This consultation was open from:
December 4, 2018
to January 18, 2019
We are proposing a regulation to address transition rules related to the restoration of municipal planning authority resulting from the Planning Act amendments under the proposed Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018.
Description of Regulation
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is proposing a regulation to address transition issues related to the restoration of municipal planning authority resulting from the Planning Act amendments under the proposed Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018. The proposed regulation would establish the transition rules for operational and in-process renewable energy undertakings which may not comply with municipal planning documents. The proposed regulation would provide that, despite its repeal, section 62.0.2 of the Planning Act would continue to apply to specified renewable energy undertakings, or in specified circumstances.
The Need for a Transition Regulation
If passed, the proposed Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018 (Bill 34) would amend the Planning Act to restore municipal planning authority related to the siting of renewable energy undertakings, allowing local governments to accommodate renewable energy proposals as willing hosts, where proposals align with local planning objectives. With municipal authority restored, new renewable energy undertakings would be subject to municipal planning instruments, in addition to any environmental and other approvals that may be required.
In the absence of any transitional provisions, operational and in-process facilities would be subject to municipal planning documents, and may not be in compliance with local zoning by-law requirements, triggering the need for planning amendments. Providing transitional treatment for operational and in-process renewable energy projects recognizes the substantial investments that may have been made by proponents (ranging from homeowners to large facility owners) to date.
The proposed regulation would provide transition rules around operational and in-process renewable energy undertakings as these projects may not comply with municipal planning documents. The proposed regulation would provide that, despite its repeal by the proposed Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018, section 62.0.2 of the Planning Act would continue to apply to renewable energy undertakings, as described below:
- Renewable energy undertakings (e.g., solar, wind, bioenergy and waterpower projects) that are subject to an existing Independent Electricity Systems Operator (IESO) contract on the date the proposed transition regulation is filed; or
- Renewable energy undertakings where the construction or installation commenced (e.g., contracts for construction were awarded or construction or installation began), on or before the date the proposed transition regulation is filed, and is completed by July 1, 2019.
Further, if a government-approved renewable energy project undertakes a major change involving a geographic expansion (i.e., expansion onto adjacent property) the project change would be subject to municipal planning authority.
The types of renewable energy undertakings that would be captured by the circumstances described above would generally fall under the following regulatory instruments or categories:
- Renewable Energy Approval (REA) – O. Reg. 359/09 under the Environmental Protection Act;
- Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) – O. Reg. 350/12 under the Environmental Protection Act;
- Projects approved under previous regulatory regime (e.g., O. Reg. 116/01 under the Environmental Assessment Act);
- Siting Restrictions for Renewable Energy Generation Facilities – O. Reg. 274/18 under the Electricity Act, 1998;
- Class Environmental Assessments for Waterpower Projects; and
- Projects exempt from regulatory approval (e.g., rooftop solar).
Purpose of Regulation
The purposes of this Notice are:
- To inform the public, stakeholders and municipalities that the province is considering a new regulation under the Planning Act;
- To provide the basic outline of the proposed new regulation; and
- To provide 45 days for the public, stakeholders and municipalities to comment on the proposed content of a new regulation by directing their written concerns to the contact persons noted below.
Proposed amendment of Ontario Regulation 274/18
A separate proposal notice has been posted for public consultation.
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