Warwick approves development charges, could generate $10M in 15 years

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People building homes in Warwick will soon be paying development charges.
Township council approved the plan April 11 after reducing the cost of the fees..

Town administrators say Warwick is the only municipality in Southern Ontario with a 400 series highway passing though that does not have development charges. The only fees collected from development by the township are for water and sewer connection.

Originally, township staff suggested rural homes would face fees starting at $10,658 while urban homes, which have sewer and water connections, would pay $18,948.

Several councillors suggested that was too high, however Treasurer Trevor Jarrett reminded councillors that under the new system, developers wouldn’t be charged to connect to the water and sewage system.

Warwick can charge up to $16,500 for sewer, storm and water connections now.

Councillors Wayne Morris, John Manning and Deputy Mayor Jerry Westgate also expressed concern about the impact on agricultural buildings.

“We’re getting more developers coming in to Warwick and at the end of the day, I believe the developers…will be swallowing the costs of the fees,” says Manning. But he added farm buildings affect “our ratepayers directly.”

Jarrett says agricultural buildings wouldn’t face the development charges under the bylaw.

Still, councillors voiced concern the rate of the fees were too high with Councillor John Couwenberg suggesting the fees be reduced by about $450.

Jarrett and Ken Melanson, the manager of planning services for Lambton, cautioned the councillors they were already getting less money because of the provincial rules surrounding development fees.

Under the Building More Homes Faster Act, the township will collect 80 per cent of the fee the first year, slowly increasing it to 100 per cent in year five.
“If you start discounting your rates you have to remember, they’re discounting your rates already” Melanson warned.

Mayor Todd Case added he’d recently spoken to one of the developers working in Warwick who was in favour of the charges which help fund the services required because of growth. He also said it was time for Warwick to implement the charges.

Council agreed move ahead with development charges but at the suggested lower rate. That means by the end of five years, a rural homebuilder will face just under $13,000 in development charges while an urban developer will pay about $23,500.
With the introduction of development charges, Warwick could collect as much as $10 million in the next 15 years.

Jarrett expects if the subdivisions planned move ahead, the town will need at least $6 million to extend water services to the new homes. Without the charges, the township would have to find another way to fund that growth.

And Jarrett added that given the rate of inflation, developers could have been facing higher costs to connect to water, sewers and storm sewers, suggesting their cost could increase to nearly $24,000 in five years.

Warwick approves development charges, could generate $10M in 15 years