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Who pays for growth? Newmarket council to debate at meeting

Council to consider new, draft development charges bylaw
Town of Newmarket Municipal Offices. File photo/NewmarketToday

A special meeting of Newmarket council has been called for Thursday, mere days before a bylaw expires that allows the town to collect revenue known as development charges from builders that help to pay for local growth-related costs.

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 18 at 5 p.m. at the Municipal Offices, 395 Mulock Dr. The full agenda is available here.

The passage of the Ontario government’s More Homes, More Choice Act will usher in significant and wide-ranging reforms for municipalities as it relates to their ability to collect funds from the development industry to recover costs associated with such things as building roads, upgrading water treatment plant upgrades, increasing emergency services and more.

The new comprehensive provincial legislation lays the “groundwork needed to tackle Ontario’s housing crisis and help to build more homes that meet the needs of people in every part of the province,” Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark said in a May 2 statement.

Along with this comes legislative, regulatory, and policy changes across many provincial ministries all aimed at eliminating unnecessary steps, and cutting red tape, duplication and barriers to building new housing.

The town has already conducted a review of its current development charges rate, and consulted with the development industry to get feedback on the proposed new calculated rates. The collection of these revenues is vital to build new infrastructure in Newmarket to maintain service levels that residents and businesses have come to expect, a town staff report states. 

The town’s current development charge bylaws will expire on July 21, 2019. Council is required to adopt a new bylaw prior to the expiry of the current bylaw to ensure the uninterrupted collection of development charges.

For example, development charge revenues are a key component of the town's capital budget for the construction of growth-related infrastructure, and are expected to recover $85 million over a 10-year period, from 2019 to 2028, based on the growth forecasted in the 2019 development charge background study, according to town staff.

Check back here for more on this developing story.

Kim Champion

About the Author: Kim Champion

Kim Champion is a veteran journalist and editor who covers Newmarket and issues that impact York Region.
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