The City’s Planning Committee today approved a new schedule of development charges to help ensure essential infrastructure and services keep pace with growth in Ottawa.
Following the principle of growth paying for growth, development charges ensure that those benefitting from new growth within Ottawa are the ones paying for the associated initial capital costs needed to service it. The City uses development charges to recover the costs of such infrastructure and services as roads, water supply systems, public transit, parks, recreation facilities, libraries, affordable housing and paramedic services.
The Development Charges Act requires municipalities to enact a new Development Charges By-law every five years. Council will need to enact a new by-law for Ottawa before the current one expires on Tuesday, June 11. The new by-law will reflect an increase in development charge rates based on proposed adjustments to calculations in two background studies approved today.
The background studies identify a total capital investment of $7.53 billion over the next 12 years, with $2.42 billion to be recovered from development charges – $1.64 billion from residential development and $778 million from non-residential development. Development charges under the proposed revised by-law would increase from $25,113 to $30,977 for a new single-family house inside the Greenbelt. Outside the Greenbelt, that charge would increase from $35,047 to $36,388. The development charge costs would still represent about five to seven per cent of the cost of new homes in Ottawa.
The Committee also approved a recommendation to refund $146,282 in development charges that were incorrectly calculated for the redevelopment of Grant Alternative School at 2720 Richmond Road. The school is being renovated and expanded as a Francophone community hub. The owner paid the City the assessed amount of $394,763, but a portion would be refunded as the project should only have been charged for new construction, and not for alterations to the existing building.
Items approved at today’s Planning Committee meeting will go to Council on Wednesday, May 22.