Retirement Suites Developer Appeals Educational Development Charges

[![A photo of West Hamilton by Peter Cruickshank which includes St. Mary's Catholic High School (CC-BY-SA ](]( photo of West Hamilton by Peter Cruickshank which includes St. Mary's Catholic High School (CC-BY-SA
*Update: On Sunday, the day prior to the Council meeting, the two sides reached an agreement and City Council did not need to hear the appeal.*

Are retirement suites units residential or non-residential for the purposes of Education Development Charges (EDCs)?

This is the question which City Council must decide Monday as a retirement village developer appeals the definition of residential the Catholic School Board uses to determine development charges.

If successful, the developer of the 192 retirement suites will save $114,870.66 in development charges on the new village planned at 1620 Upper Wentworth Street.

Under the Education Act (257.85), the local school boards set their development charges and definitions, but appeals of Board decisions are heard by City Council with the option of appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.

What’s the issue?

EDCs are charged to individual dwelling units, be they apartments or houses. The definition of dwelling unit in this case hinges upon if the retirement suites have culinary facilities that are for the exclusive use of the residents.

The suites in question do have a form of kitchette, but the developer argues the culinary facilities are limited to “a microwave and small bar fridge with a small counter space.”

The residents of the units in question are required to pay for two meals (lunch and dinner) per day from the retirement residence’s main dining facility.

The developer argues the microwaves are not for use as “cooking facilities” but for the reheating of prepared foods.

The School Board did not provide Councillors a written public submission.

*[Watch Live Coverage of Council’s GIC meeting on Monday starting at 9:30am](*