At the Finance and Responsible Governance Committee meeting at City Hall on March 1, Jaclyn Hall of Hemson Consulting gave an overview to the Council of their ongoing study plan in light of Bill 23.
On November 28th of last year, the Ontario government’s Bill 23, officially known as the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, received royal assent. It amended the Development Charges Act, the Planning Act, and a number of other legislations. Development charges imposed on new developments are a major source of revenue for the city and are intended to fund repair, replacement, or operating expenditures related to the city’s assets. Bill 23’s update to the development charges (DC) regime introduces new exemptions and discounts for affordable and attainable housing. The discounts are based on the number of bedrooms.
It will severely limit the city’s ability to raise funds. The City of Barrie hired Hemson Consulting to explore ways to generate revenue. Hemson Consulting is carrying out a multi-study process that includes a Development Charges background study and bylaw, a Community Benefits Charges Bylaw, and the Parkland dedication bylaw in order to allow the city to continue to collect this revenue in the future.
“The reason why we’re doing the three studies at the same time is that we’re really working within this new framework of what we’re calling funding for growth related capital. And this allows us to not only look at opportunities to review and align how the capital projects are being funded through these three different mechanisms,“ she said.
The final report will be presented to the council in the Spring season.