Special Charge Scheme Policy | City of Casey
Skip to main content

17 April 2018

Special Charge Scheme Policy

Version 2.1

Purpose

This Policy provides a strategic framework to assist and guide Council to implement a fair, equitable and consistent approach to the construction of appropriate infrastructure such as, but not limited to, roads, kerb and channel, footpaths and drainage through owner contributions as part of a special charge scheme.

1.Definitions

Council

means Casey City Council, being a body corporate constituted as a municipal Council under the Local Government Act 1989

Councillors

means the individuals holding the office of a member of Casey City Council

Council officer

means the Chief Executive Officer and staff of Council appointed by the Chief Executive Officer.

4. Policy

4.1 Special Charge Scheme Categories

Council classifies improvement works under the Special Charge Scheme into four categories. These are:

• Footpath Schemes in Local Residential Streets

These schemes include all works, materials, charges, overheads and costs to install a footpath including, project management, design, traffic management, the road pavement works, nature strip works, driveway, drainage works, kerb and channel, street furniture, landscaping services, lighting, intersection works etc.

The costs are split equally (50:50) between Council and the property owners. Support from the majority of contributing property owners is required before the scheme can proceed.

• Kerb and Channel Schemes in Local Residential Streets

These schemes include all works, materials, charges, overheads and costs to install kerb and channel including, project management, design, traffic management, the road pavement works, nature strip works, driveway, footpath, drainage works, street furniture, landscaping services, lighting, intersection works etc. in local residential streets.

Property owners fund the full costs. Support from the majority of contributing property owners is required before the scheme can proceed.

• Local Residential Street Schemes

These schemes include all works, materials, charges, overheads and costs to build the street including project management, design, traffic management, the road pavement works, nature strip works, driveway, drainage works*, kerb and channel, footpaths, street furniture, landscaping services, lighting, intersection works etc..

These schemes enhance the property access and amenity. Property owners fund the full costs. Support from the majority of contributing property owners is required before the scheme can proceed.

* Note that where the abutting properties are serviced by an existing underground drainage system any new drainage works for the construction of the street will be included in the scheme.

• Roads with broader community benefit as nominated by Council.

Council may nominate to enhance roads that have a broader community benefit and/or strategic road network need. The funding of construction will be apportioned between the Council and the property owners as follows:

Secondary Arterial Roads

  • Council Contribution 75% of total cost
  • Property Owner Contribution 25% of total cost

Roads, other than Arterial Roads

  • Council Contribution 50% of total cost
  • Property Owner Contribution 50% of total cost

The property owner’s contribution shall be apportioned against each lot and potential lot under the current planning scheme. The contribution for each property is capped at $11,016 (as at 1st July 2016) against each lot and potential lot. Property owners are not required to contribute when construction is funded through developer contributions. The capped amount will be adjusted by applying the Building Price Index, as published in the latest edition of Rawlinson’s Australian Construction handbook on the 1st July each year.

4.2 Initiation of a Scheme

A scheme may be initiated by a request or recommendation of Council, request from a resident/owner or by other interested or affected parties.

4.3 Notification of a Proposed Scheme

Council will notify all affected property owners and may hold a public meeting advising interested parties of:

  • the conceptual design,
  • Scheme procedures and implementation,
  • criteria of the special benefit,
  • method of apportionment,
  • estimated engineering and administration costs,
  • method of payments, and
  • variations and grounds for submissions and objections.

4.4 Survey of Property Owners

Council may survey property owners to determine their support towards a proposed scheme. The survey results are not binding. Council will consider the survey findings during its deliberations. Council may choose to proceed without majority support in recognition of the benefit to abutting properties and the broader community.

4.5 Method of Apportionment

In determining the apportionment of costs for each property Council take into consideration frontage, area, benefit, access, usage and town planning zoning of land within the Scheme resulting in a contribution amount for each property.

