WATERLOO REGION — The Region of Waterloo wants more time for an update to the regional development charges bylaw to consider issues and requests raised by local municipalities.
Coun. Sean Strickland is a member of the committee looking at the bylaw.
“We’ve got to look at all the options based on feedback at the public meeting and also from the city councils, so we’ll put a few more options on the table and see where that takes us,” he said Thursday.
Instead of approving the new rules in October, the bylaw is now expected to be approved in December.
The region is reviewing its development charge bylaw after changes to provincial rules were made at the end of 2015. Under the new rules, the region can now calculate the charges for future transit and use development charges for waste management — excluding landfills and incineration.
Development charges are fees developers pay for infrastructure such as roads and sewers. Any exemptions municipalities grant must be paid for.
The region is considering applying the new charges related to transit and waste management to developments in cities. Existing exemptions for other development charges in the Kitchener and Cambridge cores would stay in place until 2019.
The region is also investigating applying transit development charges to townships. Until now, developers in the rural areas didn’t have to pay that portion.
But both proposals have raised the ire of the lower-tier municipalities.
Township councils approved motions opposing the application of development charges for transit to development in the townships.
Coun. Geoff Lorentz said he agrees with putting off the bylaw approval because there is some confusion about what’s proposed.
“I think because we do have a number of new members of council from the townships, I think it’s important that everybody gets to understand both sides of the issue,” he said.
Waterloo council passed a motion asking that development projects in the city that have received site plan approval be grandfathered in by the region under the existing fee system. Staff estimated there are more than a dozen projects to which that would apply.
Kitchener council passed a motion asking that the downtown exemption be maintained until 2019 and the industrial land development charge rate stay the same.
Strickland said options the region will consider include phasing in the charges for both townships and cities.
“There’s a whole bunch of permutations that could occur,” he said.
Where to phase in, when to phase in, at what rate and for how long a period of time are all questions to consider, Strickland said.