Bruce County puts development charge plan on hold

·2 min read

BRUCE COUNTY – The county’s corporate services committee has decided additional information is needed before implementation of county development charges can move forward.

The development charges (DCs) public meeting was held on Oct. 28. Comments were received from council, local municipalities and members of the public.

Following the meeting letters were received from South Bruce Peninsula and a developer, who was not in favour of DCs.

Edward Henley, director of corporate services, outlined some of the issues discussed. They include exemptions for certain properties that have experienced delays in approvals due to appeals to tribunals and other reasons, exemptions for commercial and industrial development, clarification of exemptions on farm properties and consideration for expanding the exemption from bona fide farm purposes to include certain commercial and industrial purposes, and consideration of transit DCs. In addition, there needs to be consultation with local municipalities regarding procedures for collecting county DCs.

Henley said these issues will take some time for review. Staff will be deferring the presentation of the proposed development charge bylaw from Dec. 2 to a later date, once the review is completed and the proposed amendments are prepared.

Warden Janice Jackson, South Bruce Peninsula, commented on the “varied opinions” expressed during the public meeting, and asked if there was interest “in just putting this away.”

County Coun. Milt McIver, Northern Bruce Peninsula, suggested “the timing is not the best” for implementing county DCs.

“Some of us are really striving to get development,” he said.

County Coun. Robert Buckle, South Bruce, told the committee a developer had called him and said development charges would be “very expensive for them.” In addition, he noted there were only five members of council at the Nov. 4 committee meeting. The viewpoints of the others are needed.

“This (development charge implementation) should be put off,” he said, noting the county has the Spruce the Bruce program to bring companies here, while DCs would work against that effort.

County Coun. Chris Peabody, Brockton, agreed that DCs “make it difficult” for municipalities.

Jackson noted the lack of support around the table for passing a development charges bylaw, and said, “It’s discouraging to developers to have this hanging over their heads.”

The matter will be brought back to the next committee meeting.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting