I have some concerns about the recent purchase of the land by the City of Chestermere. I notice from the City’s zoning map that there is a section of land directly south (across the road), of the newly purchased land that has the same zoning. I assume that this land is owned by someone or a corporation who are not willing to risk their money on this type of development, or they don’t see a market for it at this time. I therefore am not sure why our city administration and council are willing to risk somebody else’s money – OURS – on this type of development. I think residents should know that the cost of the land is the least costly portion of the development. There are significant other costs such as roads (within the development), lights, sanitation sewer, storm-water sewer, sidewalks, off-site levies that are incurred to get the development ready for sale. It wasn’t mentioned how this is going to be handled and who was going to pay for it. The proposed build-out time is 10 years and therefore what council has done is place the tax burden on current residents in an effort to reduce the tax burden on future residents. So if I live in Chestermere long enough I will see the benefit of this development and if I don’t, I bear the cost. I’m guessing the rewards to Chestermere residents are going to be a long way down the road.
Council indicated that the land was purchased at below-market price. When a parcel of land is transferred there is a willing buyer and a willing seller and that is what we call the market. So, the City bought it a market value. I think what they wanted to indicate to tax payers is they settled on a good price. The information that I would like to see is:
• How much did they pay for the land
• What are the costs for development and/or how is it going to be developed
• What is the projected revenue stream from taxes within this development in the upcoming years and how was that will be arrived at.