Comment 66017

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted July 11, 2011 at 23:04:31

You know, it's interesting when you compare the Red Hill... Unquestionably, the development industry came forward and actually contributed $85 million, I think in development charges, and were very outspoken in terms of their interest in having that road completed.

The city's share of the highway's cost came in part from development charges from associated developments. $85 million sounds plausible (the last estimate I can find is $69 million in 2004). To count it as a "contribution" from the development industry sounds more than a bit questionable though, since it's not voluntary, and set by the city itself. The local development industry fights tooth and nail against these fees, even though they rarely come close to actually covering the costs of servicing new developments (thus granting an enormous subsidy). Also, it's worth noting that these charges paid about half the usual percentage they cover for new roads. So to act as if they were "stepping up" in any way is totally misleading. It's kinda like acting as if they got millions in donations from ordinary citizens because of the additional property tax burden it created.

One way or the other, the involvement of the development industry in the Red Hill Expressway was scandalous, and they made far more than they paid. Bratina should know, he was a very vocal highway opponent. We need to start making decisions as a city that involve more than the opinion of Chris Murray's friends in the development industry.

BTW: LRT, by running in urban areas rather than aiming toward greenfield development means an enormous discount in terms of development fees in general, since King St already has pipes, roads and streetlights.

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