The City of St. Catharines has not collected any municipal development charges since June 2009. However, Regional development charges are collected by the City on behalf of the Region of Niagara.
The amount of Regional development fees are determined by the Region and all fees that are collected are forwarded to the Region for their purposes. This is a service provided to the Region and the public to improve customer service and reduce processing timelines.
Development charges or impost fees have been collected by the City of St. Catharines since 1975 and previously by Grantham Township as far back as the 1950s. These fees have always been intended to be used for the benefit of the land from which they were collected. In 1983, the West St. Catharines Servicing Study was completed as a prelude to the establishment of impost fee from lands within the urban boundary west of Twelve Mile Creek and south of the QEW. In June 1985, Council adopted a set of impost fees together with rules for their use for the West St. Catharines area, separate from East St. Catharines.
In 1995, Council approved the discontinuation of development charges for East St. Catharines, and in 2009, the discontinuation of development charges for West St. Catharines through passage of By-law No. 2009-157.
New land developments in the Niagara Region create a demand on the Regional government to offer services to those buildings. The purpose of Regional development charges is to recover the growth-related costs associated with capital infrastructure needed to service new development.
Any person or business who is planning a construction project must consult with their local building official to obtain a building permit. Regional development charges are paid to the local municipality as part of the building permit fee process.