Fees to rise as North Perth enters county planning service partnership

·2 min read

NORTH PERTH – At its council meeting on Feb. 22, North Perth agreed to enter into a partnership with the Township of Perth South, the Township of Perth East, the Municipality of West Perth and Perth County to launch a new service delivery model for planning services.

“Council will recall our efforts in addressing the creation of a single planning service for Perth County and some of the effort during the process… was to establish… revised fees,” said Mayor Todd Kasenberg. “The guiding principle of the costs to be fully covered by developers and no longer subsidized for land and planning matters.”

As of March 1, planning services for Perth County will be streamlined to provide services in a new single-tier model.

The new model will allow for a more coordinated approach, creating one-window access to all planning services in each lower-tier municipality.

“Certainly if all the fees are the same across the board, which I suspect they should be, it would be advantageous to have one-stop shopping,” said Coun. Allan Rothwell.

A working group consisting of the Perth County warden, mayors and CAOs was formed to oversee the development of an implementation plan, and a planning staff advisory team was established in 2019.

As a result of the review, the recommendation was to implement a single-tier service model delivered by the county. This was supported by the five municipalities.

Following analysis of neighbouring communities, the county provided a planning application chart for the upper and lower tiers. Through the analysis, it was noted that current application fees are on average covering only 45 per cent of the service cost.

“As the mayor said these fees are intended to cover the true costs of planning applications and not have them subsidized through the tax levy,” said CAO Kriss Snell. “This is a significant jump in the fees so I just want that to be noted. Staff recognizes that as well.”

Within the new model, planners will be assigned responsibility to deliver planning services in each of the lower-tier municipalities. They will be on-site in each municipality to provide a local presence and resource for all types of planning applications and services. Also, there will be centralized support at the county for the administrative side of operations.

Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner