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Lower development charges for urban homebuilders only

UPDATE: Council changed its decision on the development charges issue Tuesday, March 26 in an 8 to 7, vote to only lower development charges to homebuilders in urban parts of the county.
Development charges will now be lowered by 50 per cent for urban builders, but not to to those building in commercial or rural areas.
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MARCH 6, 2013 – Prince Edward County councillors say they’ve met their objective of investment attraction and assessment growth by passing a new development charges bylaw as part of Phase 4 of the corporate realignment and improvement of core business practices.

The new bylaw allows the County to continue to collect development charges to pay for a portion of growth-related capital costs for services such as libraries, parks and recreation facilities, fire, police and emergency medical services.

“This approach reflects the municipality’s efforts to promote ongoing dialogue between developers, staff and elected officials with the end goal of streamlining and improving the development process in the County,” said Mayor Peter Mertens.

In a statement, the county explains several changes that will reduce the direct costs to developers and offer long-term relief to residents by stimulating rapid growth:
• Reducing development charges for residential permits issued within fully or partially serviced areas by 50 per cent in each of the next three years.
• Reducing development charges for all non-residential permits by 50 per cent in each of the next three years.
• Funding this reduction through the County’s Community Improvement Plan Reserve Fund so there will be no direct impact on the tax base. Draws on this fund will be raised annually in each annual operating budget.
• A 30 per cent reduction across all categories of affordable residential housing – previously limited to single detached dwellings.

Aligning with council’s priority of implementing an affordable housing strategy in 2013, the affordable housing provisions of the new bylaw will be revisited through ongoing stakeholder consultation and a report back to council in September. Continuing to work with local partners will enable the County to play a key role in achieving solutions for affordability challenges.

“Updating the development charges bylaw increases our opportunity to encourage local development and investment while minimizing impacts on existing property taxpayers,” says  Mertens. “These changes demonstrate council’s response to developer’s concerns in the decision making process, and are also consistent with council’s goal of adopting a long-term financial strategy.”
The by-law and background study are available on the County’s website.

The Corporation of the County of Prince Edward   
Fact Sheet: Development Charges in Prince Edward County
• Development charges were created to allow some of the costs related to growth in population to be paid for by that growth – ensuring that future growth is paid for by those who ultimately benefit from the growth and require any new infrastructure.
• The development charge and connection charge approach relieves the existing tax base from paying for the entire burden of installing new infrastructure required for growth (eg: roads, sewer, water).
• Until 2008, all new development in the County was funded by the existing property taxpayer. As new tax dollars received from new developments didn’t come in fast enough to offset new expenses, the County had to either restrict expenditures or increase taxes.
• By adopting development charges and connection charges, Prince Edward County ensured that the cost of growth was distributed as fairly as possible.
• In 2008, council approved a phased in approach to implement full development charges over a two year period.
• In 2010, connection charges were implemented to maximize the potential to collect for Water and Wastewater related improvements under the Municipal Act. Connection charges will be updated to align with the new development charges bylaw.
• Changes implemented through the new development charges bylaw will help increase the inventory of affordable homes for seniors and young families.
• Changes to the County’s development charges will encourage local development, which will in turn generate more jobs locally, making the County an attractive place to live, work, and invest.
• Implementation of the new development charges bylaw helps move the County closer to 3 of its 4 high-level community development goals:
1. Develop sustainable jobs well matched to employment needs and opportunities. 2. Support the County’s profile as an attractive economic climate with business opportunities. 3. Increase the municipal tax base.

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  1. Marnie says:

    Get real Gary. You could bludgeon some of those councillors with a common sense idea and they wouldn’t feel a thing. If some of them have stopped visiting this site it may be because they hate seeing some painful truths spelled out for them. Of course it could also be your smug tutorials that scare them off. We’ve all heard common sense ideas presented to council in respectful terms i.e. several suggestions for a more efficient waste disposal plant and we all know how they listened. People have had enough and you can’t blame them for being angry and confrontational. Our elected representatives are not listening. They are running with the bit in their teeth but a few weeks before the next election we will hear all of them vowing to stop the spending. Council needs to know how ratepayers feel and if they can’t take criticism maybe they should take their names off the ballot next time out.

