Developer dinged for growth fees after townhouse designs 'literally sat untouched' on city official's desk

Developer dinged for growth fees after townhouse designs 'literally sat untouched' on city official's desk

A Winnipeg architect says his client will be dinged hundreds of thousands of dollars in growth fees because of city delays that included months of dawdling over a street renaming.

City council’s property committee voted Monday to deny a growth-fee appeal by Infinity Architecture, whose client is building a series of townhouses in Waverley West.

Development applications for buildings on a stretch of road that used to be known as Waverley Street were filed before May 1, when the city started applying growth fees to residential developments in selected neighbourhoods at the fringes of Winnipeg.

By the time the city processed the development application, the fees were imposed on the project. That led to an appeal on the grounds the city dragged its feet on a number of matters, including design approvals, the provision of water and sewer services and the renaming of the orphan stretch of Waverley Street, which was redubbed Shahi Street in October.

“There were significant delays on the city’s end that prevented us from starting any construction until December,” architect Evan Hanson said.

“It took them six months to even decide what the street would be named,” he said. “For six months, the drawings literally sat untouched on the permit technician’s desk.”

Council’s property committee, however, voted to deny the appeal after being advised the architecture firm’s argument was not germane to the bylaw.

“It makes the appeals process seem really futile,” said Hanson, opining councillors ought to have enjoyed some leeway in making their decision.

Council property chair John Orlikow said the developer had ample time to apply for the project but waited until the last minute, in April 2017, to do so.

Published at Mon, 07 May 2018 15:25:52 -0400