With great growth comes great permit responsibility.
As seen at the Dec. 6 Strathroy-Caradoc council meeting, many more homes and businesses are being built in the municipality. With so much more growth since the last building fee update in 2015, the bureaucracy must expand to support the expanding bureaucracy.
As described in the building fee review, in 2015 the building department included a CBO/Director, inspector and one administrative position. By 2022 the department will include a Director, CBO, 2 inspectors, 1 co-op student and the equivalent of 1.3 administrative positions, as well as an internal support from by-law enforcement and human resource positions that did not exist previously. A new senior development coordinator was also just hired. There is also a new vehicle and office equipment.
Without the increase in residential building fees, tax revenue or other permit fees would have to go towards supporting the permit process for the estimated 440-plus permits. No residents commented at the public meeting, and council approved the new fees come in Jan. 1.
Examples of what is going up include a deck or pool permit from $127 to $300, which is still subsidized by other permits. A single detached home is up from $1,750 plus $1.25 per sq. ft. over 1,500 sq. ft., to $2,350 plus $0.75 per sq. ft. over 2,000 sq. ft.
Commercial and industrial went down: for commercial $5,500 plus $1.01 per sq. ft. over 2,500 sq. ft. to now $4,770 plus $0.67 per sq. ft. over 5,000 sq. ft; and industrial from $5,500 plus $1.01 per sq. ft. over 2,500 sq. ft. to $4,780 plus $0.67 sq. ft. over 5,000 sq. ft.
A new building bylaw with a cost relief for affordable housing was also recommended to be soon made.
New construction on Dec. 6’s agenda included Timberview Trail in Mt. Brydges adding 20 single detached homes, 16 semi-detached homes, and one block of up to 25 townhouses; Saxonville Estates’ phase five in southwest Strathroy with 68 single detached homes; and Goss Global’s auto accessory manufacturing headquarters in Strathroy’s Molnar Industrial Park.
Building and fundraising committees were also created for a new arena in Mt. Brydges.
Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner