Hamilton’s $1.02B city cost proposal

File photo.

Hamiltonians can now have their say on how much developers pay for the proposed $1.02B cost of the city’s planned pipes, parks and roads.

Hamilton City Council’s Proposed Development Contributions Policy sets out the rules and proposed charges for new developments in the city and has been drafted in parallel with the Council’s draft 10-Year Plan.

Development Contributions are a charge assessed on the likely impact a development will have on the Council’s network, where the development is located and the infrastructure needed for that area.

The key changes in the proposed policy include the removal of all previous capped charges, removal of the CBD remission scheme, adding non-residential capped charges, indexing charges to account for inflation, charging based on the number of bedrooms and adding the new growth projections and costs. The proposed policy includes charging for some major projects which are planned for more than 10 years’ time.

Hamilton Mayor Andrew King says developers need to pay their fair share.

“This policy supports the Council’s position to try and have growth pay for growth. The city is planning to spend more than $1B on infrastructure to service growth over the next 10 years, which is more than double of what the current policy is collecting on,” says Mayor King.

“It’s important the burden of all these costs aren’t put onto ratepayers now or in the future. Developers paying their fair share of the expensive cost of supplying their developments with water, stormwater, wastewater, reserves and transport options.”

New caps to some industrial and retail charges have been added to help minimise the economic impact. The city’s ratepayers will then pay for the remainder of those costs over the next 10 years.

“The bill for all the work needs to be paid for from somewhere, our policy is about having developers pay for their fair share,” says Mayor King.

“A developer could be anyone from a ‘mum and dad’ looking to add a granny flat to their property, to a large company creating new suburbs of houses or a new shopping mall.”

The charge for a development varies on the type of development and where it is in the city. Each area in the city has different challenges and costs which is why some areas have a higher charge. The proposed policy also looks to calculate housing charges based on the number of bedrooms the development will have.

“A two-bedroom house will have a lower charge than, say, a five-bedroom house, as there is likely less people living there and therefore it will not place as much demand on the Council’s network. This includes aspects like the number of cars on the road, people on the footpaths, number of showers or and times the toilet is flushed. The same goes for retail and industrial buildings.”

Council staff found an input error in the DC Model after the policy was adopted by the Council. This has now been corrected and, as a result, the proposed charges are lower than initially published.

The proposed policy is open for the public to have their say until 30 April 2018.