Town reconsiders land use fees

Council has tabled a motion to increase land use bylaw application fees after concerns the figures were too high.

Council has tabled a motion to increase land use bylaw application fees after concerns the figures were too high.

A request for third reading was presented to council July 9 but Coun. Rick Bonnett wanted to address a letter opposed to the application for land use bylaw amendment that raises the fee to $100 per unit from $25. “If there are 100 lots or 125 lots or whatever, it escalates costs.”

Steve Bontje, managing partner with Laebon Homes, stated in a letter if a company put an application in to adopt or amend an area structure plan, the costs would be unreasonable. “For reference, the $500 plus $100 per lot fee, applied to a relatively common area structure plan containing 500 lots, would be ($100 x $500) + $500 = $50,500. That is over 20x higher than the $2,500 application fee required in the City of Red Deer.”

Bonnett asked if town administration would be better off to have a one-time fee for applications such as this. The purpose of the increase is to pay for statutory advertising costs. CAO Brad Watson says the town uses an equivalency formula to ensure rates are similar and with the proposed increase there is little surplus. “It breaks out almost even….On a formula basis it’s relatively the same.”

Coun. John Jacobs would have preferred to make the decision with Betty Jurykoski, officer of the planning and development, at the meeting to give others some clarification but she was away. He wanted to know how Ponoka compares to other municipalities.

“Are we charging more or less than West Central Planning?” Jacobs asked. “If we are competitive then why is Laebon sending us a letter?”

Mayor Larry Henkelman pointed out Laebon was not using other municipalities such as the towns of Innisfail and Blackfalds who are also charging money per lot for recreation. Innisfail charges $1,000 per lot and Blackfalds $500 per lot for recreation, said Henkelman. “They’re addressing the dollars for recreation.”

Coun. Loanna Gulka agrees the town should be covering its administration costs but she feels the proposed price is too high.

Watson suggested council table the motion until Jurykoski returns to help clarify their questions. Betty Quinlan, director of corporate services, also could not recall a time when there were 500 homes being built at once in Ponoka.

Two other fee schedules were increased: subdivision application and approval fees, and permit fees. The latter is a shared contract with Superior Safety Codes at 50/50 cost-sharing and is also staying in line with rising costs.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Rabbits saved from barn fire in Ponoka County

The Ponoka County East District Fire Department was called to a barn fire

Bashaw peewee club’s season comes to an abrupt end

Players decide not to go into playoffs without one of their teammates

Ponoka man attacked by dogs issues plea to town council

Troubles with bylaw and handling of court case prompts presentation to council

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Most Read