  2. m york says:

    Well Gary you have your opinion and we have ours!!!! Sometimes the truth is a painful thing to hear right? I will not apologise for ruffling someone’s feathers when it aims to help so many others. (Taxpayers) So all I can tell you is to carry on with your beliefs and we will do the same…

  3. Gary Mooney says:

    It is true that this site has served to show areas of concern and discontent of some people (not sure how many) and to provide a forum for discussion. And maybe to motivate some people to action.

    But I know that a number of people, including some Councillors, have stopped visiting the site because of personal attacks and unsubstantiated allegations. And m york, you have been the worst offender in this regard.

    But that was then; this is now. The best approach to Council is present facts, ask tough questions and present viable alternatives. The worst possible approach is to complain and criticize. While the latter may provide some relief from frustration, it will get zero results, guaranteed.

    You can have the best idea in the world, but if you present it to people immediately after criticizing them and complaining about their past actions, your proposal will fall on deaf ears. It’s human nature.

    And always remember when dealing with Council, it’s Councillors who vote on agenda items, not you. They’ve got the power, not you. Except once every four years, of course.

  4. m york says:

    Gary, Actually this site has opened the eyes to many, not to mention how the taxpayers are feeling first hand. When we stand together to fight for things such as the fishermen, windmills, hospital, jobs, cost of building here, council size, council giving all power to the CAO and the blatant disregard for policies that are written but not enforced to mention a few. People are angry and rightly so we can’t even afford to live here anymore and why is that? I know for a FACT some council members read County Live and have questioned these exact questions we have asked. So yes, this site has helped pave the way to getting these very issues out there and keeping them on the forefront and that’s what we want. ANSWERS

  5. m york says:

    Well, I have been present at a few council meetings and have witnessed how council bends when the public show up, (30 people) so we figure lets see what happens when a large group shows up. For one example the decision to lower development charges. What council decides today is only temporary, at least until individuals start complaining. And yes we could wait until election time but we need to ask ourselves, what will be left at that point???

  6. Marnie says:

    Council has to be aware of how many ratepayers feel today. They are simply unresponsive to the points taxpayers keep making. Historically there have never been so many letters to the editor criticizing council plus all of the negative comments posted on this site. Council remains unimpressed. You can see how concerned they are about public opinion regarding the downsizing of council to a more reasonable number. We’re talking but nobody’s listening.

    The place to take our protests is to the polls. Only by unseating some of these people can we hope for real change Gary. Showing up in the council chambers is not going to do a thing.

  7. Gary Mooney says:

    m York: Finally! Glad to see that you’re taking your concerns to Council, rather than just complaining on this site. The former may get some results that you want; the latter never would.

  8. m york says:

    Just a FYI, There has been so much upset and concern lately with the way things are as well as well as where were headed. Nobody wants to see our town go down the tubes due to lack of action of council’s part. All anyone is asking is that Council take back control and to make the decisions that they were elected to do. Therefore after many conversations this morning I believe its time to take this to council ourselves to get the answers we are all looking for. Hopefully within the next 2-3 weeks we will organize a LARGE group to head to Shire Hall. We do have a voice and we can make a difference. I will keep everyone up to date…

  9. m york says:

    Gary, You can’t be liable if the truth is being written. I don’t think anyone is foolish enough to slander another individual if the facts are incorrect. Almost everything that is written comes from the papers in the first place or even websites from other newspaper reporters. Why are people so upset right now, well just yesterday I witnessed with my OWN eyes a street sweeper doing the streets of Picton. It was a company from Ottawa. So if this doesn’t curdle your stomach nothing will. When I asked where our street sweeper was it apparently was sold??? So you can’t tell me or anyone else for this matter that it was cheaper to hire a company to come down here to sweep our streets. Everyday we are getting a little bit closer to having no one working in our own town that actually lives here. So once again what is this doing for our tax base?

  10. Gary Mooney says:

    It appears that clarifcation is necessary. My reference to libel was to comments made on this and earlier occasions about the CAO,

  11. m york says:

    Gary, For YOUR information get off your high horse this information came from a few people at the top (you can figure out who that is if you’d like. And yes I did say council would be liable IF they choose to do nothing, also verified by the powers who oversee municipal government. THANK YOU for you concern and input though !!!

