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Waitakere To Adopt Community Infrastructure Plans

Waitakere City Council plans to adopt Development Contributions and Financial Contributions for ‘community infrastructure’

Waitakere City Council today decided to include a proposed Development Contributions and Financial Contributions Policy in the draft Annual Plan for 2004/05.

The contributions will be levied principally – but not exclusively - on property developers, to help to pay for community infrastructure costs that growth imposes on a community.

“The rates we get from the new properties will cover their operational costs, but neither they nor the current developer’s reserve contributions, meet the costs of major new infrastructure,” says Cr Janet Clews, chair of the Council’s Finance and Operational Performance Committee.

“Nor would it be fair to share those costs among all ratepayers because the existing ratepayers have already paid for, or are paying for, the infrastructure they currently use,” she says.

Most Councils in New Zealand are planning to introduce similar charges.

Community Infrastructure is the term introduced by the Local Government Act 2002 and in Waitakere City it will be applied to facilities such as the new libraries, park and rides, community centres and community houses that will be needed to serve growth.

If adopted, the new contributions will be charged from 1 July this year. They will incorporate the existing developer’s contributions and will generally be paid by land developers, on the basis of one contribution per household or commercial unit, they propose to build.

Councillor Clews says the exact cost per household, or commercial unit, is still to be finalised but it could average around $9,000.

The contributions are a mechanism to recover the true costs of development on a city, she says.

“There will be a base figure and this will be modified by a number of factors. For example, stormwater management systems that mean the Council will not have to build new public stormwater capability, would reduce the contribution to be paid.”

“ Assuming the proposal is adopted during the annual plan deliberations after consultation, the final figure will be decided in June, “ says Councillor Clews.

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