Builders blast development charges – Metro US

Builders blast development charges

Builders are decrying a 75 per cent increase in development charges across the Greater Toronto Area since 2001 and argue that new homeowners are picking up a disproportionate amount of the tab for new roads, sewers and the like.

Singling out Toronto as one of the worst culprits, with a 342 per cent jump in development charges on single-family homes since 2001, a new report from the building association comes as a shot across the bow to the city as it considers hiking charges even more.

“The dramatic increase in building charges across the GTA is excessive. They’re unsustainable and they’re counterproductive,” Michael Moldenhauer, president of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), told a news conference yesterday.

A study BILD commissioned, titled Over The Top, lists the increase in development charges across 25 GTA lower-level municipalities from 2001, which rose an average of 75.1 per cent for all housing types, including single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums.

Inflation during that period was just 11.7 per cent.

In Brampton, the average development charge for a new single-family home is $35,398 — the highest in the GTA, according to BILD.

Moldenhauer said the hikes are squeezing potential new buyers out of the market.

Within the next two months, the City of Toronto is expected to review a staff report on changing development charges. Mayor David Miller urged caution on the issue in October, telling council he didn’t want to discourage development.

Joe Farag, Toronto’s director of development policy, said while the increase looks big in terms of percentage, the actual dollars paid in Toronto are one-third the GTA average.