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Pause button

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam recently put forward a request for a report on the implementation of a 1-year moratorium (let’s ”hit the pause button”) on new tall building rezoning applications in the downtown core of Toronto. You can read the full letter here.

Not surprisingly, the building industry doesn’t like this.

But besides that obvious point, I did want to draw attention to the following comment made by Quadrangle Architects partner, Richard Witt (taken from this BuzzBuzzNews article):

“The city has, for years, used the development charges that should have been used to upgrade infrastructure to artificially lower property taxes by putting the development charges into general revenue,” he says.

The intent of development charges is that they fund the infrastructure required as a result of new development – everything from transit to water. In the US, they are (I think) more commonly called impact fees. In this case the name makes the intent quite clear.

I am curious to what extent we are relying on development growth to fund the status quo. Because growth may not always be there. History has shown us that.

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