Yesterday, Council approved a new off-site levy bylaw that will not only fund much-needed city-wide infrastructure, but also help the City of Calgary achieve financial sustainability in the coming years. I have long argued for this sort of sustainable, thoughtful action, and am extremely pleased that we are delivering on a plan that will see our city’s development pay for itself by 2018.
Off-site levies are among the tools that the City of Calgary uses to achieve financial sustainability, and are in place to help pay for major off-site infrastructure such as water and wastewater treatment facilities, recreation centres, and connecting pipes. Due to persistent and high population growth, increased infrastructure costs, and outdated language, the old off-site levy bylaw had to be revisited. The City of Calgary worked collaboratively with members of the land development and home building industry to ensure a transparent, fair process in coming up with this new bylaw. Many industry leaders are strongly and vocally in support of these necessary changes, which come into effect on February 1.
Until now, the City of Calgary subsidized suburban development by paying for half of all water and wastewater infrastructure costs in new neighbourhoods; the City paid for all of it up to 2011. Over the next three years, the City will phase in new rules in which developers will be responsible for all such costs. This is good news for our established inner city neighbourhoods, which have borne much of the cost for our city’s outward march of growth. It’s also good news for our efforts to encourage density, as natural incentives for increasing the per unit utilization of land will soon come into place. Finally, it’s great for our long-term fiscal outlook: new suburban homes could become slightly more expensive (perhaps by 1%), but in exchange we won’t need to go so far into debt to keep up with the urgent growth needs of our city.
This is a big step for Calgary, and one of which I am incredibly proud to have been a part. Learn more about the new Off-Site Levy Bylaw, or contact my office if you have any questions.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.