IMPACT FEES UPDATE
Residents are contacting me wondering what is happening with the refunding of impact fees charged on new home builds.
Again, had the Mayor done proper due diligence back in 2016 – and not ‘rammed’ this fee in – we wouldn’t be in this position.
You can well imagine, the administration involved to refund upwards of $30 million – in $10,000-$15,000 payments. Just incredible.
Here is the update from Mr. Michael Jack, Chief Corporate Services Officer. (former City solicitor) Mr Jack is overseeing this file. He provided:
The City is currently seeking clarification on the judge’s directions, as the City would like to have better understanding of the Court’s intent in order to have any uncertainty resolved especially related to the situation you have articulated. In order for the City to determine next steps regarding refunds, we require further clarification from the Court and also need to wait to see if the applicant decides to file an appeal. Once we have this information, we should be able to determine the process and mechanism via which the refunds would be issued.
As far as dates:
- Our lawyers hope to be back in front of Justice Edmonds next week to discuss the outstanding issues that require direction
- If His Lordship provides immediate direction (and that’s a big “if”), the lawyers could then finalize the formal Order soon thereafter
- That Order is then submitted to the Court, Justice Edmonds signs it, then it is formally “issued” as of that date
- All parties then have a further 30 days within which to formally appeal the decision
- Mayor Bowman has already publicly stated he would not support the City appealing the decision; that is pretty determinative, as our processes would require the Mayor to approve any such appeal
- We don’t know yet whether any of the applicants might, and there are some significant reasons why they might choose to do so
- It would also be a bit of a gamble for them, because if they appeal only those parts of the decision that they didn’t like, an appeal would invariably open up the entire decision for scrutiny by the Court of Appeal
- Any such appeal will very likely lead to the refund process being held in abeyance
So with no appeals, we may have certainty within about 2 months as to the process, and we could proceed with refunds. Otherwise, the timing really becomes much more difficult to predict.
I will update you when I know more.