Ponoka Town Council adopted a new regulation regarding the subdivision fees and approvals, to fill a gap in their recent decision to use the services of the Parkland Community Planning Services (PCPS) for the next three years in managing the process.
One of the requirements of the Municipal Government Act is that an agency such as PCPS must have its own subdivision fees and those fees must be used if the agency processes applications.
In the introduction to council agenda item for its regular Tuesday, March 10 meeting, CAO Rachel Kunz wrote that in order for applicants to pay for PCPS fees, the old bylaw with the town’s fees would need to be repealed. In the new arrangement, PCPS will forward payment from new fees to the Town of Ponoka.
Kunz presented council with three options:
• PCPS processes all the applications on behalf of the town but the town continue to be the subdivision authority.
• Have PCPS process all applications and be the subdivision approval authority.
• The town continues to process subdivision applications and remains the subdivision approval authority.
“If we accept the option 1, we’ll have to go along with their fee schedule,” said Mayor Rick Bonnett.
He says the goal is to ensure there are no issues with applicants during construction season.
Coun. Carla Prediger wants a timely review of PCPS’s performance to give council a chance to review how the process works. “To make sure what we’re wanting from this group is consistent and what we’re hoping to have,” she said explaining her wish.
Council approved the first option and had to rescind its previous fee schedule and approve PCPS’s fee schedule as a new bylaw. Council gave three readings of the bylaw and approved the new fees.
There are some differences to the fees. PCPS application fee is $700 for three lots or less and $800 for four lots or more, compared to a flat fee of $500 for the town.
PCPS’s fee schedule is slightly more detailed and includes a $700 per lot fee — with remnant parcels, roads, reserve lots and public utility lots being exempt — compared to $125 for the town. Another increase is in the endorsement time extension of unregistered survey plan to $250 from $125.
The remaining fees are similar in pricing.
Open house planned to discuss off-site levies
Council directed administration to host a public information session on proposed changes to the Town of Ponoka’s outdated off-site levies.
Kunz included the report in the council agenda package. The detailed report by Tagish Engineering provides recommendations and comparisons to fees from nearby communities.
“The off-site levies we use right now are from 1998,” said Kunz.
These off-site levies help the town pay for future infrastructure needs as the community grows. The report splits the town into four areas and determines infrastructure costs for water, sanitary sewer, the waste-water treatment facility, storm water and transportation.
A date has not yet been set for a public information session.
“We’ve gotta get the discussion out there,” said Bonnett.