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Self-Storage Developers Fight Fee Increase in Oshawa, Canada

Self-storage developers are protesting a fee increase proposed by officials in Oshawa, Canada, to offset the costs associated with demand on city services as it grows. The city’s finance committee is pondering a new definition for self-storage, which could lead to a jump from $56.90 to $135.85 per square meter of gross floor area, according to the source.

Currently, self-storage falls within the industrial category. As proposed, the $56.90 fee would increase to $57.13. However, if self-storage is labeled as a retail use as it is in Durham, Ontario, commercial development charges would apply. These fees are $135.61 per square meter, with an increase to $135.85. City staff has proposed self-storage be excluded from the industrial definition, the source reported.

“The charge that is before you today is draconian. It is huge. It’s going to kill any future mini storage development in our community,” developer George Lysyk told the finance committee at its Oct. 19 meeting.

One storage company that opposes the increase is SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust. The company is partnering with U.S.-based SmartStop Self Storage to develop self-storage facilities in Oshawa and other Toronto cities. The joint venture recently opened a location in Oshawa and has another in the planning stages.

“We are invested in Oshawa for the long term and hope to build many more such facilities as people’s needs change. With the current growth in the area and the trend of intensification, people have less disposable space and the need for extra storage is only growing stronger,” Daniel Orellana, development associate for SmartCentres, wrote in a letter to the city. He also noted that self-storage developments require few infrastructure improvements, and the increase in charges could inhibit further investment in Oshawa.

The finance committee tabled its vote, asking city staff to look for transition opportunities and exemptions for projects already underway. It did approve updated development charges for residential projects. The proposal will now go before the Oshawa City Council for consideration.

Source:
The Peterborough Examiner, From $57 to $135: Oshawa Developers Push Back Against Self-Storage Fee Increase

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