Proposed open-for-business planning tool

ERO number
013-4125
Notice type
Act
Act
Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
December 6, 2018 - January 20, 2019 (45 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
December 6, 2018
to January 20, 2019

Decision summary

Schedule 10 of Bill 66, the proposed Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018, was removed from the Bill following a vote by members of the Standing Committee on General Government.

Decision details

On December 6, 2018, the government introduced Bill 66 – the proposed Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act, 2018. Schedule 10 of the Bill proposed changes to the Planning Act that would create a new economic development tool, the open-for-business planning by-law. The tool would have been available to all local municipalities to ensure they could act quickly to attract businesses seeking development sites by streamlining land use planning approvals.

On March 20, 2019, Schedule 10 was removed from the Bill following a vote by members of the Standing Committee on General Government. When Bill 66 received Third Reading on April 2, 2019, the proposed changes to the Planning Act were no longer included.

Comments received

Through the registry

313

By email

85

By mail

9
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

The government received a large volume of comments related to Schedule 10 of Bill 66. Of these, 407 comments were submitted directly through this ERO notice or specifically referenced the ERO number for this proposal.

Some comments expressed support, in principle, for proposed changes that would help to streamline development approvals and support economic development opportunities. However, a much larger number of comments were received identifying concerns about such things as:

  • public health and safety, the environment, drinking water and Ontario’s Greenbelt
  • the effect of provincial and municipal plans/policies and other related legislation on such by-laws
  • the minimum requirements for consultation and notification, and
  • a lack of appeal opportunities.

The government indicated that an open-for-business planning by-law would never have been approved at the expense of the Greenbelt or provincial interests like water quality or public health and safety. In considering the feedback received, the government decided it did not want to proceed with Schedule 10 of Bill 66. On March 20, 2019, Schedule 10 was removed from the Bill following a vote by members of the Standing Committee on General Government. When Bill 66 received Third Reading on April 2, 2019, the proposed changes to the Planning Act were no longer included.

Supporting materials

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Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Provincial Planning Policy Branch
Address

777 Bay Street
13th floor
Toronto, ON
M5G 2E5
Canada

Office phone number

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Original proposal

ERO number
013-4125
Notice type
Act
Act
Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Proposal posted

Comment period

December 6, 2018 - January 20, 2019 (45 days)

Proposal details

The government is proposing to make changes to the Planning Act to create a new economic development tool, the open-for-business planning by-law. The tool would be available to all local municipalities to ensure they can act quickly to attract businesses seeking development sites.

In circumstances where there are major employment and economic growth opportunities, municipalities could request to use an open-for-business planning by-law, provided certain criteria was satisfied.

The tool would support the government's 1-year service standard for provincial approvals related to these land use planning proposals.

If a request is endorsed, the municipality could pass an open-for-business planning by-law through a streamlined process. This process would:

  • Allow municipalities to permit the use (i.e., zone the lands) without having to strictly adhere to existing local requirements (e.g., official plan and zoning);
  • Remove the application of a separate approval process for site plan control;
  • Remove ability to use density bonusing (community benefits in exchange for height or density) and holding by-law provisions;
  • Allow the municipality to impose limited planning-related conditions that may help to facilitate the proposal [e.g., approval of plans and drawings that show site plan matters (transportation access, lighting, parking, etc. )] and enter into agreements to ensure development conditions are secured;
  • Allow public consultation at the discretion of the municipality, while requiring public notice after the by-law is passed (at a minimum);
  • Provide that decisions are final and cannot be appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (but allow the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to intervene before the by-law comes into effect, 20 days after its passing);
  • Remove the requirement for decisions to strictly adhere to provincial policies and provincial plans (but allow the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to impose conditions to protect matters like public health and safety when endorsing the use of the tool).

The proposed legislative changes would create regulation-making authority to provide criteria for the use of the proposed new tool.

Overall, the proposed changes would help ensure municipalities are equipped with the tools they need to quickly respond to emerging job creation opportunities.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Provincial Planning Policy Branch
Address

777 Bay Street
13th floor
Toronto, ON
M5G 2E5
Canada

Office phone number

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from December 6, 2018
to January 20, 2019

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