This consultation closes at 11:59 p.m. on:
June 1, 2019
The government is proposing changes to the Planning Act to help increase the supply of housing and streamline development approvals.
As part of the government’s Housing Supply Action Plan, Bill 108, the proposed More Homes, More Choice Act would, if passed, make changes to existing legislation, including the Planning Act to help bring new housing online faster, reduce development costs and provide more housing options which can help make housing more attainable for the people of Ontario.
With this initiative, the government remains committed to protecting public interests such as cultural heritage assets, key employment and agricultural lands, and environmentally sensitive areas, including the Greenbelt.
If passed, the proposed changes to the Planning Act would:
- Streamline development approvals processes and facilitate faster decisions
- Increase the certainty and predictability of the planning system
- Support a range and mix of housing options, and boost housing supply
- Address concerns about the land use planning appeal system
- Make charges for community benefits more predictable; and
- Make other complementary amendments to implement the proposed reforms, including in relation to transitional matters.
Proposed Planning Act Amendments
Schedule 12 of the Bill proposes amendments to the Planning Act.
The proposed amendments, if passed, would among other matters:
- Streamline development approvals processes and facilitate faster decisions by reducing decision timelines for municipalities and the province to 120 days for official plans and amendments, 90 days for zoning by-laws and amendments (except where there is a concurrent official plan amendment) and 120 days for plans of subdivision.
- Increase the certainty and predictability of the planning system by:
- enabling the Minister to mandate the use of the community planning permit system in areas specified by the Minister (e.g., specified major transit station areas and provincially significant employment zones), and removing appeals of the implementing official plan amendment and, subject to regulation, the related by-law;
- focusing the discretionary use of inclusionary zoning to protected major transit station areas and areas where the community planning permit system has been required by the Minister, which would facilitate the supply of affordable housing in areas that are generally subject to growth pressures, higher housing demand, and in proximity to higher order transit; and
- limiting third party appeals of plans of subdivision and approval authority non-decisions on official plans and official plan amendments.
- Support a range and mix of housing options and boost housing supply by requiring municipalities to authorize an additional residential unit in both the primary dwelling and an ancillary building or structure.
- Make charges for community benefits more predictable by establishing a new authority that would enable municipalities to collect funds / contributions for community benefit purposes (e.g. libraries, daycare facilities and parks). This tool would replace the existing density bonusing provisions known as section 37, development charges for discounted (soft) services under the Development Charges Act, 1997 and, in some cases, parkland dedication.
- A cornerstone of the new authority is that community benefit charges would be capped based on a portion of the appraised value of the land. The details of this cap would be set in regulation.
- There would also be regulation-making authority to exempt some types of developments from the new community benefits charge.
- Allow the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to make decisions based on the best planning outcome as part of a return to de novo hearings in all cases. This change would broaden the Tribunal’s jurisdiction over major land use planning matters (i.e., official plans and zoning by-laws and amendments) and would give the Tribunal the authority to make a final determination on appeals of such matters.
The proposed legislation provides more detail on all the proposed reforms and can be viewed on the website identified below.
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