Things to consider: A common barrier to municipal soil management is the cost of enforcement (see Enforcement for more information). Municipalities may prescribe fees or require financial assurance through their by-laws and permits to help address the costs to the municipality of managing the acceptance of excess soils. Municipalities may refer to the Municipal Act, 2001, as well as practices implemented in neighbouring jurisdictions for fees and cost recovery options.

Site alteration cost requirements generally fall into the following categories:

DEFINITIONS

See the Definitions Page for standard terms relevant to any site alteration or fill by-law.

PERMIT ISSUANCE

Things to consider:
Permit Revisions (post issuance)

If changes are made to a plan, document, specifications or other information following the issuance of a permit, the owner or permit holder is typically required to submit the revisions for approval and pay an additional fee. Municipalities may also reassess the amount of the security deposits held for the site alteration to ensure they are aligned with the revised scope of the operation. Examples of fee and deposit requirements associated with revisions made after the issuance of a permit are below.

“Where an owner makes a change to a plan, document, specifications or other information following the issuance of a Permit, the Director shall require that all work ceases on the site. An addition payment of up to ½ of the original application fee and submission of revised drawings is required and such submission shall be approved by the Director prior to the continuance of any placing, dumping, cutting or removal of fill or alteration of grade. The amount of securities shall be reviewed and at the discretion of the Director, may be revised;”1

OR

“Where an owner makes a material change to a plan, specification, document or other information following the issuance of a permit, the Director may require payment of one-half of the original permit fee and submission of revised drawings, which shall be approved by the Director prior to any dumping, placing or removal of fill or alteration of grade.”2

PERMIT EXPIRY, RENEWAL, REVOCATION, TRANSFER

Things to consider:
Permit Renewal/Extension

Municipalities may require renewal of a site alteration permit to ensure compliance with updated regulations and guidelines. The fees associated with renewing or extending a permit are typically outlined in the by-law and are often a percentage of the original permit application fee. Examples of renewal and extension fees are below. It is recommended that a municipality require permits to be renewed at a regular frequency, such as every 6 months to one year, to ensure that the operation has sufficient oversight and is compliant with updated policies as may come into effect.

“A Permit which has expired may be renewed at the sole discretion of the Director within three (3) months from the date of expiry upon receipt of a complete application to the Director in accordance with Part 4 of this By-law and payment of the prescribed fees in Schedule "A" to this By-law.”2

OR

“A permit which has expired may be renewed by the Chief Building Offrcial within a six month period from the date of expiry upon the making of a written request to the Chief Building Official accompanied by a payment of one-half of the original permit fee, provided that the proposed work which was the subject of the permit, has not been revised. A permit that has been renewed in accordance with this section shall not be renewed again.”3

OR

“A permit which has expired may be renewed by the Director within a period of six months from the date of expiry upon the submission of a written request to the Director accompanied by a payment of one-half of the original Application Fee, provided that the proposed work which was the subject of the Permit has not been revised.”4

PERMIT AGREEMENT

Things to consider:
Cost Recovery - General

By-laws may include provisions for municipalities to recover costs incurred that are not covered by securities and to file a lien upon the land for payable costs.

“(a) Costs incurred by the Township over and above the securities held arising from any default or failure to perform the obligations and requirements under this By-law including under Section 7, plus interest accrued to the date payment is made at the rate of ten percent (10%) or such lesser rate as may be approved by the Township, will be recoverable from the owner of the lands by action or in like manner as taxes pursuant to the provisions of Section 446 of the Municipal Act, 2001;

(b) Costs incurred by the Township as set out in Section 10(a) of this By-law including interest at the prescribed rate, are a lien on the lands upon registration in the proper land registry office of a notice of lien pursuant to Section 446(5) of the Municipal Act, 2001;

(c) The lien is in respect to all costs that are payable at the time the notice is registered plus interest at the prescribed rate and accrued to the date payment is made;

(d) Upon payment of all costs payable plus interest accrued to the date of debt retirement being made by the owner of the land, a discharge of the lien shall be registered to the Township in the proper land registry office of a notice of lien pursuant to Section 446 of the Municipal Act, 2001.” 5

OR

“12.1 The Town may recover the costs incurred by the Town under Part 11 plus interest accrued to the date payment is made at the. rate of fifteen per cent (15%) or such lesser rate as may be approved by the Town from the owner of the land by action or by adding the costs to the tax roll and collecting them in the same manner as property taxes.

