Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
OPINION Develop commercial
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 15 Mar 2006, p. 6

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Building construction in Halton Hills hit a record high in 2005-- after a new mark had already been established in 2004. The Town issued 1,382 building permits, representing a construction value of $183 million. In 2005, permits were issued for 786 new homes including 565 new single detached homes, 23 semi-detached or duplexes and 198 townhouses. This alone represented a construction value of $145 million and $1.8 million in permit fees for the Town. That's a lot of money, for the Town, now as fees, and in the future, as taxes. Praise for development in this community tends to fall into two camps: good or bad. The bad sees the ugly side of a town under construction: over-crowded recreation and school facilities, too much traffic on roads not yet reconstructed to handle it, encroached natural areas and increased taxes to pay for new municipal infrastructure. "Development does not pay for development" is the mantra. The good see the benefits: a stronger tax base spread across residential and commercial/industrial sectors, new, improved facilities and roads partially paid for by development charges, and an influx of people energy to a stagnating community. While residential growth in this community will slow in the next couple of years as land slated for development becomes filled, the more desirable commercial development will pick up the slack. That, in turn, will ease the tax weight on the residential taxpayers and provide new job opportunities for those living here. But the pressure will continue on regional and local councils to extend the urban boundaries for more housing, which will undoubtedly require the import of water from Brampton or Lake Ontario. Hopefully these councils will stand firm in the coming years and focus on the commercial development in established areas, which will generate the tax dollars to make development palatable to almost everyone.

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15 Mar 2006
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OPINION Develop commercial