Planning fees under review for South Glengarry

South Glengarry Planning, Building and Enforcement General Manager Joanne Haley. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

LANCASTER – Saying many of its fees are “very low” or “outdated” compared to neighbouring townships, South Glengarry will review its various charges surrounding local development.

Planning General Manager Joanne Haley gave township council an overview of the fees Monday night and is recommending council consider increasing fees to be “reasonable and comparable” to North Glengarry and South Stormont.

Haley says one of the most common applications is for a minor variance. South Glengarry charges $400 while South Stormont charges $550-650 and North Glengarry charges $500. Other fees include charges for condominium and subdivision plans, official plan amendments and cell tower permits.

Many on council are fine with looking at a proposed new fee structure but are more concerned with making sure the township its covering its costs rather than being competitive with neighbours.

“I don’t have a problem with where we’re at,” Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden said. If any fee hikes are proposed, Warden would like to see them come into effect at the end of the year so it doesn’t hinder development. Coun. Martin Lang concurred.

Coun. Stephanie Jaworski says she’s “not against looking at this” but it should not be a “market-driven thing” but whether the township is covering its costs. Jaworski is worried that the “regular taxpayer” may get hurt with large fee hikes as opposed to developers who should be “paying the cost” of doing business in the municipality.

A report on the fees will be coming to the Feb. 16 council meeting.

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