No Objection In Principle,…

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Region of Durham

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No Objection In Principle, subject to retaining key growth related elements

A series of questions have been included within the ERO Posting which are responded to below:

1. What are your thoughts on the proposed core elements to be included in a streamlined province-wide land use planning policy instrument?

Some overlap exists between the Growth Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement. The following core policy areas should be considered as part of any new consolidated Provincial Policy Instrument:

• A framework for guiding and managing long term growth including retention of growth forecasts for use by municipalities, minimum density targets, intensification targets for strategic growth areas so that density uses will be well-served by transit.
• A policy framework for Employment Areas, Rural Areas.
• Transit and transportation systems and their interconnection with land use planning.
• Water Resource System Policies, including Key Hydrologic Features and Areas
• Climate Change mitigation and adaptation and Conservation policies
• Policies related to coordination with infrastructure providers
• Policy directions related to Land Use Compatibility and Major Facilities

2. What land use planning policies should the government use to increase the supply of housing and support a diversity of housing types?

Although the Growth Plan provides an appropriate level of land use planning policy and guidance, the greenfield density assumptions that underly the Growth Plan are low and should reflect current development realities for higher densities as revealed through municipally led studies and MCRs.

3. How should the government further streamline land use planning policy to increase the supply of housing?

Maintain upper tier official plans (which have been the subject of local municipal comment) to allow local municipalities to focus their attention on application reviews and can then proceed to update their official plans at the appropriate opportunity when resources are available.

4. What policy concepts from the Provincial Policy Statement and A Place to Grow are helpful for ensuring there is a sufficient supply and mix of housing and should be included in the new policy document?

The importance of an overall GGH approach to growth and development is unique to the province. Policies that focus growth, encourage intensification in strategic growth areas and along transit corridors, and how infrastructure investment supports growth, while protecting natural heritage and the rural system is needed.

A stable supply of Employment Area supports regional economic competitiveness and job growth. Protecting from unnecessary Employment Area conversion reduces the risk of land banking.
Loosening current restrictions on rural housing would fragment agricultural lands, while also only providing for a marginal increase in housing supply. Any policy tools intended to increase development of rural housing should be limited to existing Rural Settlement areas.

5. What policy concepts in the Provincial Policy Statement and A Place to Grow should be streamlined or not included in the new policy document?
Areas where there is true duplication should be omitted.

This is staff-level feedback submitted on Bill 23 to the province on behalf of the Region of Durham. Council endorsement of staff-level feedback and recommendations will be sought at the December Regional Council meeting.