May 16, 2022
News bulletin for growers: proposed development charges for agriculture

LO growers group
Important News Bulletin:
Niagara area growers facing development charges

Landscape Ontario recently learned of proposed changes to Niagara Region’s development charges for agricultural buildings after an engagement session on May 4, 2022. A consultant proposed the Region amend Section 11 of the current By-law to remove agriculture from the exemptions list as it does not align with the Region’s incentive priority areas.

It is our understanding the Task Force has approved the background study, including the proposed changes to agriculture’s status. Development charges are designed to support expansion and growth within a region, which makes sense for construction of additional industrial or commercial buildings, and new home builds that all increase the population and burden on existing infrastructure. However, construction of additional greenhouses or farm buildings do not require significant capital investments by the Region. Therefore, there is a conflict in terms of the purpose of development charges and who should bear the cost of regional expansion in the proposed By-law.

This is alarming

The proposed development charges would effectively destroy the potential for future growth of the agriculture sector in the Region. Not only is there an immediate financial impact on farms that are currently considering expansion, the implementation of development charges on agriculture will affect future decisions for succession planning and how (or if) next generation farmers will pursue careers in Agriculture. Other upper-tier municipalities in Ontario exclude agriculture from development charges (e.g., County of Essex, County of Simcoe, Halton Region), and if the proposed changes are implemented in the Region’s new by-law it will create an incentive for farms to move or expand out of the Niagara peninsula.

The Niagara Region Development Charge Policy Task Force is meeting this on Thursday, May 19 at 4:00 p.m. to discuss this.

We are asking you to show your opposition to this by logging on to this virtual meeting. The link to view the meeting is below:

Landscape Ontario is working with the agriculture sector in the Niagara Region to oppose these development charges and has been actively involved in the discussions since first learning about the potential changes.

Please plan to log on and show your opposition through your attendance.

Here is a copy of a letter that was sent to Niagara Region council, mayors and staff.

Much appreciated,

Dr. Jeanine West
Grower Technical Analyst
Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association

landscape ontario
Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association
7856 Fifth Line South, Milton, ON L9T 2X8 Canada

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