Development Charges Stakeholders Sub-Committee for March 31, 2014 [Replay and Summary]

The five-year review of the City’s Development Charges – the amount of costs recouped by the City to cover the cost of servicing new developments – is currently recommending that some DC’s increase and others remain frozen or exempt. [module type=”aside” width=”half” align=”right”]*NOTE: Don McLean of CATCH was present for the meeting. He’s followed DC’s for over a decade now. Watch for his report on the CATCH website: [](*[/module] The City development charges for new urban Single Detached Residential Homes will increase to $35,670 from the current $28,095.

Non-residential commercial and office DCs will increase to $19.65/sq ft from the present $16.16.

Industrial DC rates will remain frozen.

Other highlights include:

  • Parking Structures are 100% exempt from DCs. Councillors moved to have staff report on the reasoning behind this exemption.
  • Public Hospitals get a 50% exemption from DCs, and the ability to spend DC payments over a period of time.
  • Academic and Teaching uses (Schools and Post-Secondary) will continue to enjoy a 100% DC exemption, excluding transit DCs for post-secondary institutions.
  • Affordable housing is 100% exempt if they are receiving funding from affordable housing programs. (Habitat for Humanity builds will continue to be case-by-case exemptions with Council motion for each build)

Here are the slides from today’s presentation by staff:

The DC Stakeholders Committee will meet one more time before making recommendations to Council.

Original (Pre-meeting) Story

The City is conducting its required 5-year study of development charges, and is holding the second of three planned stakeholder meetings to discuss changes to DCs.

The City plans to have the new DC bylaw in effective on July 6, 2014, when the current bylaw expires.

Council’s DC Stakeholders committee includes representation from the Hamilton-Halton Homebuilders Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Hamilton/Burlington Real Estate Board. There are two citizens-at-large, John Chivers-Wilson and Melanie Winterle, on the committee.

Four Councillors sit, in the minority, on the committee: Brad Clark (Ward 9), Brenda Johnson (Ward 11), Judi Partridge (Ward 15), and Maria Pearson (Ward 10).

[![Slide from consultants showing current industrial DC rates as of March 5, 2014](]( from consultants showing current industrial DC rates as of March 5, 2014
The committee met on March 5 and discussed industrial DCs. The recommendation from staff was to not increase the current $9.60 per square foot for industrial and commercial development. The City can charge up to $15.81 per sq ft, choosing to have a lower rate with the goal of encouraging new industrial and commercial development.

By comparison, Burlington’s rate is presently $17.21/sq ft with a planned increase to $20.55.

Staff also recommended decreasing the DC exception for developments in the downtown core – where infrastructure already exists – from a 90% exception to 75%. The phase-in suggested is either immediately or over 5 years.

The 10% currently charged to downtown developments can be directed by developers to the City’s downtown public art fund.


Here’s the agenda for today’s meeting: