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Council updates development charges to pay for growth infrastructure

May 22, 2019
Council Updates

City Council today approved the 2019 Development Charges Background Studies and By-laws 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 are the ones paying for the initial capital costs needed to service it. The City uses development charges to recover a portion of the costs of infrastructure and services such as roads, water supply systems, public transit, parks, recreation facilities, libraries, affordable housing and paramedic services.

Ontario’s Development Charges Act requires municipalities to enact a new Development Charges By-law every five years. The new by-law reflects an increase in development charges based on two detailed background studies.

These two studies identify a total needed 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 revised by-law will increase from $25,113 to $30,540 for a new single-family house inside the Greenbelt. Outside the Greenbelt, that charge will increase from $35,047 to $36,388. These amounts still represent about five to seven per cent of the cost of new homes in Ottawa.

Anthony Di Monte, General Manager of Emergency and Protective Services, provided a briefing to Council on the 2019 flood response and transition to recovery.

Council 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 will be refunded as the project should only have been charged for new construction, and not for alterations to the existing building.

Council approved a zoning amendment for Giant Tiger’s new corporate headquarters at 2480 Walkley Road. The zoning permits construction of a four-storey office building with retail space on the ground floor. The project will be built in phases and the existing Giant Tiger store on site will continue to operate while the new one is being built.

Council approved plans to stimulate urban renewal and vitality in Vanier along the traditional main street of Montreal Road. Through the development of a Community Improvement Plan in partnership with the Quartier Vanier Business Association, the City will provide grants against property tax increases from redevelopment. Additionally, three grants will be available for redevelopment projects that support affordable housing, arts and cultural activities, and social enterprises.

Council received a report on the first year of the Municipal Accommodation Tax. The four-per-cent tax has proven to be a successful source of funds for the tourism industry, generating $14.9 million in 2018. Of the funds collected, 75 per cent is going to sales and marketing efforts while 25 per cent is being invested in destination development initiatives.

A report received by Council on the City’s procurement in 2018, including $1 billion in contracts awarded by Supply Services, showed that after adjusting for contracts where the City had no option but to award to a specific supplier, the City awarded 94 per cent of its contracts competitively, in line with City policy of competitive procurement. City procurement strongly supports the local economy, with 90 per cent of purchased goods and services available locally being purchased locally in 2018.

Council received a report on French Language Services that found the City received 27 per cent fewer complaints in 2018 than in the previous year. The service dealt promptly with all 34 language complaints, resolving them within an average of 8.7 business days. The Translation Services Unit continues to provide extensive support for the City’s bilingual communications, translating more than eight million words in 2018.

Council approved a brownfield grant of up to $634,059 to assist the development of a large block of land on Innes Road into a new subdivision. The land, east of Pagé Road, has contaminated groundwater that will require work totalling $1.26 million to resolve. The grant will cover half of these costs. Glenview Homes proposes to build 335 houses at the site, which will generate more than $1.7 million a year in increased property and education taxes.

Council also approved a grant of up to $214,600 over 10 years, under the Bells Corners Community Improvement Program, to assist with the redevelopment of a 2.8-acre piece of land on Robertson Road. The property owner is proposing to develop 2165 Robertson Road, which is currently a surface parking lot and outdoor storage area. Two buildings will be constructed; a restaurant and a heating/air-conditioning store and warehouse. The total project is estimated to have a value of $2.4 million and will create up to 100 new jobs on site.

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