Provincial Policy Statement Review – Proposed Policies

ERO number
019-0279
Notice type
Policy
Act
Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Notice stage
Proposal
Proposal posted
Comment period
July 22, 2019 - October 21, 2019 (91 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:

July 22, 2019
to October 21, 2019

Proposal summary

The government is proposing changes to the Provincial Policy Statement to help increase the supply of housing, support jobs and reduce barriers and costs in the land use planning system

Proposal details

Proposal details

Increasing housing supply, supporting jobs and streamlining development approvals are top priorities for the government.

On May 2, 2019, the government released “More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan”. The Action Plan includes a series of distinct but coordinated initiatives to address housing supply, including a review of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) – the foundation for land use planning in the province.

The government is consulting on proposed changes to the Provincial Policy Statement to support the government’s Housing Supply Action Plan and other land use planning related priorities.

About the Provincial Policy Statement

The Provincial Policy Statement is a consolidated statement of the government’s policies on land use planning and is issued under section 3 of the Planning Act. It applies province-wide and sets out the provincial policy direction for:

  • The efficient use and management of land and infrastructure
  • Ensuring the provision of sufficient housing to meet changing needs, including affordable housing
  • Protecting the environment and resources including farmland, natural resources (e.g., wetlands and woodlands) and water
  • Ensuring opportunities for economic development and job creation
  • Ensuring the appropriate transportation, water, sewer and other infrastructure is available to accommodate current and future needs
  • Protecting people, property and community resources by directing development away from natural or human-made hazards – such as flood prone areas

The PPS is the primary provincial land use policy document guiding municipal decision-making. The Planning Act requires that decisions on land use planning matters be “consistent with” the PPS

Municipalities are the primary implementers of the PPS through policies in their local official plans, zoning by-laws and other planning related decisions.

Proposed Policy Changes

The government is proposing policy changes to:

  • Encourage the development of an increased mix and supply of housing
  • Protect the environment and public safety
  • Reduce barriers and costs for development and provide greater predictability
  • Support rural, northern and Indigenous communities
  • Support the economy and job creation

1. Increasing Housing Supply and Mix

The proposed draft policies for consultation would:

  • Increase land supply requirements municipalities must meet:
    • Increase planning horizon from 20 to 25 years
    • Increase housing land supply from 10 to 12 years
    • Allow higher minimum requirement for serviced residential land (5 years) for upper- and single-tier municipalities
  • Update provincial guidance to support land budgeting (i.e. Projection Methodology)
  • Increase flexibility for municipalities related to the phasing of development and compact form
  • Add flexibility to the process for settlement area boundary expansions (e.g. allow minor adjustments subject to specific tests, highlight that study requirements should be proportionate to the size/scale of development)
  • Require transit-supportive development and prioritize intensification, including potential air rights development, in proximity to transit, including corridors and stations
  • Support the development of housing to meet current and future housing needs, and add reference to housing options
  • Support municipalities in achieving affordable housing targets by requiring alignment with Housing and Homelessness Plans
  • Broaden PPS policies to enhance support for development of long-term care homes

2. Protecting the Environment and Public Safety

The proposed draft policies for consultation would:

  • Enhance direction to prepare for impacts of a changing climate
  • Enhance stormwater management policies to protect water and support climate resiliency
  • Promote the on-site local reuse of excess soil
  • Maintain current policies related to natural and human made hazards which directs development away from hazardous areas including flood-prone areas in order to protect public health and safety, while work by the Special Advisor on Flooding is underway
  • Maintain current policies that require municipalities in southern Ontario to identify natural heritage systems, and provide flexibility as to how to achieve this outcome
  • Maintain protections for the Greenbelt

3. Reducing Barriers and Costs

The proposed draft policies for consultation would:

  • Require municipalities to take action to fast-track development applications for certain proposals (e.g. housing)
  • Allow mineral aggregate operations to use rehabilitation plans to demonstrate that extraction will have no negative impacts
  • Align policies and definition of cultural heritage with recent changes to the Ontario Heritage Act
  • Refocus PPS energy policies to support a broad range of energy types and opportunities for increased energy supply
  • Direct large ground-mounted solar facilities away from prime agricultural and specialty crop areas
  • Make minor changes to streamline development approvals and support burden reduction

4. Supporting Rural, Northern and Indigenous Communities

The proposed draft policies for consultation would:

  • Allow flexibility for communities by clarifying perceived barriers to sewage and water servicing policies for lot creation and development in rural settlement areas
  • Enhance municipal engagement with Indigenous communities on land use planning to help inform decision-making, build relationships and address issues upfront in the approvals process
  • Enhance agricultural protections to support critical food production and the agricultural sector as a significant economic driver

5. Supporting Certainty and Economic Growth

The proposed draft policies for consultation would:

  • Encourage municipalities to facilitate conditions for economic investment, and at the time of official plan review or update, assess locally-identified employment areas to ensure designations are appropriate
  • Provide municipalities with greater control over employment area conversions to support the forms of development and job creation that suit the local context (current and future)
  • Provide stronger protection for major facilities such as manufacturing and industrial uses where non-employment uses are planned nearby (i.e. buffering uses from new sensitive uses).

As you read through the proposed PPS changes, we would appreciate hearing your views on the following questions:

  • Do the proposed policies effectively support goals related to increasing housing supply, creating and maintaining jobs, and red tape reduction while continuing to protect the environment, farmland, and public health and safety?
  • Do the proposed policies strike the right balance? Why or why not?
  • How do these policies take into consideration the views of Ontario communities?
  • Are there any other policy changes that are needed to support key priorities for housing, job creation, and streamlining of development approvals?
  • Are there other tools that are needed to help implement the proposed policies?

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Provincial Planning Policy Branch
Address

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

Office phone number

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

The comment period was from July 22, 2019
to October 21, 2019

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