Council votes to adopt business case to explore creation of a Municipal Development Corporation

Wed, 29 Jun 2016

Town to seek public input on business case

At the June 27, 2016, Council meeting, Council voted to adopt a business case outlining the key rationale for the creation of a Municipal Development Corporation (MDC) to oversee development of the town’s former public works site on Trafalgar Road. Next steps include public consultation to gather feedback on the business case, which will be included in a final recommendation report, together with financial requirements and other steps needed to create a MDC for Council consideration.

“Our research has laid the groundwork to further explore the possible benefits the MDC option could have for residents,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “Before we make a final decision, Council will take the time to review all the additional information, public feedback and other detailed requirements we’ve asked staff to present.”

Increasingly, governments are considering a “master developer” approach to dealing with significant public surplus lands in order to manage development and maximize value to the community. Local governments can implement this approach when dealing with real estate opportunities by using in house staff or by establishing a MDC pursuant to the provisions of the Municipal Act, 2001.

In 2015, the town retained N. Barry Lyon Consultants Limited (NBLC), Exp Energy Services Limited, and Black, Sutherland LLP to conduct a study on the development potential of the town’s former public works yard. The study recommended that the town assume the role of “master developer” to oversee planning and development activities for the lands. On February 1, 2016, Council endorsed the study’s conclusions and directed staff to have the consulting team explore approaches to implementing the master developer recommendation.

The key rationale for the creation of a MDC are:

  • the ability to negotiate effectively in the market outside of the political system;
  • to clearly separate the roles and mandate of town staff; and,
  • to separate the town’s statutory approval role from the town’s role in land development.

The business case also outlines that the MDC would operate within Town Hall but independently of other town staff, and would be managed by a part-time CEO under the direction of a Board of Directors (chaired by the Mayor), with the support of a senior management advisory team.

Should the town decide in the future to establish a MDC, it could also be used to deal with other surplus lands, including the former Brantwood School site.

For more information, review the June 20, 2016 Administrative Services Committee meeting agenda.