News / Winnipeg

City's top committee to vote on growth fees for Winnipeg

After a brief delay, the executive policy committee will debate a revised plan for growth fees on Wednesday.

Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman speaks to media after Manitoba Finance Minister Greg Dewar read the 2015 budget for the province at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, Thursday, April 30, 2015.

Staff / The Canadian Press

Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman speaks to media after Manitoba Finance Minister Greg Dewar read the 2015 budget for the province at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, Thursday, April 30, 2015.

Mayor Brian Bowman and his six-member committee are finally set to vote on a proposal to bring growth fees to Winnipeg. 

The contentious plan--which began with a consultant's report by the firm Hemson back in August--has shifted to an approach most of Bowman's executive policy committee plans to support on Wednesday. 

Coun. John Orlikow tabled a revised plan last week after taking fewer than 30 days of extra consultation time with industry members and concerned councillors, which he was instructed to do by a unanimous committee vote in September. 

The changes he's proposing include phasing-in the fees over the next three years as oppose to introducing a city-wide flat fee on Jan.1, which city staff had initially recommended.  

Under this new plan, the fees would be levied on new residential developments in 13 areas on the outskirts of the city first, starting in May 2017.

The costs of these charges have also been reduced by half. 

Wednesday's committee will also vote to establish a working group that will determine if, and how, these so-called impact fees could be applied to new commercial, industrial and infill properties.

Any decision on ushering in commercial and industrial growth fees will be delayed until November 2018, and November 2019 for infill projects, which includes downtown developments. 

Many developers remain staunchly opposed to the plan, not only because it means additional costs to their businesses, but for what's been criticized again and again as a non-existent consultation process on the part of the city. 

After Wednesday's vote, full council will have its say next week. 

The city plans for a new growth fee by-law to be in place Nov.1

More to come. Follow @__stephaniejane for live updates. 

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