Bill 108 - (Schedule 12) – the proposed More Homes, More Choice Act: Amendments to the Planning Act

ERO number
019-0016
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
May 2, 2019 - June 1, 2019 (30 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
May 2, 2019
to June 1, 2019

Decision summary

The government has made changes to the Planning Act to help increase the supply of housing and streamline development approvals.

Decision details

Decision details

The More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 was introduced on May 2, 2019 and received Royal Assent on June 6, 2019.

Once proclaimed, Schedule 12 of the Act makes changes to the land use planning and appeal system that are intended to:

  • Make municipal charges for community benefits infrastructure, like libraries and daycare facilities, more predictable
  • Make it easier to create additional residential units, such as above garages and in basements
  • Facilitate faster decisions by reducing planning decision timelines
  • Increase the certainty and predictability of the planning system and help build housing, including affordable housing, near transit
  • Allow the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to make decisions based on the best planning outcome

All changes to the Planning Act, except for those related to community benefits charges, came into force on September 3, 2019, as specified by proclamation.

The More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 also provides authority to make regulations under the Planning Act that set out rules for planning matters in process at the time of proclamation (i.e., transition).

The changes to the Planning Act and the related regulations are not expected to have a direct impact on the environment. While there may be indirect impacts as a result of land use planning decision-making processes, the legislation and regulations maintain existing environmental protections. Together, the changes are intended to increase housing options, boost housing supply and streamline development approvals, while continuing to safeguard health and safety, support a vibrant agricultural sector, and protect environmentally and culturally sensitive areas, including the Greenbelt.

Comments received

Through the registry

305

By email

0

By mail

33
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

Effects of consultation

The government received approximately 390 comments related to Schedule 12 of Bill 108. Of these, approximately 330 comments were submitted directly through this ERO notice or specifically referenced the ERO number for this proposal.

Submissions were made by members of the public, municipalities and a range of interested stakeholders, including community groups, development and professional sectors, and environment and resource-based sectors.

All comments and presentations made to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy were also considered.

Summary of Comments

There was general support for the government’s objective to address Ontario’s housing crisis by introducing measures to increase housing supply, improve affordability and streamline planning approvals. However, there were different perspectives on the best way to address this crisis.

Among other matters, the government heard support from some stakeholders for proposed changes that would:

  • 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;
  • 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; and
  • Allow the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) to make decisions based on the best planning outcome as part of a return to de novo hearings in all cases.

These stakeholders indicated that on balance they felt these changes would help address Ontario’s housing crisis and facilitate faster decisions.

Other submissions, however, expressed concerns with the amendments contained in the Bill. For example, some comments received suggested that the proposed new decision-making timelines may be challenging to meet, and they could result in more appeals at the LPAT.

There were also concerns from some stakeholders about the changes proposed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Some perceived that a return to de novo hearings would reduce their ability to participate in the appeals process.

The government heard from some stakeholders that they would like to know more detail about the proposed changes – particularly the detail that regulations would provide. These comments included concerns about how the proposed new community benefits charge authority would work as well as requests from some municipalities that the new tool should maintain municipal revenue levels.

There were also requests from some stakeholders that an extension to the consultation period be provided.

Effects of the Consultation on this Decision

In developing and finalizing the legislation, the government sought to achieve a balance between different views. Consideration was given to all comments received, while balancing the broader public interest and the need to ensure that there continues to be an effective land use planning and appeal system in Ontario.

The government also posted the proposed content for regulations under the Planning Act to the Environmental Registry of Ontario on June 6, 2019 for public consultation.

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

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-0016
Notice type
Act
Act
Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Proposal posted

Comment period

May 2, 2019 - June 1, 2019 (30 days)

Proposal details

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.

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 May 2, 2019
to June 1, 2019

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Contact