Ontario Construction News staff writer
Guelph city council has approved new Community Benefits Charges and updated the Parkland Dedication Bylaw required by legislation.
The updated bylaw is effective immediately and community benefits charges will take effect Sept. 18.
Community Benefits Charges will be collected as a one-time fee by the property developer or builder for new residential buildings or structures that are at least five storeys high with 10 or more residential units. The charge is four per cent of the property’s land value on the day before a building permit is issued.
“The new community benefits charges and the updates to the parkland dedication bylaw will support responsible, long-term financial planning that ensures growth pays for growth in Guelph,” says Tara Baker, city treasurer and general manager of Finance. “These changes will help ease the tax burden for residents, and better fund community services such as cultural centres, public parking and parks.”
According to a staff report, new fees will provide additional funding for facilities and services including arts and culture, public parking, and in some cases, parks. Charges cover building costs of public services associated with new, high-density growth that aren’t covered by development charges or parkland dedication.
The Parkland Dedication Bylaw is a financing tool that helps create parks and open spaces to match the Guelph community’s growing needs in two ways:
- Developers may transfer land for parks and public recreation, or
- Developers may provide money for future parks, park equipment or recreational buildings.
Guelph, like all municipalities, must update its bylaw by September based on changes to provincial legislation. These updates include:
- Improving bylaw transparency and clarity, such as updating definitions
- Making it easier to apply the bylaw and calculate the fee by clarifying how and to what areas the bylaw applies