the building permit.

The public meeting is set for Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7 pm at Shire Hall council chambers. Following the meeting, staff and the consulting firm will undertake any necessary amendments to the background study and proposed bylaw. Staff intend to bring the by-law back to Council for passage on March 1.

Targeted consultation sessions with developers, campground/trailer park owners and operators, members of the agriculture community, and affordable housing stakeholders were held Friday, Dec. 15. County Council received those comments at a special meeting Friday, Jan. 26. For more information about development charges and the process, visit the County of Prince Edward website.

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