Oakville Homes

March 31, 2011

Well, blow me down – Halton developers anty up.

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It’s official – at least according to the Oakville Beaver.  For those not from Oakville, it’s the local newspaper, not some strip joint. 

An article by David Lea stated that 3 local developers (Great Gulf Group, Mattamy Homes and Trinison Management) have agreed to anty up a prepayment of their development charges to the order of $10million and, are throwing in an extra $5million of good will voluntary contribution.  If you remember, Mattamy Homes was the chief whiner about the development charges in Halton.  Peter Gilgan didn’t think it was fair that the developers pay what the politicians and taxpayers felt were their fair share of the infrastructure costs.  I understand that later, Halton did reduce their demands and maybe the extra monies are just what they saved by the reduction.  Who knows?

During the arguments, it seemed that we only heard the voice of Mattamy and, although I guess the other developers didn’t like the increase, seemed less upset about paying their way in terms of infrastructure.  Maybe they have a better business model that takes into account these things.

If you are a fan of the Mattamy advertising, you will note they always discuss the supporting of the community, building a community, etc and you’d think they would have no problem making sure the taxpayer didn’t get shafted by infrastructure costs created by developers making a profit.  I should note that ALL the developers are also donating land towards the Natural Heritage System.  This is a beautiful system of ravines, walkways, creeks and natural areas throughout Oakville.  They say they are donating it free of charge.  Sounds big of them.  But, I ask the question – is this land they have to give to the Town anyways for public use or, is this above and beyond what they are legally compelled to donate to the Town.

It is a big difference to do so out of the goodness of your heart or just to give the land you have to due to government regulation.  Anyways, the land they are donating is probably not suitable for development and therefore surplus and not saleable.  It’s like donating your “wreck” to charity.  You save the tow fee.  And, were there any deals made for future consideration – deals that will cost our future taxpayers?

So, if I am wrong in my thinking here, please let me know.  Unlike Gilgan, I don’t mind admitting I am wrong.  I can handle it and have no need to hide behind the skirts of politicians and have reports buried.

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