12.2 The costs incurred by the Town under Section 12.1, including interest, constitute a lien on the land upon the registration in the proper land registry office of a notice of lien and the lien is in respect of all costs that are payable at the time the notice is registered plus interest accrued to the date the payment is made.

12.3 Upon payment of all costs payable plus interest accrued to the date payment is made to the Town, the Town shall register a discharge of the lien in the proper land registry office.”6

Cost Recovery - Technical Consultants
Particularly for large site alterations, municipalities may determine that particular consultants must be retained to evaluate studies and/or agreements. Studies may include, but are not limited to:
  • Soil quality analysis;
  • Agronomy assessment;
  • Water resources assessment;
  • Invasive species assessment; and
  • Cultural heritage and archeological assesments.

The costs incurred for such evaluations may be charged back to the owner or permit holder plus an additional administration fee. Examples of fees associated with evaluations are below.

“7.1 Where more than 10,000 m3 of material is proposed to be placed or dumped in either a Commercial Fill Operation or Site Alteration Project, the Owner or Operator will provide a full application under Section 4.2 and enter into an agreement with the Town … and the Owner and Operator shall agree to the following conditions, including but not limited to: […]
    (g) acknowledge that the Town may engage legal, engineering, hydrology, environmental and landscape consultants to evaluate studies and or agreements in which case the costs incurred will be charged back to the applicant plus a 15% administrative charge;”7
OR

“The Township may engage legal, engineering, hydrogeology, environmental, surveying, and landscape consultants to evaluate studies and agreements upon notifying the Owner of the intention to do so. The cost of the engagement shall be paid by the Owner plus a ten percent (10%) administrative charge;”8

INSPECTION, ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT

Things to consider:
Additional Inspection Fees

The initial site alteration inspection fees are often included in the original permit application fee. However, additional inspections are often necessary throughout the site alteration process in order to ensure permit/agreement conditions are being upheld. It is common that a municipality will require the owner or permit holder to pay a fee for each additional inspection.

Municipalities may require an additional inspection fee to be paid if the owner or permit holder’s contractor has not complied with the conditions of the permit. Examples of non-compliance inspection fees are below.

“The prescribed inspection fees for a site alteration permit are included in the application fees detailed Schedule “B”, appended to this By-law, which may be amended by Council from time to time. Additional Inspection Fees, as identified in Schedule “B”, refer to additional inspections being required by the City, in circumstances where the permit holder’s contractor has not complied with the conditions of the permit and remedial work is required to meet the conditions of the permit.”9

APPEALS

Things to consider:
Appeal Fees

A permit applicant may seek to appeal a decision made by a municipality if they object to a condition in the permit or if the municipality refuses to or does not issue a permit. The municipality typically requires the permit applicant to pay a processing fee at the time that the appeal is lodged. Examples of appeal fees are below.

“An applicant appealing to Council shall pay the applicable fee calculated in accordance with rates set out in Schedule B at the time the appeal is submitted to the City Clerk.”10

OR

“An owner or applicant may appeal to the Property Standards Committee by sending a notice of appeal by registered mail to the secretary of the Committee within the prescribed time frame pursuant to s. 11.1 of the by-law. All notices of appeal shall be accompanied by a non-refundable payment in the amount of $200.00 for the processing of the appeal.”11

NOTICES AND ORDERS

Things to consider:
Failing to Comply with Work Order

If an owner or permit holder fails to complete the work required by an order issued pursuant to a site alteration by-law, municipalities may choose to complete the work and charge all costs incurred back to the owner or permit holder. Examples of penalties for not complying with a work order are below.

