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
Decision
Decision 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

Decision summary

The government has issued the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 to help increase the supply of housing, support jobs and reduce barriers and costs in the land use planning system.

Decision details

The Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 was approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council through Order in Council No. 229/2020.

The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) is the statement of Ontario’s policies on land use planning and provides provincial policy direction for a range of areas, including:

  • 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, and
  • protecting people, property and community resources by directing development away from natural or human-made hazards – such as flood prone areas.

The new PPS policies will take effect on May 1, 2020. The new PPS, 2020 will replace the Provincial Policy Statement, 2014. In accordance with section 3 of the Planning Act, all decisions affecting land use planning matters made after this date shall be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020.

Comments received

Through the registry

286

By email

187

By mail

16
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

Proposed changes to the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) were posted on the Environmental Registry of Ontario for 91 days from July 22, 2019 to October 21, 2019 as part of a review of the PPS.

Members of the public, municipalities, and a range of stakeholders, including: development, agricultural, professional, environmental and resource-based sectors submitted their feedback.

Indigenous communities and organizations also submitted comments through this ERO notice.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing held technical meetings with municipalities and stakeholders, and also engaged with Indigenous communities and organizations.

Summary of Comments

The comments received through the PPS review, including the ERO, represent a broad range of interests.

  • Many groups expressed support for the PPS as a key foundational document in Ontario’s land use system.
  • There was general broad-based support for government action to address the housing needs in many communities through measures to increase housing supply and improve affordability.
  • Some sectors emphasized the need to support investment-ready communities.
  • There was support for increased flexibility for rural and northern communities to address housing supply and support economic development.
  • There was broad-based support for protecting the environment, prime agricultural land and important natural features.
  • Many respondents supported the proposed policy change to require planning authorities to engage with Indigenous communities.
  • There was support for additional implementation guidance to mitigate potential unintended impacts of the policy changes.
  • There was also mixed reaction to some of the proposed policy changes including:
  • “fast-tracking” municipal approvals
  • requiring agricultural impact assessments for non-agricultural uses in prime agricultural areas and for settlement area boundary expansions
  • a voluntary wetland mitigation hierarchy approach for wetlands that are not provincially significant wetlands
  • clarifying that rehabilitation plans for aggregate extraction can contribute to the demonstration of no negative impacts in some natural heritage features.

Effect of the Consultation on this Decision

The government appreciated the feedback received on the draft policies, including input from municipalities, stakeholders and the public across Ontario, as well as feedback from Indigenous communities and organizations.

The policies of the new PPS are informed by input received throughout the review, including the comments received through the ERO.

Changes considered this feedback and key government priorities related to increasing housing supply and addressing affordability, while continuing to protect Ontario’s health and safety, and the environment, including the Greenbelt.

The key changes include:

  • adding further references to support a changing climate and green infrastructure
  • adding policy direction that is responsive to the recommendations of the province’s Special Advisor on Flooding.
  • increasing the minimum requirement for housing land supply to 15 years
  • clarifying the policies related to market-based housing by adding a reference to affordable housing
  • providing flexibility for municipalities to consider residential development on rural lands that is locally appropriate, including lot creation
  • enhancing land use compatibility policies for sensitive land uses

In response to feedback, a number of policy proposals are not included in the final PPS, 2020. These include:

  • “fast-tracking” municipal approvals
  • requiring agricultural impact assessments for non-agricultural uses in prime agricultural areas and for settlement area boundary expansions
  • a voluntary wetland mitigation hierarchy approach for wetlands that are not provincially significant wetlands
  • clarifying that rehabilitation plans for aggregate extraction can contribute to the demonstration of no negative impacts in some natural heritage features.

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
019-0279
Notice type
Policy
Act
Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Proposal posted

Comment period

July 22, 2019 - October 21, 2019 (91 days)

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

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 July 22, 2019
to October 21, 2019

Connect with us

Contact