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Terms of Reference for Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force

Preamble

The Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force is a policy advisory committee established by Niagara Region in accordance with the following terms of reference. The Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force has been established to advise Regional Council, reporting through the Corporate Services Committee, on municipal requirements contained in the Development Charges Act, 1997 and matters related to the Region's Development Charges Study and By-law.

Mandate

To advise Niagara Region regarding the matters related to development and implementation of policy to be incorporated within the Region's Development Charges Study and By-law including, but not limited to: alignment of development charge policy with the Region's servicing policy, planning and phased infrastructure, and financing of growth related infrastructure and alignment with the Niagara 2041 growth strategy.

Complaints submitted pursuant to the Development Charges Act, 1997, will be heard at a special meeting of Regional Council.

Goal / Purpose

The Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force will advise on capital costs required for infrastructure including:

  • How to recover costs and aligning growth with servicing needs
  • How development charge policies impact the Region's ability to recover growth related capital costs, and the necessity for these costs to be recovered by new growth
  • Provide guidance on development charge policy updates.

The Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force will oversee grant programs that exempt development charges (both mandatory and discretionary) and support the budget request of replacement funding for those development charges exempted.

Reporting Structure

The Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force will report to Regional Council through the Corporate Services Committee.

Work Plan

The task force will provide guidance to staff in the development of the work plan related to the Development Charges By-Law renewal, identifying the specific initiatives and activities to be undertaken within each of the areas of focus, inclusive of budget needs, to further guide decision-making and resource management.

Budget

Not applicable

Membership

Composition

Membership for the Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force shall be a minimum of 16 members of Council, and shall include:

  • Chair and Vice Chair
  • Other Council members

Term

The term of membership shall be four years, concurrent with Regional Council's elected term of office, and the membership shall be approved by Council in accordance with membership requirements in the terms of reference.

Current Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force Committee members shall indicate their desire to be re-appointed to the Committee no later than the last meeting prior to the change in Council.

Privacy

The meetings of the Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force are public unless confidential matters are discussed.

Roles and Responsibilities

Chair and Vice Chair

A Chair and Vice Chair will be elected from Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force Committee members on a biannual basis at the first meeting of the New Year to preside over meetings and Committee business.

It is the role of the Chair to preside over Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force Committee meetings so that its business can be carried out efficiently and effectively, and to act as a liaison between the Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force Committee, the Corporate Services Committee and Regional Council.

It is the role of the Vice Chair to preside over Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force Committee meetings in the absence of the Chair and to perform any other duties delegated by the Chair or as assigned by the Committee through a majority vote.

Committee Members

All Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force members, including the Chair and Vice Chair, have the responsibility to help achieve its mandate and goals / purposes. Committee members are also responsible for:

  • Reviewing meeting materials in advance of the meetings and arriving prepared to provide a broad perspective on the issues under consideration
  • Working diligently to complete assigned activities
  • Participating on working groups, as appropriate
  • Agreeing to describe, process and resolve issues in a professional and respectful manner
  • Providing input to help identify future projects or strategic priorities for future years' work
  • Communicating activities of the Committee to groups represented or those who may have an interest and offer information back to the Committee

Working Groups

To fulfill its mandate and accomplish its goals, the Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force may establish working groups to deal with specific issues or projects. The working groups will meet, as needed, to review specific issues referred to them by the Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force and otherwise complete their assigned tasks.

Working groups are considered to be time-limited, project specific, sub-committees of the Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force in that they are convened to accomplish a specific task (or tasks) in a narrowly defined time period.

Resources

The Corporate Services department is the designated lead department providing resource support for the Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force. However, the Committee also has access to the technical expertise of staff from other Regional departments as may be required. It is recognized that staff time and the level of participation will be dependent on other departmental priorities as determined by senior management and/or Regional Council. As required, additional resources may be sought. Additional resourcing may be required for projects with senior levels of government.

The Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force Committee shall receive administrative support from the Office of the Regional Clerk for meeting and agenda management.

Meetings

A meeting schedule, following a six week cycle, shall be set for the Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force during the 18 months preceding the expiry of the Regional Development Charges By-Law or at the call of the Chair, should a time sensitive matter arise during this time. The schedule will be circulated to the members for approval prior to the 18 month time period. Meetings held outside this 18 month time period will be at the call of the Chair.

The Regional Development Charges Policy Task Force meetings will be held at Regional headquarters at a time as determined by the members. All meetings will be open to the public unless confidential information is presented.

Meetings shall be governed by the Region's Procedural By-law, being a by-law to govern the calling, place and proceedings of the meetings of Council and its Committees, as may be amended from time-to-time.

If necessary, a schedule setting the due dates for materials to be included on the agenda will be circulated to each member pending adoption of a meeting schedule or the scheduling of a meeting date.

A committee member who is unable to attend a meeting, shall forward their regrets to the Office of the Regional Clerk as soon as possible. Should the Office of the Regional Clerk not have confirmation of quorum 24 hours prior to the meeting, the meeting shall be cancelled.

Absenteeism

Members who miss three consecutive meetings without authorization, shall be deemed to have resigned from the Committee and will be notified of this in writing by the Committee Chair.

Amendments to the Terms of Reference

The terms of reference should be reviewed and refined at a minimum of every four years to ensure that they remain current and meaningful.

Proposals to amend the terms of reference shall require the approval of a majority of the members present. Proposed amendments to the terms of reference shall be submitted to Regional Council for approval through the Corporate Services Committee and shall take effect only upon the approval of Council.

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