Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

City of Brandon proposing development fee as growth strains infrastructure

The city of Brandon is proposing a development charge of more than $7,000 per single-family home to help pay for new infrastructure needs.

BRUCE BUMSTEAD / BRANDON SUN FILES Enlarge Image

The city of Brandon is proposing a development charge of more than $7,000 per single-family home to help pay for new infrastructure needs.

As Brandon continues to grow, the city is proposing a development charge to help pay for new infrastructure needs.

Following an in-depth study, the city has calculated a charge for developers of $7,656 per single-family home and just under $5,000 per apartment. For industrial/commercial, the charge would be $2.37 per square foot.

"We are on the brink of being in a position of having to not let development go forward because we’re struggling to find a way to service it," said Jacqueline East, the city’s general manager of development services. "Our servicing that exists right now in the city is almost at the end of its capacity, and our work to squeeze capacity out of our existing system is actually slowing down development right now."

The city retained Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. to undertake the study, alongside city staff and Dillon Consulting Ltd.

The study points to Brandon’s population growth — in excess of 10 per cent between 2006 and 2011. Statistics Canada data released this week shows Brandon grew by another 6.1 per cent between 2011 and 2016, outpacing both the national and provincial growth rates.

"This high level of growth places demands on the city to provide the necessary infrastructure to facilitate continued growth," states the report.

Currently, the city recovers some infrastructure costs from developers through development agreements, and are often entered into as a condition of subdivision, rezoning, or conditional use applications.

The proposed development charge was determined by looking at the total cost of new services required to service designated lands, divided by the total number of homes and businesses that will benefit from the new infrastructure. The city’s growth plan projects nearly 23,000 new residents and more than 10,000 new employees over the next 20 to 30 years. This translates into 9,450 new residential units and 672 hectares of non-residential development.

"These costs are the same as they would be if we allocated them piecemeal but it’s much more transparent, fair and open," East said.

It would be difficult to attract outside business currently, East added, due to the fact the city can’t offer serviced industrial land or serviced new residential land.

"So the advantage to outside investment is to know very clearly what the charge is, and to not have to learn how to work within our systems, and negotiate each little bit and piece as we go along because that doesn’t work for the city, and it doesn’t work for new investment."

Capital works included in the development charge calculation are for offsite improvements in relation to transportation, water, wastewater and drainage. Infrastructure within the development, such as roads and pipes, will continue to be paid for by the developer.

The report outlines capital projects needed to facilitate growth, including six drainage projects at a cost of $11.7 million. With respect to transportation, 16 projects have been identified which include off-site road construction, upgrades to existing roads, etc. This cost is more than $30 million.

The city has identified approximately $4.3 million in gross costs related to 11 intersection improvement projects. For sewer services, 15 capital projects have been identified, including sewer mains, a forcemain, and lift stations. The estimated cost, after grants and subsidies, would be nearly $26 million.

Over the next month, the planning department will conduct meetings with local stakeholders and invite feedback on the proposed development charge.

A public meeting will be held in March, followed by an updated report. The hope is to pass a new bylaw by the summer. The full study and a map identifying the various infrastructure needs is available online at brandon.ca/planning.

The City of Winnipeg is implementing an "impact fee" on new homes built in select suburban areas. The fee — about $5,100 per 1,000 square feet — goes into effect May 1.

The city says the new fee is needed to generate revenue to offset the cost of constructing new infrastructure — regional roads, transit, recreation and leisure facilities — to meet the needs stemming from the creation of new subdivisions.

The concept of a fee is opposed by the development industry, arguing new development pays more than their fair share for infrastructure related costs. The industry also argues the fee is nothing more than a new tax, which city hall doesn’t have the authority to impose.

The Manitoba Home Builders Association and the Urban Development Institute will ask the courts to declare the city's new impact fee invalid.

The legal challenge, to be filed in Court of Queen's Bench, will argue the city doesn't have the authority to impose the fee and the fee is discriminatory, as it only applies to some new residential development.
 

» jaustin@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @jillianaustin

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 11, 2017

History

Updated on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 5:25 PM CST:
adds photo

Updated on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 5:26 PM CST:
adds winnipeg info

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 1 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

Wouldn't adding more taxation/fees stunt growth further, shouldn't city finances and priorities be looked at first to see what savings could be made so not slow down progress and more jobs?

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

As Brandon continues to grow, the city is proposing a development charge to help pay for new infrastructure needs.

Following an in-depth study, the city has calculated a charge for developers of $7,656 per single-family home and just under $5,000 per apartment. For industrial/commercial, the charge would be $2.37 per square foot.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

As Brandon continues to grow, the city is proposing a development charge to help pay for new infrastructure needs.

Following an in-depth study, the city has calculated a charge for developers of $7,656 per single-family home and just under $5,000 per apartment. For industrial/commercial, the charge would be $2.37 per square foot.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

2017 Brandon Sun Wants to Know' Choice
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?

Social Media