First development charges presented

The Township of Adelaide Metcalfe is rare among Ontario municipalities in that it has no development charges to help pay for capital costs on things like roads, parks and fire portection.

That is expected to change at the current council’s last meeting Nov. 7 when it votes on implementing development charges for anyone looking to build new homes or businesses.

An official public meeting was held Oct. 17. There was no public input on the new fees.

Details of what the new fees will look like were presented by Byron Tan from Watson & Associates.

While other capital costs like sewer, water and policing could have been included, only three categories are being considered for development charges. Those will be roads, fire protection, parks and recreation.

The calculated charges for new single and semi-detached homes are $12,368 for each new home, with $7,792 going to roads, $2,362 to fire protection, $1,445 to parks and recreation, and $769 to growth studies.

Non-residential like commercial and industrial would be charged $3 per square foot.

Using these charges, Adelaide Metcalfe would be among the lowest in this part of Ontario that have development charges for single detached homes. Neighbour examples have Strathroy-Caradoc at just below $30,000 for Mount Brydges, $26,465 for Strathroy, and $13,996 for rural areas; Middlesex Centre is at $28,683 for urban areas and $13,974 for rural areas.

Same goes for non-residential, with the only community in the region that have charges having a lower rate being Listowel in North Perth.

A lot of estimation and hypotheticals go into development charges. An example found by mayor-elect Coun. Sue Clark was future fire protection investments like a new pumper/tanker and satellite one-bay firehall.

Treasurer Johnny Pereira said it was looking 10 years ahead. “Something like that was looked at for along Highway 81 as a possible situation to address fire response times. But nothing on that list is a commitment. After five years, it gets re-assessed and if we don’t do those works… those DCs get recalculated,” said Pereira.

Tan reminded each individual project still needs council approval.

Deputy Mayor Hendrikx asked where the money goes when collected, for example would it go to specific reserves. Tan recommended that new reserves be created to do just that.

The growth forecast in the Watson & Associates report predicts population increases of 642 in 10 years, and 826 in 20 years. That would give Adelaide Metcalfe a population of 3,840 by 2041.

From 2022 to 2031, new housing units are forecast to number between 22 and 24. Almost all are expected to be low density single detached or semi-detached homes.

Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner