(BlackburnNews.com photo)

Significant development charge increases proposed

Sarnia council will gather community input on development charges during a public meeting Monday.

The current bylaw expires this June, and significant rate increases are proposed to cope with an anticipated increase in residential development over the next decade.

Mayor Mike Bradley hopes a compromise can be struck.

“The reality in Sarnia is that over the years the city has subsidized development,” said Bradley. “We realize the fragility of the development community and that we’re in this together and it does bring new assessment. The increases that are being proposed are very substantial. One reason is because the province has added other services, like police and parks and rec, into what can be charged for.”

It’s recommended the current development charge of $7,973 per single detached home increase to $18,069 in most of the city and rise to $37,490 in the area being developed east of Modeland Road, from London Line to just south of Confederation.

“I think council should look at a phase-in, council should also look at what exemptions they should give, or not give and we also need to consider some other issues not related to where we want to service new development.”

City council will not be making any decisions Monday.

A new bylaw will be presented to council for consideration May 27.