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Builders to pay more fees up front

Builders will be required to pay more Town fees in advance to develop subdivisions and prepare site plans.

Town council endorsed recommendations as part of budget deliberations Wednesday to charge deposits up to $12,000 to review engineering plans.

These and other deposits will be discounted from the full engineering fees which are payable when the reviews are complete — sometimes months or years after they are begun.

Engineering fees are assessed at three to four per cent of the cost of construction.

They will also face new fees up to $2,500 for the Town’s solicitor to prepare, review and register subdivision and site plan agreements.

Big hikes in fees for draft plan extensions and site plan revisions were also recommended. An extension will cost $800, up from $582, and a revision will cost $700, up from $467.

All of these new charges will be indexed to inflation as are most Town fees including arena rentals, this year at a rate of 2.6 per cent as reported at the end of September.

A new fee for boundary adjustment for commercial, industrial and institutional property is proposed at $1,050.

Non-profit organizations which sell fireworks or shoot them off will be charged $125 for a fire department inspection.

Cemetery fees will increase five per cent per year to phase-in a 28 per cent increase across the board for interment rights, maintenance and other fees.

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  1. Rick Robinson | Jan 16, 2015 | Reply

    This is supposed to attract investment how? Before the fees were readjusted, did Fort Erie not already have the highest fee structure in Niagara? And now you exasperate matters even more with this?

    Rick

  2. Leigh | Jan 16, 2015 | Reply

    This is also contrary to the trend of other municipalities that are reducing or waiving fees to encourage development. Port Colborne just waived the municipal development charges for two years and the Region is waiving a good portion of development fees for projects within CIPs that exhibit smart growth principles.

  3. Rob | Jan 19, 2015 | Reply

    To be clear, these appear to be Planning fees, fees assessed to developers when applications are submitted. Not fees directly paid by builders in the form of development charges or permit fees. Mr Editor, is this correct?

  4. Mike Cloutier | Jan 19, 2015 | Reply

    Yes. According to the report, builders had been required to pay these engineering review fees at the end rather than make deposits up front at a rate of “3-4 per cent” of construction costs (quote from report). Deposits are calculated by number of lots in subdivision: 3 to 10 for $1,500 etc. up to $12,000 for over 40. Single lots are determined by area: under 1,00 square metres for $1,200 etc up to $7,400 for more than 4,000 square metres.

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