Development Charges Reduction Program

This program provides a financial incentive to encourage development and redevelopment in central urban areas, Designated Exemption Areas and brownfield sites.

Note: Niagara Region is undertaking a review of all of their development incentive and reduction programs. Completion of this review is expected by the end of the 2018.

Project Eligibility

Niagara Region passed a new Regional Development Charges by-law on November 16, 2017, which modified the Regional Development Charges reduction programs. Ensure you familiarize yourself with the new by-law, which came into effect on November 16, 2017.

Eligibility for exemptions is based on the policies in place at the time development charges are payable. For example, at the time of building permit application. The current development charges by-law expires on Aug. 31, 2022.

Refund / grant of development charges (up to 50-100 per cent) are available if your development is:

  • Located within a designated exempt area defined by Schedule E of the Regional Development Charges By-law 98-2017
  • A long-term care home as defined by the Regional Development Charges By-law 98-2017
  • Located on a brownfield site within an urban area defined by Schedule D of the Regional Development Charges By-law 98-2017

Your project may also be eligible for a refund of the development charges if it satisfies a specific number of criteria as outlined in the program guide or is certified at any level of LEED.

Transition Policies in the By-law

The Regional Development Charges by-law takes effect Sept. 1, 2017. In order for your development to be eligible for the reduction programs contained in the previous Regional Development Charges by-law 62-2012, all of the following conditions need to be met:

  • An application that was received before August 31, 2017
  • Proof of ownership of the land
  • A completed Environmental Site Assessment that identifies the required remediation
  • Proof that the remediation is in progress or a contract has been awarded
  • A proposal that includes the number of units planned and their types
  • You have an estimate of the total potential Regional Development Charges

Provided Niagara Region can verify the previous six conditions, the Regional Development Charges payable will be adjusted when the building permit is issued.

Updated Brownfield Reduction Program

Starting Sept. 1, 2017, the Brownfield Reduction Program under the new by-law has been updated.

Read schedules D and E in the by-law for more information and details on the brownfield reduction program.

Applicant Information Package

Hard copies of the applicant information package are also available for pick-up at Niagara Region Headquarters.

Email planning and development for further information.

Other Exemptions and Credits

There are a number of exemptions found in provincial legislation. In addition to those, the following Regional exemptions have been included in the current Regional development charges by-law:

  • Granny flats, parking structures, non-residential agricultural use, the specific portion of a structure used as a place of worship
  • Buildings used as municipal housing project facilities - units approved by Niagara Regional Housing requiring pre-approval by NRH for the exempted units

In addition there may be credits against development charges which may be related to your project:

  • Demolition credit - if an existing building is demolished and a new development is built in its place within five years
  • Conversion credit - available at time of conversion, see the Development Charges by-law for details
  • Credits are site or building specific and are non-transferrable

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