Arrested Development

A complainant planning to develop a property contacted us to complain that they were unfairly charged fees for a development permit. The complainant believed that the Resort Municipality of Stanley Bridge/Hope River/Bayview/Cavendish/North Rustico did not have the authority to withhold the development permit until the complainant paid the fees. They also complained that the municipality provided them with an unreasonable explanation for how the fees were calculated, including charging them for something that seemed to pre-date their ownership of the property. 

We contacted the municipality and they explained that they have the power to charge fees and withhold development permits until those fees are paid in their bylaws. We reviewed the bylaws and confirmed that this was accurate.  

We also had some questions about how the fees were calculated. We learned that while the fees charged were reasonable, the breakdown the complainant was provided contained errors or needed additional information to be properly understood. To address this, we proposed that the municipality write a letter to the complainant providing a corrected breakdown of the fees and to further explain the authority for charging the fees. The municipality sent a detailed letter correcting the fee breakdown and explaining why and how the fees were charged. We were able to resolve this complaint informally as the actions taken by the municipality resolved the fairness concerns raised through the complaint.