DC rate hikes approved to ensure ‘growth pays for growth’ in Barrie

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Barrie council has approved increased development charge (DC) rates that will be phased in over five years, despite admitting the five per cent annual increases in each of the next five

City officials say the revenue hit will top $125.2 million between 2023 and 2027 under the new rates, as fallout from the province’s Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act.

“There’s going to be a time, probably next year when we are begging for housing to be built,” Mayor Alex Nuttall said at a council meeting in June.

Here’s what the increases mean for builders:

Residential construction:

Salem and Hewitt’s secondary plan areas: charge on a single or semi-detached home will jump to $126,077 by 2027, up from $100,862 in 2023

City-wide: $111,874 from the current rate of $89,499.

Here’s what will happen with non-residential rates:

Retail construction:

Salem and Hewitt’s secondary plan areas:$735.64 per square metre  from $446.43

City-wide: $607.69 per square metre from $454.41

Industrial construction:

  • Salem and Hewitt’s secondary plan areas: $391.69 per square metre from $316.28
  • City-wide: $354.33 per sq. m. from $283.25

Barrie’s long-range capital plan includes about $6.8 billion in growth-related projects between 2023 and 2041 — roughly $4.1 billion of that will be covered by anticipated DC revenue.

“I am a big believer that growth needs to pay for growth; that we can’t go back to the current tax payer and ask them to supplement the development that’s happening, specifically in the annexation area in the south end of Barrie,” Mayor Alex Nuttall said at the council meeting prior to voting in favour of the new charges.

He called the current reality “a lose-lose” situation.

“Costs are going up. They’re going up on the developers, they’re going up on us. Therefore, the cost of DCs need to match it and if they don’t match it, then it’s actually the current taxpayers that will have to pick up the tab.”

Supporting the DC bylaw, Nuttall said depending on market conditions over the next 18 to 24 months, “there may need to be a look at this to determine how we can actually get building happening if it does in fact slow to a halt.”