IMPACT FEES – October Update
Photo Credit: CTV
UPDATE from City of Winnipeg’s Director of Legal Services: Nov 5, 2020
Final details with respect to the refund process are being completed. This includes the process itself as well as the formulas that will be used to determine the amount of each refund. The other parties to the litigation have been part of those discussions and as a result, it is expected the City will be in a position to commence issuing refunds at the end of the appeal period, approximately the end of November.
The Court supervises the refund process and the Court order directs what actions the City is required to take to facilitate the refund process. Under the Court order, the City is responsible for providing refunds to the person or company which made the payment to the City. The City is not responsible, and is not in a position, to make decisions as to who is entitled to a refund in situations where there are competing claims to the refund.
Once the City has refunded a fee, the Court order then requires the recipient of the refund to return it to the property owner. However, that is only in situations where the property owner is entitled to the refund. The developers have been clear that there are agreements in place with some property owners which do not require the developer to return the fee to the property owner. In other words, whether the refund is returned to the property owner will depend on what agreement was in place between those parties.
While the City cannot provide legal advice in this situation, in situations where there may be a dispute as to who is entitled to the refund, it is suggested that contact be made now to assert the claim to the refund. In the case of a bankruptcy, it is highly suggested the Trustee administering the estate of the bankrupt be approached. If that does not resolve the situation, an application to the court can be made.
UPDATE FROM City of Winnipeg’s Director of Legal Services: Nov 3, 2020
• The Court Order has now been signed by Justice Edmond. This begins the clock on the 30 day appeal period. While there have been public statements from some of the parties that they are not intending to appeal, there is always a possibility one or more of the parties could still choose to file an appeal.
• Final details with respect to the refund process are being completed. This includes the process itself as well as the formulas that will be used to determine the amount of each refund. The other parties to the litigation have been part of those discussions and as a result it is expected the City will be in a position to commence issuing refunds at the end of the appeal period, approximately the end of November. It is also expected there will be an announcement and communications strategy developed to support the process.
See good overview by CTV: Impact fees quashed, city instructed to refund those affected
See good overview by Urban Development Institute including copy of court order: Winnipeg Impact Fees – Legal Challenge Update
Both parties now have 30’days to appeal.
• City has stated (via Mayor) that they will not be appealing court decision.
• My understanding is development community is not appealing court decision.
I am waiting for details from City bureaucrats on when fees will be returned. It is my understanding that the fees will be refunded to whoever took out the home’s development permit. Most often that would have been the home builder. Residents should review the contract between them and their homebuilder.
When I have more details on payment, I will share.