One of the things that makes Huntsville a great place to live are the amenities and services available to its residents. Those services and infrastructure are paid for in a variety of ways, including property taxes, grants, service fees and development charges.
The latter are fees imposed on new development that specifically help to fund increased demand on fire services, library services, outdoor recreation (like parkland and trails), indoor recreation (including the Canada Summit Centre), roads, bridges and sidewalks, as well as development-related studies.
The principle behind development charges is one of ‘growth pays for growth’—as Huntsville’s population increases, demand on infrastructure and services increases as well. Development charges are imposed as a flat fee based on the type of structure being built—a single-family dwelling or apartments, for example.
Development charges are imposed by a bylaw, which is updated a minimum of every five years. The Town’s current Development Charges Bylaw expires on March 23, 2021 and staff have begun the steps required to draft a new bylaw. They have also taken into consideration the province’s More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019. The Act received royal assent in June 2019 and will affect the way development charges are collected in the future.
A development charges background study has been completed and can now be viewed at huntsville.ca. The proposed bylaw will be released in early November, and a public meeting will be held at the regular meeting of Huntsville Town Council on November 25 to gather public input (watch myhuntsville.ca for the proposed bylaw and details on the meeting).
Once feedback has been considered, changes to the bylaw will be made if warranted and, if they are substantial, a second public meeting will be held. Staff anticipate that the bylaw will be presented to Council for passage at its December 17 meeting.
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