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New bylaw would help development pay for development in Wellington

With developers projecting Wellington to see an average of 283 homes built each year between 2022 to 2026, Prince Edward County Council is preparing to enact a development charges bylaw to help recover costs for necessary water and wastewater services there.

Council discussed a report at Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting and the bylaw is to come to a future council meeting.

It was noted existing infrastructure cannot accommodate anticipated growth, without improvement and also needs repair even if there was no growth.

“The growth the County is experiencing, combined with the development interest and level of commitment from developers is unprecedented,” stated Peter Moyer, Director of Development Services, in his report. “As well, discussions with Charles Dowdell from the Prince Edward County Housing Corporation, along with Treat Hull from Treat Hull & Associates Ltd., it is noted that home sales in 2020 were 39 per cent higher in 2020 than 2019; and the extraordinary demand for housing stock has left the current housing inventory at a one-eighth of normal levels.”

Moyer notes the projected housing starts over the next six years (2021-2026) are trending significantly higher, starting with 186 in 2021, followed by an average of 604 new housing starts per year from 2022-2026.

The municipality currently recovers growth related capital costs for water and wastewater through connection charges. An area-specific development charge (DC) is proposed for Wellington.

Wellington’s Secondary Plan of 2015 includes a high-growth scenario to eventually accommodate a permanent population of 5,085 in 2031. This accounts for 3,080 new residents in the 20-year planning horizon.

A recent Wellington Master Servicing Plan for infrastructure solutions, mirrors that 20-year growth scenario, and also identified infrastructure needs exceeding the secondary plan’s outlook, and considers an additional full build-out of a potential total population of 8,600.

Last September, council enacted an interim control bylaw to freeze development from expanding into un-serviced areas for one year while the municipality reviewed land use policies and plans and considered a new serving proposal.

Regardless of growth, states Moyer, Wellington’s drinking water system requires at least a $9.8 million investment to maintain the infrastructure. Its wastewater system needs at least an $8.5 million in upgrades and repairs.

To balance development and water/wastewater needs, front-end agreements with developers are proposed to secure funds needed to pay for the improvements.

“Since it is the DC Act that provides the mechanism for municipalities to leverage front-ending agreements, Council has initiated the process to implement Development Charges in Wellington, which would take the place of the existing Connection Charges currently being applied in Wellington,” Moyer states in his report.

These agreements, he notes, will mitigate the impact of growth-related infrastructure on ratepayers.

“The County had identified an estimated $52 million to be funded by the developers via development charges. This is based on the work Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. have undertaken to determine what portion is attributable to growth and what portion is related to the existing community benefit under the Development Charges Act.”

Amending the current connection charge was reviewed in comparison to creating an area specific DC charge, but the Development Charges Act specifically permits agreements for front-ending with developers. Moyer adds legal counsel recommends the most appropriate course of action to ensure development pays for its share of infrastructure costs is through Development Charges.

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  1. Mike Rodgers says:

    The other thing that I do not understand is that a developer is required to pay the cost of installing water and sewer lines, the roads etc then gives this infrastructure to the county free of charge. Then each house built in the subdivision is charged about 15 grand for the right to build a house on each lot, this money is to be used to help to defer costs of up dating of the infrastructure as the community grows. All these fees are passed on to the home buyer which pushes the cost of housing higher. Again where is this money going? The cherry on top is the county receives more tax dollars as the community grows. I have said before Shire Hall needs to be reeled in, they are over staffed at the top, too many directors, too many managers, too many assistant managers too many coordinator for the manager and too many assists to the coordinators. There is an empire being built on the tax payers of PEC’s backs.

  2. Mike Rodgers says:

    Susan
    It makes no sense to me where the money goes, The numbers I used are low so the almost 2 mill a year is just a conservative number. Our situation is a lot more dire than we realize. We does all this money go?

  3. Susan says:

    Mike, the average water/wastewater costs would be around $200 a month. Just happens to be the highest in Canada the same as housing.

  4. Mike Rodgers says:

    Does anyone know what it costs to run the water sewer systems of PEC. With all the new homes in Picton alone in the past couple of years. I am questing 300 plus at $100.00 per month each water sewer fees that equals $360000.00 a year. This is just for the new builds not including the hundreds of other customers that were already paying these high fees. Lets say there were 1200 existing customers at $100.00 per month, this equals another $1,440000.00 for a total of almost 2 million dollars a year. I think that two things seem wrong. High cost of water and sewer charges along with asking developers from footing the bill for new frustrater when they already pay some of the highest fees in the province. We need to stop hiring experts and start spending money wisely.

  5. Davetripp says:

    Your bringing all this housing in for whom retirez cause with out jobs or industry here it don’t look like young families ask the people. Of Wellington where their kids are not hear

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