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Chatham-Kent development charges will affect greenhouse expansion

On March 26, 2024, Chatham-Kent Municipal Council passed its 2024 development charges for water and wastewater that will result in a cost of approximately $179,000 per acre for any new greenhouse development in the municipality. These development fees will gradually escalate to $366,000 per acre by 2029 driving investment in greenhouse growth to other jurisdictions having negative impacts on the economic contributions the greenhouse sector offers in Chatham-Kent.

A delegation from Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) including growers and staff presented deputations to Council before its decision. Greg Devries of Truly Green, who operates a multifaceted farming operation that includes greenhouse operations in Chatham-Kent described the more than 3000 direct and indirect spinoff jobs created by the 473 acres currently existing in Chatham-Kent.

“Locally, companies like Honey Electric, Dordt, and Timbertech Construction have more than 50 per cent of their business dedicated to the greenhouse industry,” he said of local businesses. Devries further attested that “the sudden increase in development charges will increase the cost of a planned and financed 30-acre build at the Cedar Line location by $2.55M for just water and wastewater.”

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