“If the owner or permit holder fails to do the work required by an “Order to Comply” and “Notice of Violation” issued pursuant to Sections 10.01-10.03 of this By-law within the period specified, the City, in addition to all other remedies it may have, may do the work and for this purpose may enter on the land with its employees and agents. The costs incurred by the City in so doing shall be paid by the owner of the land and may be recovered by the City in like manner as taxes or drawing on financial securities provided.”12

OR

“If the Town has issued an order directing or requiring a person or an owner to do a matter or thing to correct a contravention of this by-law, and the person or the owner has failed to correct the contravention, the Town may enter upon the land between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday to Friday to do all work necessary to correct the contravention, including the removal of all or part of the fill material, the re-grading of the land, or both, and the Town may recover the cost of doing the matter or thing from the person directed or required to do it by action or by adding the costs to the tax roll of the owner and collecting them in the same manner as property taxes.”13

PENALTY

Things to consider:
Penalty Fees (Committing an Offence)

Persons or corporations who contravene any provision of a site alteration by-law are often considered as having committed an offence and may be subject to penalties as prescribed by the governing municipality. The example provision below references the Municipal Act and outlines penalties for reoccurring offences, as well as special fines that an operator can incur for economic gain from a contravention.

8. “Any person who contravenes any provision of this By-law is guilty of an offence and upon conviction is liable to a fine as provided in the Municipal Act, 2001. Pursuant to Subsection 429(2)(a) of the Municipal Act, 2001, all contraventions of this By-law are designated as multiple offences and continuing offences. A multiple offence is an offence in respect of two or more acts or omissions each of which separately constitutes an offence and is a contravention of the same provision of a by-law.
9. On conviction of an offence under this By-law a person is liable to a fine in accordance with Section 429 of the Municipal Act, 2001 as follows:
  1. the minimum fine for any offence is $400.00;
  2. the maximum fine for an offence as set out in Subsections (c) and (d) below does not apply to special fines as provided for in Section 10 of this By-law;
  3. In the case of a continuing offence, for each day or part of a day that the offence continues, the minimum fine shall be $400.00 and the maximum fine shall be $10,000.00. The total of all daily fines for the offence is not limited to $100,000.00; and
  4. In the case of a multiple offence, for each offence included in the multiple offences, the minimum fine shall be $400.00 and the maximum fine shall be $10,000.00. The total of all fines for each included offence is not limited to $100,000.00.
On conviction of an offence under this By-law a person is liable to a special fine in accordance with subsection 429(2) (d) of the Municipal Act, 2001. The amount of the special fine will be the minimum fine as provided for in Section 9 of this By-law to which may be added the amount of economic advantage or gain that the person has obtained or can obtain from the contravention of the By-law. Pursuant to subsection 429(3) (1) of the Municipal Act, 2001, a special fine may exceed $100,000.00.”14

If a municipality commonly faces a specific issue with respect to site alterations, they may choose to include a penalty provision for that specified issue. Below is an example for road damage:

“In the event that damage occurs to any township road as a result of any activity or activities regulated by this by-law, the owner shall be fully liable for, and shall bear all the costs for repairing any such damage. Such works shall include, but not be limited to, cleaning of the road surface, curbs, gutters and storm sewers or boulevard and all repairs to damage to the road, boulevard or any signage and services there associated with.”15

OR

“Every person who is guilty of an offence under this by-law shall be subject to the following penalties:
  1. upon a first conviction, to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $50,000;
  2. Upon a second or subsequent conviction for the same offence, to a fine of not less than $400 and not more than $100,000;
  3. Upon conviction for a continuing offence, to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $10,000 for each day or part of a day that the offence continues. The total of the daily fines may exceed $100,000;
  4. Upon conviction of a multiple offence, for each offence included in the multiple offence, to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $10,000. The total of all fines for each included offence is not limited to $100,000.”16

FEES

Things to consider:
Application Fees

Most municipalities require that the owner or permit applicant pay certain fees and deposits before a site alteration permit is issued. As the amounts associated with the fees and deposits are updated often, they are not usually provided within the by-law but rather within a supplementary guideline or fee document. Fee and deposit amounts may be determined by the size, land use or purpose proposed for the site alteration.
Site alteration by-laws typically outline the application fees required to obtain a permit and provide information on where up to date fee amounts can be located. Examples of application fee requirements are below.

