Valente Developments wants fee discount to build condo

A Windsor developer is asking for the city to lower development charges on some condominiums planned for the east end.

President Peter valente says $9,000 charge will be passed onto buyers

The City of Windsor says it cannot legally offer a discount to one developer. (Valente)

A Windsor developer is asking for the city to lower development charges on some condominiums planned for the east end.

Peter Valente, the president of Valente Development Corporation, wants a reduction of development charges in building a three-story condo.

"If it's successful, the city becomes successful, too, because more things are built, it's good for the economy," he said of lowering fees. "It's good for the tax base. It's a positive thing, and we need some positive things in the city."

Valente says the fee, which runs about $9,000 per unit, is too much for potential buyers to absorb.

"The consumers are paying these taxes," Valente said. "That's a lot of money to be passed on to the buyers, because it's very difficult to get these kinds of projects going in Windsor right now."

City staff say lowering the fees is just not possible. The charge is non-negotiable.

"There is currently no legal option for the Valente Development Corp. to receive reduced development charges or a grant with its proposed development that does not contravene Council Waiver of Fees Policy and/or the Municipal Act," a report to council reads.

If the city lowers the cost for one developer, it has to lower it for everyone and that's not financially sound, according to Lee Anne Doyle, the city's chief building official.

"You're losing out on revenue, and there's obviously costs attributed to anytime you're developing greenfield," Doyle said.

Doyle said compared to the rest of the province, Windsor's development charges "are not unreasonable."

She also said Windsor has "the most affordable housing prices in the province."

Council will decide whether the development charges are unreasonable Monday night.

Staff recommend that Valente look into incentives available through the Economic Revitalization Community Improvement Plan and Brownfield Redevelopment Community Improvement Plan.

"The Brownfield Redevelopment CIP focuses on making environmentally contaminated properties a more viable investment option," a report to council reads in part. "The Economic Revitalization Community Improvement Plan does not apply to residential infill development."

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