West Nipissing’s Town Hall at 225 Holditch Street in Sturgeon Falls / Photo David Briggs David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Building and planning fees will be rising in West Nipissing, although the exact numbers will be discussed and finalized at an upcoming meeting. Stephan Poulin, the director of community services, mentioned to council that “our user fees for both building and planning are way under most similar sized municipalities and our neighbours as well.” To bring West Nipissing into the range of other regions, he suggested “a significant increase.”

The building fees were last reviewed in 2018, Poulin noted, and the planning fees haven’t changed since 2011. Increasing the fees could generate around $50,000 to $65,000 for the municipality annually, he estimated.

Also, on the plate is raising fines for illegal work. For example, if you’re building a deck without a permit for the work, the municipality would fine you an amount at the very least equal to the cost of the permit. Say the work permit cost $200, if you were caught building that deck without that permit, the fine would be $200, plus you’d have to purchase the $200 permit.

Council might double that fine as well, making the payment twice as much as the original permit value. It hasn’t decided which way to go, but the point is to end illegal builds in the municipality. “The fee will hopefully deter people from starting illegal work,” Poulin said, noting that other municipalities are issuing such fines already.

The fine would be capped at a maximum of $2,500, Poulin suggested.

See: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, but not without a burial permit

As for the building fees, currently there is a base administration fee of $65, which will rise to $80. A permit for a 1,100 square foot home with unfished basement—estimated build value of around $300,000—currently costs around $2,000. That will rise to around $2,720.

Deck permits are currently calculated at $8 per $1,000 of construction cost, plus the administration fee. The proposal is to raise that to a flat rate of $185, which includes the administration fee. The same fees go for pools.

A demolition permit costs $80 and the plan is to raise that to $110. Installing a greenhouse, weeping tile, re-cladding with vinyl, brick, or aluminum or putting up a sign all cost $8 per $1,000 of construction cost, but the proposal is to make all of those worth a $185 permit.

Council agreed with Poulin that increases were on the horizon and agreed to bring the issue back to the next council meeting.

By David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 09, 2023 at 15:29

This item reprinted with permission from   BayToday.ca   North Bay, Ontario
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