“The fee for processing, administration, renewal and inspection for a Permit shall be in accordance with Schedule ‘B’, appended to this By-law, which may be amended by Council from time to time. Fees shall be reviewed annually and amended with the approval of Council, or as otherwise determined by Council.”17
“At the time an application for a permit under this By-law is made, the applicant shall:
  1. pay to the Corporation the applicable fees calculated in accordance with rates set out in the Township of Scugog Fees and Charges By-law;”18
“Prescribed fees include:
  1. Permit application fees are set out in the Township Fees and Charges By-law, as amended;”19

General Security Deposits
Municipalities may require owners or permit applicants to pay security deposits in addition to the application fees, especially in the case of large site alterations. The security deposit is intended to act as financial assurance and is to be used to remedy any breach of the by-law, permit or site alteration agreement by returning the land to a satisfactory condition (see the MOECC BMP below).
The MOECC document Management of Excess Soil – A Guide for Best Management Practices (BMP) acknowledges that: “Owners/operators of a Receiving Site may need to provide Financial Assurance, by an order issued by an [MOECC] Regional Director or in another manner by appropriate agencies, including municipalities, before the site begins operating or during operations, to ensure any issues that may arise with material brought to the Receiving Site can be addressed in a timely and effective manner.”20
MOECC BMP
Collapse

Examples of security deposit requirements are below:

“At the time an application for a permit under this By-law is made, the applicant shall:
    b. pay a deposit in an amount to be determined by the Director to pay for the cost of all estimated legal and consulting fees payable by the Corporation tor the processing of the application.”21
“Prescribed fees include: […]
    b. The Security Deposit, as established by the Director to ensure sufficient funds are available to repair or restore the Site if required following a Work Order issued under Section 11 of this By-Law or due to expiry or revocation of Permit;”22

Road Security Deposits
If a municipality determines that the scope of a site alteration may damage or obstruct its roads, an owner or permit applicant should be required to pay a road security deposit. The road security deposit ensures sufficient funds are available to repair and restore the roadways along the haul routes. Road security deposits will vary between projects, so municipalities may choose to include provisions similar to below where the deposit/fees are not specified.

“Prescribed fees include: […]
    c. The Road Maintenance Security, as established by the Township to ensure sufficient funds are available to repair and restore the roadways along the haul route(s), calculated at a depreciated value.”23
OR

“When it is determined by the Town Road Superintendent or his/her designate, that the scope of a private undertaking will foul, damage, obstruct, injure or encumber the Town's roads; the owner shall provide a road security deposit to the Township to compensate for all such manners of maintenance and restitution that may result from the owner's actions on the thoroughfares.”24

Unauthorized Site Alteration Work Penalty
Where work has commenced prior to the issuance of a permit, municipalities may increase the permit application fee and determine that additional inspections are required before a permit can be issued. The owner or permit applicant is typically charged a fee for each additional inspection in addition to the permit application fee. Examples of additional fees where work has commenced prior to the issuance of a permit are below.

“Where unauthorized site alteration works occur prior to the issuance of a Permit, and the Director determines that a Permit can be issued, the permit fees will be as identified in Schedule “B”, in addition to all other applicable fees, costs and securities related to the Permit and the costs of rehabilitation and/or reinstatement of the subject site as may be required by the Director.”25

OR

“When work has commenced before a permit for that work has been issued under this By-law, the fees for an application for each permit required shall:
  1. double the amount otherwise specified in this By-law; and
  2. include an additional inspection fee as set out in the Township of Scugog Fees and Charge By-law for each inspection that was made, required or requested prior to the permit being issued.26
OR

“Where work has commenced prior to a permit being issued, the fees for an application for each permit required shall be:
  1. double the amount otherwise specified in the Township of Brock Fees By-law; and
  2. include an additional inspection fee as set out Schedule “A” to this By-law for each inspection that was made, required or requested prior to the permit being issued.”27