City invites community input on proposed Development Charges

Guelph to lower fees for non-residential developments

Guelph, ON, November 8, 2013 – The City is inviting the development community and the general public to comment on proposed changes to its Development Charges By-law and proposed rates—the fees municipalities use to recover certain costs associated with growth.

“Companies building houses, subdivisions, shopping centres, and industrial parks pay Development Charges to help support our community. This includes funding for things like community centres, parks, trails, new water and wastewater systems, roads and transportation infrastructure, and fire and police facilities,” said Al Horsman, executive director of Finance and Enterprise Services. “The proposed rates provide enough funding to cover growth-related infrastructure we know we’ll need in the years ahead, and they are competitive with rates in neighbouring communities so Guelph can attract the kind of investment and development—including jobs—we want to see in our community.”

As part of the updated Development Charges (DC) By-law, the City plans to combine rates for non-residential developments. Guelph’s proposed non-residential rate of $9.02 per square foot is lower than the current industrial rate of $9.97 per square foot and the commercial /institutional rate of $12.27.

If approved by City Council, DC rates for a single or semi-detached home would increase by 12.6 per cent, or $3,050 per home.

The City updates its Development Charges By-law and rates at least every five years. The DC Background Study reflects Ontario’s Places to Grow legislation and provincial growth targets—Guelph must prepare to welcome 43,000 new residents and 32,000 new jobs by the year 2031.

The proposed DC rates also reflect Guelph’s own Growth Management Strategy, the City’s Official Plan, Secondary Plans, Master Plans and long-term forecasts.

“Guelph’s Official Plan promotes economic vitality and innovation, encourages well-designed neighbourhoods and supports social well-being,” said Todd Salter, general manager of Planning Services. “The City is taking a sustainable approach to growth by guiding high-quality development in appropriate locations while stewarding our natural and cultural heritage resources and ensuring community engagement throughout the process.”

Already, representatives of the Guelph Home Builders’ Association, the Guelph Wellington Development Association, the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, the Guelph Downtown Business Association, and several non-residential developers are participating in the conversation through various working sessions. These sessions have included discussions about Guelph’s standards for parks, community centres, trails, and green spaces; the shift toward medium and high-density residential development; Provincial requirements, growth estimates and development targets; greenfield, infill development and available lands; and the impact of new DC rates on home buyers.

Now, the City is inviting community members to join the conversation in a public meeting on Monday, November 18. Anyone planning to address City Council at the meeting must contact the City Clerk’s Office at 519-837-5603 or email clerks@guelph.ca by 9 a.m. on Friday, November 15.

Written comments are also welcome at clerks@guelph.ca or can be addressed to City Clerk, City of Guelph, 1 Carden Street, Guelph, ON N1H 3A1.

Visit guelph.ca/dc to view Guelph’s DC background study, proposed bylaw and proposed rates.

For more information

Al Horsman
Chief Financial Officer/Executive Director
Finance and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260  extension 5606
al.horsman@guelph.ca