2018 Development Charges Background Study

The City of Guelph recently completed its 2018 Development Charges Background Study – Consolidated Report (DC Study). The information gathered was used to inform the updated DC Bylaw and DC rates.

The City engaged Watson and Associates Economists Ltd. to conduct the DC Study and enlisted a stakeholder group—comprised of local residents and representatives from the development community—to ensure the process results in a fair and defendable rate.

The study process involved:

  • A forecast of the amount, type and location of development anticipated in the city.
  • Determination of the average capital service levels provided in the City over the ten-year period preceding the preparation of the background study.
  • A review of the capital infrastructure required to accommodate the forecasted growth including an analysis of gross expenditures and the funding sources, and the determination of the growth and non-growth related components of the capital projects.
  • An examination of the long-term capital costs for the capital infrastructure required for each service to which the development charges bylaws would relate.

For more information

Colm Lynn, Senior Corporate Analyst – Financial Strategy
519-822-1260 extension 3421
[email protected]

Background study material

Meeting minutes


2018 Development Charge Study

Development charges are fees levied against new development to help cover the initial capital cost of infrastructure required to service growth. This infrastructure may include water, wastewater and stormwater pipes, roads and sidewalks.

To ensure Guelph’s Development Charges reflect the population forecasted in Ontario’s Places to Grow Act—43,000 new residents and 32,000 new jobs by the year 2031—the Ontario Development Charges Act requires the City to complete a background study at least every five years. The study helps determine growth-related infrastructure needs based on residential and non-residential growth forecast, and apportion the cost of the growth-related infrastructure to the planned growth.

The previous background study took place in 2013 and was used to set the rates in the current bylaw. Guelph’s current Development Charges Bylaw (2014)-19692 will expire on March 2, 2019.

The information gathered through the Background Study will be used to calculate the amount of money that new development needs to pay in order to help cover new infrastructure and services.

Business is important to the City. The Stakeholder Group reviews, consults, and exchanges information regarding the Development Charges Background Study and its process to ensure Development Charges are levied in a fair and equitable manner. The Stakeholder Group reviews capital plans and assumptions that will inform the Development Charges study and provides feedback relating to:

  • Local Service Policy;
  • Service standard calculation; and
  • Infrastructure needs/capital plan.

The Stakeholder Group is not a decision-making body and does not have the authority to vote, commit City resources or direct the work of employees.

Members of the Stakeholder Group:

  • Consider matters, issues or information provided by the Project Team relating to Background Study process, and provide feedback as requested.
  • Liaise with the organization they represent (if applicable) to bring forward advice, issues or comments from their organization and to return information and results to the organization from the stakeholder group.
  • Strive to operate in a consensus mode where participants openly discuss views and opinions and seek common ground
  • Embrace the City of Guelph’s Guiding Principles for Community Engagement and Community Engagement Framework when providing advice or recommendations and when interacting with the Project Team.

Stakeholder Group members are expected to serve for the full extent of the Development Charges Background Study project.

City Responses to IBI Group MemoThe Cost of Growth, Council Workshop #2