At Monday night’s Council meeting, George Dixon, a retired North York city solicitor and Aberdeen Blvd resident was on hand to answer questions stemming from his letter (below) where he alerts Council to what seems to be a slippery move by a developer that has resulted in the short-changing of local ratepayers of approximately $140,000 in unpaid development fees.
In his letter to council he outlines how the “builder of the Aberdeen duplexes came into the Planning and Building Services Department and applied to build a one unit detached house on one of the Aberdeen lots. The permit application was reviewed. The low density [development charge] was charged and a permit was issued for the house. A short time later the builder (Jennark) applied for another permit to include an additional dwelling unit in the house. This two-step with building permits was repeated nine more times resulting in under charges totaling $140,120 for the ten Aberdeen duplexes.”
Dixon goes on to say “The purpose of the two-step was plainly to try to save the builder $140,120 in [development charges] at the expense of the the public purse. And since [development charges] pay for actual growth-related costs incurred or to be incurred, anything the builder avoids paying has to be made up by Midland taxpayers.
However this happened, it is very unsettling for taxpayers and for every citizen who cares about local government. For taxpayers in the Tiffin area, it adds insult to injury because the Tiffin neighbourhood is the only place in Midland that has experienced any duplexes being built under the guise of secondary suites in houses.”
Dixon says it should be easy for the Town of Midland to right this wrong and says “All you need do is direct your staff to recalculate the [development charges] correctly for each of these ten duplexes. Send invoices for them and if the invoices are not paid promptly, add the unpaid amounts to the tax roll in accordance with the Development Charges Act and your DC By-law. ”
If the builder actually succeeded in pulling the wool over our eyes, we fully expect that Council will pursue the recovery of these funds and close whatever loophole allowed this to take place in the first place.