At their regular meeting on April 2, City Council passed changes to Chestermere’s off-site levy bylaws to ensure that as Chestermere grows, developers are paying for the cost of growth, not current residents.
“As you can see by all the work happening to the west, there are a lot of plans underway that will increase our population in the coming years,” says Mayor Marshall Chalmers. “While this is very exciting, we recognize that a larger population means more costs for the municipality. By passing these new bylaws, we are planning for our future and ensuring that developers pay their fair share for the cost of growth.”
When a new subdivision is built, it needs to tie into existing pipes and road which requires additions or expansions to the infrastructure. An off-site levy ensures that the developers pay for the costs of those upgrades, rather than taxing current residents.
Chestermere already had off-site levies in place for water, sanitary sewer, stormwater and transportation and Council approved increases and structural changes to better reflect the appropriate amounts developers need to pay. Once a developer signs a Development Agreement that allows them to begin the development process, they have two options to pay their portion: 100% at the time of signing or in three installments over the next two years.
“Administration is committed to finding efficiencies, maintaining fairness and ensuring that Chestermere is a competitive location for future development,” said Brenda Hewko, the City’s Chief Financial Officer. “We appreciate the input provided by the development community as we updated these bylaws to create a fair structure and ensure that growth pays for growth.”
With the changes to the Municipal Government Act last year, City Council was also able to pass a new Recreation off-site levy bylaw that would assist in funding new recreation facilities and amenities for the upcoming developments.
While many of these amenities are still a few years away, the new funding structure ensures Chestermere’s growth won’t be on the backs of current residents.