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Development charges hearing puts difference of $936,876 in play

Posted April 6, 2018

New Tecumseth council will sit as a quasi-judicial arbiter of a development charges complaint filed by Previn Court Homes,  to determine whether the developer's proposed 78 unit apartment building on King Street in Alliston should come under a 1997 pre-payment of $2.59 million in DCs to the Town.

Rizzardo Bros Holdings and the Town entered into the front ending agreement in September 1997 because New Tecumseth required the advance funds to pay the local share of then new Industrial Parkway, and water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades to service new development. In exchange, Previn Court Homes DCs were frozen at the rates at the time of the agreement for up to 376 residential units.

The dispute between Previn Court Homes and the Town over the King Street apartment units came to loggerheads in October 2017. New Tecumseth's position is that the 78 unit apartment building is over and and above the 376 units, and should be assessed at the 2017 DC rates, which would cost the developer approximately $1.2 million for water, wastewater and transportation component.

David White, representing Rizzardo Bros Holdings, said their position is the apartment building should be included in the 1997 deal based on an October 30, 2000 amendment that added the King Street proposal to the development agreement. In that case, the DCs would be $265,428 for 78 units.

Mr. White suggested the DC dispute is the last hurdle holding back the apartment's construction moving forward.

Town solicitor Jay Feehely's position on behalf of the Town, included with Monday night's council agenda, was not to dispute whether King Street should be included, so long as the total number of units did not exceed the agreed to 376, regardless the mix of single, semi, townhouses, or apartments. In fact, he notes the 1997 did not include apartments because they weren't proposed.

"There was no provision that indicated that your client had an unlimited access to the 1997 rate once it had its equivalent of 376 units reimbursed," according to Mr. Feehely's Oct. 23, 2017 reply to Mr. White. "In the end result, if it is your client's intention to proceed with the King Street apartments before Morrison Avenue (48 apartments), then the number of units required to have your client reach the 376 equivalent will be provided for. However, the balance of the apartment units, whether King Street or Morrison Avenue, will be subject to the current rate of the Town's Development Charge By-Law."

Previn Court Homes saved more than $5 million in DCs based on current rates for its Eighth Avenue subdivision.

The quasi-judicial hearing must adhere to the following procedures "in order to ensure that the hearing is seen as being open and fair":

  • Only members of Council who hear the complaint can be involved in making the Decision;
  • Members of Council should not discuss the issues until such time as the hearing is complete and deliberation takes place; and
  • Members of Council are entitled to ask questions for clarification but should listen to the presentation before coming to any conclusions.

The hearing date is Wed., April 11, in the council chambers beginning at 7 pm. New Tecumseth councillors are expected to appoint John Ritchie, as as an independent solicitor regarding any procedural matters that may arise, as Mr. Feehely will be representing the Town. Previn Court can appeal council's decision to the OMB.

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All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri