May 7, 2019

Mayor Brian Bigger and City Council

City of Greater Sudbury

Tom Davies Square

P. O. Box 5000

Sudbury, ON P3A 5P3

RE: Development Charges By-law

Dear Mayor Bigger and City Council,

I am writing to you today regarding the city’s review of the development charges by-law.   The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce represents over 750 businesses and serves as the voice of business in Greater Sudbury. 

The chamber’s Municipal Advocacy Committee had the opportunity to hear from Kris Longston, the city’s Manager of Community and Strategic Planning, regarding city staff’s work on the development charges review.  We applaud the efforts of city staff for taking on a difficult undertaking and for producing such a thorough report.  

The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce supports the city staff’s recommendations for moderate changes in residential and non-residential development charges. The chamber supports the idea that growth should pay for growth, and the cost of development should not fall on existing taxpayers.  Despite projections of limited population growth, investments in critical infrastructure for new developments will be necessary in the next five-year period, and it is sound policy to impose development charges on those investments.  Council has deliberated the idea of eliminating these charges altogether and we cannot support such an approach.  If the city was to eliminate development charges for the coming five-year period, there would be no opportunity to collect revenue from new developments which will require essential infrastructure.  The solution would either be to not invest in critical infrastructure or to place the burden on taxpayers – both undesirable options. 

We would also suggest that investments such as the Wanapitei Lake Water Treatment Plant and other city-funded investments in critical infrastructure expansion should be subject to development charges, if they are not already.  Additionally, it is important that the city, keeping with recent progress on this front, implement a sound communications strategy to explain council’s decision to the community. 

The chamber commends the work of city staff in their review of the development charges by-law, and supports the recommendations put forth for limited changes to the existing development charges rates and we urge you to follow their recommendations.  Given the research that has been conducted, it is evident that development charges are a necessary investment for the future of our community. 

Yours truly,

Debbi M. Nicholson


cc        Ed Archer, CAO, City of Greater Sudbury

            Kris Longston, Manager of Community and Strategic Planning, City of Greater Sudbury