Changes to the Offsite Levy Bylaw were critical. The relationship between the Town and the developer is better defined and the risks of a development are easier to manage and the payment of the Levy is tied to construction activity.
February 20, 2016
March 16, 2016
It is not the ‘sexiest’ of subjects, but a good Offsite Levy Bylaw is critical to ensure that a community can afford appropriate infrastructure and the development community can better understand the ultimate cost of a project.
Calculation of the Offsite Levy - The Town has calculated what the infrastructure will cost when the we fully develop the available lands within municipal boundaries. Those costs would include all of the roads, water and sewer, sanitation, water treatment, etc. That overall cost to develop is then divided by the number of acres available for development. The result is the cost per acre to build the planned municipal infrastructure. Every time land is sold from the reserve of undeveloped land, the developer pays the Offsite Levy to the Town. All Levies are held in trust to offset the costs of future infrastructure.
Suggested Changes Suggested by The Chamber:
Include All Costs in the Offsite Levies - In previous versions of the Bylaw, the Levy calculation did not include all of the elements of those future costs. The developer would purchase land and would pay the assessed Levy, but because all costs weren’t included, they would immediately enter into negotiations with the Town for their share of ‘Frontage Fees’ – those costs not covered by the Levy. Negotiations were taking a long time and the developers were left uncertain to the ultimate cost of the development as they had to negotiate the Frontage Costs and timing was greatly impacted. Tying all costs into the Offsite Levy saves time and money and provides greater certainty for everyone.
Update the Master Plan – To be successful in planning future infrastructure, the Master Plan has to be accurate. The Chamber requested an update to the Master Plan to ensure that we are planning properly and there is funds sufficient to build the necessary infrastructure, but without much waste.
Tie Paying the Levy to Development Activity - The other important change was that the Town delayed collecting the Levy until a development permit was pulled for each lot. This allows a land developer to plan and market a development without a large out lay of cash to cover the Offsite Levies. The home-builders pay the Levy as they begin construction.