Reassignment of Development Costs
Res #: 11-23A
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
WHEREAS subdivision development is becoming more prevalent in both rural and small urban municipalities
WHEREAS section 92 of The Municipalities Act states that council must maintain the financial integrity of the
WHEREAS The Municipalities Act further states that council must represent the public interest and wellbeing of the
WHEREAS most subdivisions are completed either for profit of selling the resultant properties, or for estate planning
WHEREAS municipalities must conduct a thorough review of proposed subdivisions which results in the municipality
incurring costs associated with the additional resources required to complete these applications.
WHEREAS it is the expressed stance of all levels of government that development should pay for itself. To continue to
pass the costs to taxpayers could be interpreted as a contravention of section 92 of The Municipalities Act.
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government that all costs to the municipality for the review,
processing, and evaluation of a proposed subdivision should be charged back to the Developer.
Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
May 31, 2023
- The Planning and Development Act, 2007 (PDA) is the legislative framework which outlines tools rural municipalities may use to regulate land use and development within the It strives to provide a balanced approach to inherent benefits of growth and investment in communities.
- The Ministry of Government Relations (ministry) supports the principle of rural municipalities recovering the costs associated with servicing a proposed The tools in the PDA enable a rural municipality to recover various development costs using servicing agreements, development levies and development fee bylaws.
- Section 17 of the PDA allows approving authorities to prescribe fees for the review of subdivision applications. Where the ministry is the approving authority, the ministry charges a fee for review of the The subdivision review by the Community Planning branch of the ministry provides a consistent collaborative approach with rural municipalities to ensure a proposed subdivision meets the legislation, regulations and rural municipal bylaw and servicing requirements.
- Review of a subdivision will vary depending on the complexity of the Simpler subdivision proposals such as those for estate planning purposes or an existing farmstead do not require the same level of review as a multi-parcel subdivision. Single lot subdivisions may only require a quick review as compared with a complex multi-parcel development requiring significant analysis of infrastructure upgrades needed to service the subdivision.
- Complex multi-parcel subdivision proposals often require an amendment to an official community plan and/or zoning bylaw. Where a subdivision requires an amendment to an official community plan or zoning bylaw, section 51 of the PDA allows municipalities to prescribe fees for the application by specifying the amount for review, advertising, approval, enforcement, regulation, and issuance of development permits, discretionary use permits, minor variance, and amendments to official community plans and zoning The fee amount needs to be included in a municipality’s zoning bylaw or in a separate fee bylaw.
- Section 172 of the PDA provides authority for municipalities to enter into servicing agreements with developers for the infrastructure and facilities that directly or indirectly serve the This includes recouping capital costs, which are defined in the PDA as the municipality’s estimated cost of providing construction, planning, engineering, and legal services directly related to the infrastructure item affected. Servicing agreement fees must be clearly identified as to the amount to be charged and not left open-ended as to an amount to be determined later.
- The prescribed fees in a servicing agreement provide a balanced approach to development which recognizes the inherent benefits of growth to communities.
- Charging fees for reviewing subdivision applications referred to a rural municipality by the ministry would result in the duplication of fees charged to the subdivision applicant.
- Rural municipalities are encouraged to utilize the existing fees available in the PDA.
- Ministry staff are available to assist and clarify the tools available in PDA for the recovery of costs associated with subdivision and development.
The Honourable Don McMorris – Minister of Government Relations, Government of Saskatchewan