Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Development In the Crowsnest Pass

My position on development in the Crowsnest Pass:

In the Crowsnest Pass it's not a surprise to most people we have a huge problem almost 90% of our tax base is residential. Our primary source of employment is the coal mines in the Elk Valley, our secondary sources of employment,  a few government jobs, and the retail and service sectors.

Do we need Development in the Crowsnest Pass? Beyond a shadow of doubt. 

With approximately 3200 homes in the Pass building 15-20 homes a year will take us close to 200 years just to maintain the number of homes we have today. The next council needs to sit down with residential developers and determine what we as a community can do to attract more building here. Off site levies need to be done away with completely not a one year freeze that is presently in place. We need to look at the fees we charge for people to build, are we in line with communities around us that are competing for the same home owners we are. We have to realize that if you attract people here to build they will pay taxes on that property for many years to come, they will put kids in our schools and spend their wages in our community.

Nobody wants another Bridgegate, Medican. What we need is more of the Ironstones, Southmores, Mohawk Meadows, and Timberlines. All of those developments were good for the Pass and will continue to help us to increase our tax base over the coming years.

Commercial development, we are in desperate need of it commercial development not only creates employment through the building stage, but then it creates long term employment for as long as the business is in existence. Let's not forget one commercial business will pay the equivalent taxes of many homes.

So to be clear again Dean Ward as been and will be pro-development, my wish is to see us grow at a much greater rate than we presently are.

If elected I will propose to the rest of Council that we sit down with all the developers and builders in the Crowsnest Pass, find out what the issues are and determine where the municipality can help.


Anonymous said...

Dean, that global story sure had a ring of a PR consultant doing a bit of political strategy. Was his name Victor from Edmonton?

Who in the right mind is against a hotel development in Blairmore? Especially one that is not even being developed. Our current council is digging a hole for itself at the learning center site.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you brought the low number of house starts to light. It's been like that for years - hard on the local trades people here.

Anonymous said...

"What we need is more of the Ironstones, Southmores, Mohawk Meadows, and Timberlines."

I would not like to live surrounded by weedy vacant lots with one or two houses going up per year. I would prefer an established neighbourhood with boulevards and trees, or at least a development that would be finished soon.

I question whether we need more developments that just sell lots with no building commitment. Additional developments will just make it take longer for existing ones to get built up.

I know we get some tax $ from all those vacant lots (and acreages) but too many of those with For Sale signs does not give a good impression of CNP.

I'm sure the developments you mention will be fine communities when they are finished.

Anonymous said...

One thing about this election, the For Sale signs for houses and lots blend with all of those Election Vote for Me signs. Is there a bylaw related to this? Must be one in the list.

Anonymous said...

10:27 Most of the vacant lots bring about $800 per year , vacant acreages close or more than $2000. Rest assured, it would be better if there was less vacant lots, but if these tax rolls were not there, these monies would be added to your tax bill.

The people who built these developments risked their own money to do it, and now pay taxes on their unsold lots and acreages. Would you prefer these tax dollars were not there? It's not ideal, but will we better off with less development?

Anonymous said...

This is also an issue in Calgary.


Right now, about 78 percent of the cost for required infrastructure in new neighborhoods is covered by the developer and the other 22 percent is covered by Calgarians through their utility bills.
That infrastructure includes things like roads, water pipes, sewage pipes, libraries, emergency services and recreational facilities.
Nenshi says he believes the subsidy should be closed. “I believe we should make growth pay for itself and not result in debt that goes on to our children and our grandchildren.”

What is the percentage in CNP? Dean seems to take the opposite view, that development infrastructure should be subsidised by current tax and utility payers (or debt)?.

(Of course I realise we don't have the same kind of development problem as Calgary).

Anonymous said...

anon 10:17 I agree with Nenshi except if they changed the way they are now doing things that they actually reduce those utility bills. Nenshi has a track record in 3 short years of very large tax increases. Also take a look at Calgarys debt since Nenshi!
Most of the CNP new developments do not have the infrastructure costs that Calgary has. The only thing the CNP did was allow the developers to tie into existing infrastructure.

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

Comparing us to Calgary is back to the old issue of apples and oranges. Calgary is growing too fast, we are not growing at all.
Never once did I suggest that we should subsidize development infrastructure. What I am suggesting is that we look at such issues as off-site levies and permitting costs. Also red tape I was told a while back about a resident that built a house, it took him four months and fifteen phone calls to find out when is water and sewer would be hooked up. I am not suggesting for a second that the municipality stop the world to hook up services the next day after a person calls. But they should only have to call once and then have somebody call back with a scheduled date. The issue of suspending off-site levies for one year that is great for somebody that is building one house. But for somebody that is looking at building ten homes over the next four years they need to know that in year 2 or 3 they are not going to get hit with those levies. Those are the kinds of things I am talking about to make building here more attractive.
Then my suggestion that council meet with all the various developers and builders, to determine if there are other areas we can help out. In this era of Task Forces, and unlimited studies by consultants. What is wrong with council taking a day to sit down with these folks and see if there is anything that could be changed or done to make the Crowsnest Pass more attractive to develop.

Anonymous said...

"What is wrong with council taking a day to sit down with these folks ..."

As long as it's not like the current Council's "unofficial" secret back room meetings with special interest groups.

I think the MGA has ways to hold such meetings, but they have to be advertised and open to the public. I don't think a meeting like this would draw a crowd, but just the fact that the door is open inspires trust.

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

You are right, did you realize the Policy Cmt meeting were open to the public. I have never seen one scheduled yet on the web site?

Anonymous said...

Dean 9:07 :
Council & committee meetings are open to the public if you can find them.

"MGA 196(2) Notice of a council or council committee meeting to the public is sufficient if the notice is given in a manner specified by council."

They would have to specify that by resolution. Just a formality, like disclosing their pecuniary interests. But we're very informal in CNP. We don't bother about policies, procedures and the MGA.