  12. Mark says:

    I would not waste time on libel and defamation for those that are closely associated.

    If you want to track the current municipal financial crisis go back to where we stood prior to the hiring of the two current Commissioners and where we stand now. It would astound you.

  13. Marnie says:

    G. Mooney – m. york said council would be liable as in answerable/responsible for its actions. I missed the part where he said they would be committing libel. Where do you get that? Just curious.

  14. Gary Mooney says:

    m york, for your information:

    Libel: defamation by written words.
    Defamation: false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another.

    CountyLive:

    Libel: the act or crime of publishing a defamation.

  15. m york says:

    Well apparently we are stuck with this huge cost (CAO) regardless of all the havoc and uncertainties he brings with it. The cost to rid such an error would be close to a million dollars and the County just doesn’t have it. This individual has ALL the say of who does what, where, when and why and there is NOTHING council can do about it. However at the same time they hired him and they not only knew what he was requesting in his contract they agreed to it. Were all in a lot of trouble here and need to find a way of fixing it. A person suggested this as an answer to this issue:
    Pull back the reins from this individual, council can start to do his job thus keeping the taxpayers safe from added expenses, conflict of interest, loosing employees, possible lawsuits, all jobs that council were voted in to do in the first place. IF council CHOOSES to continue to allow all this to happen then they will be liable and guilty of NOT representing the people of P.E.C. An offence that is punishable by law….

  16. Barb says:

    Mark,

    ThanksI was reading it incorrectly. The discrepancy in benefits however, does stand out.

    What is that about?

  17. Mark says:

    CAO – $173,998
    Project Manager – $146,952
    Commisioner Eng. Development & Works – $128,908
    Commisioner Corporate Services – $123,386
    Commisioner Planning & Building services – $115,080
    Administrator McFarland Home – $108,332
    Fire Chief – $107,967

  18. Barb says:

    How does the County justify such a large discrepancy in salary between the 2 on the Sunshine List (the CAO at $173K, and the next in line at $140K) and the other managers all of whom would be under the $100K mark?

    We know the CAO is likely the highest paid in an organization, but what gives with such a huge gap? How many holidays is he supposed to have? Is this austerity?

  19. m york says:

    CAO, Merlin Dewing heads to Trinadad when Prince Edward County is facing its own very troubling times. Shouldn’t we be helping out ourselves first is my question? After all we are fighting a battle to save our hospital as well as being in a financial mess…

  20. m york says:

    Mark, Yes, I believe you are correct.

    The Sunshine Clun Numbers were released today the results are in:

    CAO for P.E.C. Salary $173,998.26 Taxable Benefit $8,143.40

    CAO for Belleville Salary $162,687 Taxable Benefit &1,298.88

    CAO for Loyalist Twsp. Salary $117,709.06 Taxable Benefit $1,203.84

    My suggestion to P.E.C. CAO since you continue to slash and cut everyone and everything how about slashing some of your money?

    My suggestion to Mr.Mayor, since YOU decided to write the CAO’s contract while leaving the taxpayers bleeding and wondering how there going to pay their water bill/food how about you at least (for Starters) explain to the taxpayers how you allowed this to happen?

  21. Mark says:

    I believe the intent is to encourage development in urban areas to support the infrastructure that is in place and to assist skyrocketing costs. To discourage rural growth which often hurts appropriate land uses and which will place more service demands on the municipality.

  22. Chris Mousseau says:

    This article appears to be copied from a bureaucratic press release – I can’t make out any rational for the reversal – why rural properties will have double the development charge of urban properties. Perhaps someone (a councillor or city staffer) can explain this in plain language?

  23. m york says:

    Are we able to view who voted for what (names for or against)? I want to be able to see who bullied who enough to make them get out of the sandbox hmmm who will they be? Please post if anyone knows this information.

  24. Doris Lane says:

    COUNCIL CHANGED THEIR MIND–That is the most childish thing I have every heard. This does not lend to a good situation in this county

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