Georgina planning for new development charges bylaw
March 11, 2016
Growth pays for growth is the often reiterated maxim when it comes to development — and the demands it puts on municipal infrastructure.
According to York Region’s growth projections, the town’s total population in 2031 is forecasted to be 70,300 people.
That’s an increase of 17,500 people between 2016 and 2031.
Development charges are supposed to pay for growth-related capital costs, such as new infrastructure and facilities to maintain service levels in a municipality, and a background study is currently in the works in advance of a new development charges bylaw the town has slated for proposed passage in June.
An information report will be tabled at council March 23, followed by the release of the background study in April.
Residents, key stakeholders and interested parties will have their opportunity for public input via council meetings and contacting the administrative services department.
The last time the town embarked on the development charges study and bylaw process in 2011, it resulted in a three-year legal battle that cost the taxpayers a six-figure legal tab.
That included numerous trips to the Ontario Municipal Board and the Ontario Court of Appeal after the 2011 bylaw raised disputed issues over the fact lots of record would no longer be exempt from levies under the new bylaw and whether procedural errors denied full public input on the matter.
While upholding the validity of the 2011 bylaw, the Ontario Court of Appeal concluded that had the town given adequate notice of a meeting where the bylaw was going before council, certain vacant lot owners may have attended and persuaded council to maintain an 18-month exemption.
The court, therefore, ordered that if any of those builders paid a development charge during the 18-month period, the charge should be rebated to them.
With litigation now closed on that matter, the town expects to move forward with a fair and equitable development charges bylaw that applies equally to all lot owners, as well as providing opportunities for inclusivity, ensuring fair representation for all residents of Georgina.
Key dates for the process taking place during the next two months include: