Proposed Amendment to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017

ERO number
013-4504
Notice type
Policy
Act
Places to Grow Act, 2005
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
January 15, 2019 - February 28, 2019 (44 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
January 15, 2019
to February 28, 2019

Decision summary

The government has released A Place to Grow, which replaces the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017. It introduces more flexibility to planning and greater local autonomy. It addresses barriers to building homes, creating jobs, attracting investments and putting in place the right infrastructure while protecting the environment.

Decision details

A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe 2019 (“the Plan”) provides a long-term framework for growth. It aims to:

  • Increase and promote economic growth; increase housing supply, create jobs, generate investments and build communities that provide residents easy access to businesses and services;
  • Establish communities that maximize infrastructure investments, while balancing local needs for the agricultural industry and natural areas.

On January 15, 2019, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (“the Ministry”) released Proposed Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017 for consultation. Public consultation took place for 45 days, from January 15, 2019 to February 28, 2019. The Ministry also held regional roundtables and meetings with stakeholders and Indigenous communities during the consultation period.

This notice is linked to three others with a combined total of 650 submissions.

The Plan addresses implementation challenges with the Growth Plan, 2017 that were identified by the municipal and development sectors, as well as other stakeholders. It respects the ability of local governments to make decisions about how they grow. The Province will maintain protections for the Greenbelt, agricultural lands, the agri-food sector, and natural heritage systems.

A Place to Grow reflects the following across six broad categories:

Employment Planning

  • A modernized employment area designation system that ensures lands used for employment are appropriately protected while unlocking land for residential development

Settlement Area Boundary Expansions

  • A system that enables local municipal decisions on reasonable changes to settlement area boundaries in a timely manner so as to unlock land faster for residential and commercial development and support more jobs and housing

Small Rural Settlements

  • An approach that recognizes small rural settlements as areas that are not expected to face significant growth pressures and as such can exercise greater local decision making

Natural Heritage and Agricultural Systems

  • Greater Golden Horseshoe regional mapping systems that are factual and reflect the local mapping realities, while providing for the appropriate level of protections for our natural resources and building the economic viability of our agri-food industry

Intensification and Density Targets

  • A simplified approach to minimum intensification and density targets that reflects the objective of supporting provincial transit investments, planned growth rates and local realities, including market demand for housing

Major Transit Station Areas

  • A streamlined approach that enables the determination of major transit station areas to happen faster so that zoning and development can occur sooner

The new Plan will take effect on May 16, 2019 and does not impact protections in the Greenbelt Area including the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Niagara Escarpment.

Comments received

Through the registry

258

By email

285

By mail

26
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

In addition to the 650 submissions received, the Ministry held seven regional roundtables and a stakeholder exchange with representatives of municipal planning and economic development departments, developers/homebuilders, agricultural and environmental representatives, citizen groups and other stakeholders. Over 400 people participated in these sessions and a dozen additional technical discussions with a cross-section of stakeholder organizations were conducted.

The Ministry also held meetings with several First Nations and Métis communities and organizations.

There was broad support for the flexibility the new Plan provides in supporting implementation, and for moving forward in a timely fashion so as not to delay planning work.

As the new Plan is based on input received from those who need to implement it (i.e. municipal and development sectors), both sectors were generally supportive of the increased flexibility and greater local autonomy the new Plan provides. While supportive of the changes, suggestions received noted the need for greater clarity through guidance on provincial expectations on implementation; the desire to lower the minimum targets for some; the need to update forecasts and other elements in the Plan; and the reiteration that the new Plan needs to be finalized quickly so that planning to meet conformity can be done in a timely manner.

Conversely, the agricultural and environmental sectors, as well as Indigenous communities, were concerned that the changes would result in the loss of agricultural and sensitive environmental lands. Both sectors recommended maintaining Growth Plan, 2017 targets and freezing urban boundaries, with some requesting that provincial mapping of the Agricultural System and the Natural Heritage System continue to remain in effect. Respondents from other sectors such as industry, business and planning were supportive of protecting employment through the use of the new Provincially Significant Employment Zones (PSEZs).

It should be noted that generally across all sectors there was support for intensification around Major Transit Station Areas.

In response to feedback, the new Plan reflects:

  • Reduction of intensification target and designated greenfield area density target for certain municipalities; /li>
  • Clarifying implementation of certain employment area policies, including policies for Provincially Significant Employment Zones;
  • Clarifying that delayed implementation of the provincial mapping of the agricultural land base only applies outside of the Greenbelt to ensure it is clear that the new Plan does not impact protections in the Greenbelt.

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.

Ontario Growth Secretariat, Ministry of Municipal Affairs
Address

777 Bay Street
c/o Business Management Division, 17th floor
Toronto, ON
M5G 2E5
Canada

Office phone number

Connect with us

Contact

Allyson Switzman

Phone number
Office
Ontario Growth Secretariat, Ministry of Municipal Affairs
Address

777 Bay Street
c/o Business Management Division, 17th floor
Toronto, ON
M5G 2E5
Canada

Office phone number

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Original proposal

ERO number
013-4504
Notice type
Policy
Act
Places to Grow Act, 2005
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Proposal posted

Comment period

January 15, 2019 - February 28, 2019 (44 days)

Proposal details

Description of policy

This proposal is for Proposed Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017 for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017. It is recommended that Proposed Amendment 1 be read in conjunction with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017, as it sets out proposed modifications and makes reference to definitions and policies included in the Growth Plan. To assist in reading these documents together, the Ministry has prepared the Draft Amended Growth Plan which is meant to show how the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017 would read if Proposed Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017 is approved.

This proposal works with the following other proposals that are also currently listed on the Environmental Registry of Ontario and Ontario’s Regulatory Registry:

  1. Proposed Modifications to O. Reg. 311/06 (Transitional Matters - Growth Plans) made under the Places to Grow Act, 2005 to implement the Proposed Amendment to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017
  2. Proposed Modifications to O. Reg. 525/97 (Exemption from Approval – Official Plan Amendments) made under the Planning Act to implement the Proposed Amendment to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017
  3. Proposed Framework for Provincially Significant Employment Zones

The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017 (“the Plan”) provides a long-term framework for growth. It aims to:

  • Increase and promote economic growth; reduce congestion and provide residents easy access to businesses and services;
  • Build communities that maximize infrastructure investments, while balancing local needs for the agricultural industry and natural areas.

The proposed changes address implementation challenges with the Plan that were identified by the municipal and development sectors and other stakeholders. These changes are intended to provide greater flexibility and address barriers to building homes, creating jobs, attracting investments and putting in place the right infrastructure while protecting the environment.

The proposed changes respect the ability of local governments to make decisions about how they grow. The Province will maintain protections for the Greenbelt, agricultural lands, the agri-food sector, and natural heritage systems.

These changes would apply across six broad categories:

Employment Planning

  • A modernized employment area designation system that ensures lands used for employment are appropriately protected while unlocking land for residential development

Settlement Area Boundary Expansions

  • A system that enables local municipal decisions on reasonable changes to settlement area boundaries in a timely manner so as to unlock land faster for residential and commercial development and support more jobs and housing

Small Rural Settlements

  • Small Rural Settlement: A system that recognizes small rural settlements as areas that are not expected to face significant growth pressures

Natural Heritage and Agricultural Systems

  • Greater Golden Horseshoe regional mapping systems that are factual and reflect the local mapping realities, while providing for the appropriate level of protections for our natural resources and continuing to build the economic viability of our agri-food industry

Intensification and Density Targets

  • A simplified approach to minimum intensification and density targets that reflects the objective of supporting provincial transit investments, planned growth rates and local realities, including market demand for housing

Major Transit Station Areas

  • A streamlined approach that enables the determination of major transit station areas to happen faster so that zoning and development can occur sooner

The proposed changes are intended to quickly address identified implementation challenges with the Plan and to not unfairly disrupt housing and other developments currently underway.

This proposal reflects input the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing received from key stakeholders at a stakeholder forum and ten implementation working groups held in the fall of 2018.

The proposed policy changes would not impact protections in the Greenbelt Area including the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Niagara Escarpment.

Purpose of policy

The overall goal of the proposed changes is to streamline growth management planning in the Greater Golden Horseshoe to achieve the following outcomes:

More Streamlined Process

  • Provide greater flexibility so that municipalities will be able to move forward faster on the implementation of the Plan and meet the deadline to update their official plan to conform with the Plan by July 1, 2022.

More Land for Housing

  • Respect the ability of local governments to make decisions about when and where to add new land for housing, to ensure that there is enough housing supply to meet demand.

More Housing and Jobs Near Transit

  • A more flexible framework for focusing investments around transit infrastructure will enable municipalities to plan to increase the supply of housing and jobs near transit faster and more effectively.

Greater Local Autonomy and Flexibility for Municipalities

  • Ensuring that municipalities will have the ability to implement the Plan in a manner that better reflects their local context while protecting the Greenbelt.

Other information

Questions about the proposed changes to the regulation, including the consultation process, collection of information and access to the consultation documents may be directed to: growthplanning@ontario.ca.

Feedback can be provided by

Ontario Growth Secretariat
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay Street
23rd Floor, Suite 2304 Toronto
ON M5G 2E5

The consultation closes on February 28, 2019.

Notice regarding collection of information

Any collection of personal information will be in accordance with subsection 39(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. It will be collected under the authority of the Places to Grow Act, 2005 for the purpose of obtaining input on the Proposed Amendment to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017.

If you have questions about the collection, use, and disclosure of this information please contact:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Senior Information and Privacy Advisor
777 Bay Street, 17th Floor
Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2E5
416-585-7094

Organizations and businesses

Comments or submissions made on behalf of an organization or business may be shared or disclosed. By submitting comments you are deemed to consent to the sharing of information contained in the comments and your business contact information. Business contact information is the name, title and contact information of anyone submitting comments in a business, professional or official capacity.

Individuals

Personal contact information will only be used to contact you and will not be shared. Please be aware that any comments provided may be shared or disclosed once personal information is removed. Personal information includes your name, home address and personal e-mail address.

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.

Ontario Growth Secretariat, Ministry of Municipal Affairs
Address

777 Bay Street
c/o Business Management Division, 17th floor
Toronto, ON
M5G 2E5
Canada

Office phone number

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from January 15, 2019
to February 28, 2019

Connect with us

Contact

Charles O'Hara

Phone number
Office
Ontario Growth Secretariat, Ministry of Municipal Affairs
Address

777 Bay Street
c/o Business Management Division, 17th floor
Toronto, ON
M5G 2E5
Canada

Office phone number