4.7 Engineering and Administration Costs

Engineering and administration costs associated with the preparation and implementation of a scheme will be recovered from those properties included in the scheme on the following basis: Estimated Cost of Scheme

Engineering and Administration Cost

Up to $20,000

20%

$20,001 and $100,000

$4,000 + 15% excess over $20,000

$100,001 and $500,000

$16,000 + 10% excess over $100,000

Above $500,000

$56,000 + 8% excess over $500,000

4.8 Method of Payment

Property owners will be offered the ability to pay the special charge in a lump sum or in quarterly instalments. The number of quarterly instalments will vary with the average charge to the owners within the Scheme. Owner Liability

Maximum number of quarterly instalments

Up to $1,000

10

$1,001 and $3,000

20

$3,001 and $6,000

30

$6,001 and $9,000

40

Above $9,000

60

Property owners paying the lump sum will be given 28 days to pay in full without interest.

Instalment payers are given 28 days to pay the first instalment without interest. Subsequent instalments are subject to interest. The interest charge is adopted and reviewed by Council annually.

Council may exercise discretion and negotiate repayments over a longer period of time with property owners who can demonstrate exceptional circumstances.

4.9 Public Notice

After Council resolves to declare a Special Charge Scheme, a public notice will be published in the local press inviting submissions from all interested parties. The notice will state that submissions will be considered in accordance with Section 223 of the Local Government Act.

Any person who will be required to pay the special rate or special charge to be imposed by the proposed declaration is entitled to exercise the right of objection under 163B of the Local Government Act.

4.10 Consideration and Resolution of Submissions

Only written submissions received within the consultation period will be considered by Council. Submitters may request to be heard in front of a Committee of Council;

Following consideration of submissions (written and heard) Council may resolve to:

  • abandon the scheme; or
  • undertake significant modifications to the original scheme which would requirethe process to recommence; or
  • undertake minor modifications to the original scheme, "declare and levy" thespecial charge and proceed by serving formal notice; or
  • proceed without any modification to the original declaration, "declare and levy"the special charge and proceed by serving formal notice.

The authors of all submissions and property owners affected by the proposed scheme will be notified regarding Council’s resolution.

4.10 Consideration of Objections

Only written objections received within the consultation period will be considered by Council.

In line with s 163B(6) of the Act, where Council seeks to recover from the Special Charge more than two thirds of the total cost, Council must abandon the scheme, if it receives objections from people representing the majority of affected properties.

4.11 Appeal

Property owners have the right to appeal to Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) regarding Council’s decision. Objections should address the criteria in Section 185 of the Local Government Act. All applications will be administered by the VCAT and must be submitted within 30 days of the notice levying the special charge being issued.

4.12 Charging of Interest on all Special Rate And Charge Accounts Issued

4.12.1 The interest rate applicable to Special Rates and Charges is reviewed each year as part of the annual Budget process. As a general guide, the interest rate will be adjusted in line with Council’s borrowing rate as advised by Council’s Chief Financial Officer, plus 1% for administration costs.

4.12.2 Interest payments will be calculated for the period which commences on the issue date of the previous account up to the quarter ending which coincides with the date of the current account.

4.13 Special Charge Scheme Review Forum

To ensure best practice and legal compliance is maintained, an internal special charge scheme forum shall be conducted annually by the City of Casey. The forum shall review Council’s Special Charge Scheme policy and current implementation processes for special charge schemes to ensure the Council is compliant with changes in legislation, best practice guidelines and internal policies and practices across the organisation. There will be representation from the following areas within the City of Casey:

  • Legal Services
  • Governance
  • Property, Rates & Valuations
  • Communications
  • Finance
  • Customer Service
  • Engineering and Asset Management

5.Administrative Updates

It is recognised that, from time to time, circumstances may change leading to theneed for minor administrative changes to this document. Where an update does notmaterially alter this document, such a change may be made administratively.Examples include a change to the name of a Council department, a change to thename of a Federal or State Government department, and a minor update tolegislation which does not have a material impact. However, any change or updatewhich materially alters this document must be by resolution of Council.

6.Review

The next review of this document is scheduled for completion by 30 June 2022.

 

Was this helpful?