Proposed Planning Act Changes (the proposed More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022)

ERO number
019-5284
Notice type
Act
Act
Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Notice stage
Decision Updated
Decision posted
Comment period
March 30, 2022 - April 29, 2022 (30 days) Closed
Last updated

Update Announcement

Update: Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022 was passed by the Legislature and received Royal Assent on April 14, 2022. As such, please note that the public comment function on this posting is now closed. Please consider submitting comments on other related postings (https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-5283) and/or providing your comments directly to the Ministry at planningconsultation@ontario.ca.

April 28, 2022

This consultation was open from:
March 30, 2022
to April 29, 2022

Decision summary

The government has made changes to the Planning Act to support increasing housing supply and streamlining development approvals.

Decision details

Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022 was introduced on March 30, 2022, and received Royal Assent on April 14, 2022. 

As part of the government’s More Homes for Everyone Plan, Schedule 5 of Bill 109 made changes to the Planning Act. Consequential changes were also made to the City of Toronto Act, 2006.

The amendments, among other matters, support:

  • Building homes faster by expediting approvals including:
    • Making changes to zoning which:
      • Require municipalities to partially refund application fees to applicants who do not receive a decision on their zoning by-law amendment applications within 90 days (or 120 days if submitted concurrently with an official plan amendment application) and on a graduated basis thereafter for applications made on or after January 1, 2023, and
      • Establish a new Community Infrastructure and Housing Accelerator (CIHA) tool for municipal requests to expedite zoning outside of the Greenbelt Area.
        • The Minister shall also issue guidelines governing the scope of how this authority may be used, and the guidelines need to be in place before an order can be made.
    • Streamlining development approvals processes and facilitating faster decisions by:
      • Requiring decisions on site plan applications to be delegated to staff for applications made on or after July 1, 2022
      • Extending site plan application review from 30 to 60 days
      • Applying complete application requirements to site plan, with recourse if the application has not been deemed complete within 30 days of acceptance by the municipality
      • Requiring municipalities to partially refund site plan application fees to applicants who do not receive a decision within the 60-day timeframe and on a graduated basis thereafter for applications made on or after January 1, 2023
      • Establishing regulation-making authority to prescribe what cannot be required as a condition of subdivision approval
      • Establishing a one-time discretionary authority to reinstate draft plans of subdivision that have lapsed within the past five years, subject to consumer protection provisions.
  • Providing increased certainty of parkland requirements for Transit-Oriented Communities (TOCs) by:
    • Implementing a tiered alternative parkland dedication rate for municipal parkland dedicated by TOC developments.
    • This would ensure that land continues to be made available for parks for TOC developments, while providing greater certainty of development costs on these particular sites. 
    • The structure of the tiered alternative parkland dedication rate would be based on a percentage of the development land or its value:
      • For sites less than or equal to five hectares, parkland would be dedicated up to 10% of the land or its value; and,
      • For sites greater than five hectares, parkland would be dedicated up to 15% of the land or its value.
    • Transit-oriented community lands subject to the proposed tiered alternative parkland dedication rates would be identified pursuant to subsection 2 (1) of the Transit-Oriented Communities Act, 2020.
    • Ministerial authority would also be provided to the Minister of Infrastructure to identify encumbered land (e.g., land with underground transit tunnels or other infrastructure) at TOC development sites that would be conveyed to a municipality as parkland. Encumbered parkland would count towards any municipal parkland dedication requirements. This would help ensure that TOC developments can provide new homes and parkland for use by the community.
  • Provide increased certainty of development costs by:
    • Providing the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing with regulation-making authority to authorize landowners and applicants to stipulate the type of surety bonds and other prescribed instruments to be used to secure obligations in connection with land use planning approvals.

Other changes increase transparency in the planning process and support dispute resolution by:

  • Establishing regulation-making authority to require public reporting on development applications / approvals.
  • Requiring municipalities with a community benefits charge (CBC) by-law to undertake and complete a review, including consulting publicly, on their by-law within five years of the by-law being passed, and every five years thereafter.
  • Providing the Minister with new discretionary authorities when making decisions to:
    • “Stop the clock” if more time is needed to decide on all official plan matters that are subject to Minister’s approval (with transition for matters that are currently before the Minister),
    • Refer all or part(s) of an official plan matter to the Ontario Land Tribunal for a recommendation, and
    • Forward all of an official plan matter to the Ontario Land Tribunal to make a decision.

The legislation provides more detail on all the reforms and can be viewed on the website identified below.

Comments received

Through the registry

20

By email

12

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

The government received 32 written comments related to the consultation. This included 20 comments submitted directly through the ERO notice prior to the closing of the commenting period for the posting on April 26, 2022, and 12 comments submitted by email prior to this notice being posted. 

Many of the comments received pertained generally to housing affordability and supply, including feedback on matters not included in the bill. 

There was both positive feedback and concerns raised regarding the proposed changes to the Planning Act, specifically, the proposal to gradually refund certain planning application fees, the proposed site plan process changes and timing for implementation, the application of the proposed Community Infrastructure and Housing Accelerator, and the impact of the proposal to allow the Minister to refer certain official plan matters to the Ontario Land Tribunal.

Positive feedback was received regarding the proposed changes that would require municipalities to review their community benefits charges (CBC) by-law every 5 years. Mixed feedback on the use of surety bonds and other instruments confirmed that a future regulation would benefit from further consultation.

Effects of the Consultation on this Decision

In developing and finalizing the legislation, consideration was given to all comments received, including those received through other related consultations, comments received through the Regulatory Registry and through the Standing Committee process.

There were no changes to the proposal as a result of consultation.

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-5284
Notice type
Act
Act
Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Proposal posted

Comment period

March 30, 2022 - April 29, 2022 (30 days)

Proposal details

Update: Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022 was passed by the Legislature and received Royal Assent on April 14, 2022. As such, please note that the public comment function on this posting is now closed. Please consider submitting comments on other related postings and/or providing your comments directly to the Ministry at planningconsultation@ontario.ca.

Ontario is the best place to live, start a business and raise a family – but we can only build on our success if all Ontarians and their families are able to find a home that’s right for them. The province’s housing policies are working to get more homes built faster, but too many Ontarians still struggle to find a home. We are introducing More Homes for Everyone, that proposes targeted policies for the immediate term that make housing fairer for hard-working Ontarians and make it faster to build the homes that families need and deserve. 

Addressing the housing supply crisis is a long-term strategy that requires long-term commitment and co-ordination from all levels of government. 

The Task Force report is our long-term housing roadmap. Similar to Ontario’s approach with regular Red Tape Reduction bills, the province is committed to implementing the Task Force’s recommendations with a housing supply action plan every year over four years, starting in 2022-2023, with policies and tools that support multi-generational homes and missing middle housing. 

We welcome your thoughts on the following changes proposed under Bill 109, the proposed More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022, which, if passed, would help make housing fairer for hard-working Ontarians and make it faster to build the homes that families need and deserve. 

Proposed Planning Act Amendments

Schedule 5 of the Bill proposes amendments to the Planning Act.

The proposed amendments, if passed, would, among other matters, support:

  • Building homes faster by expediting approvals including:
  • Making changes to zoning which would:
    • Require municipalities to partially refund application fees to applicants who do not receive a decision on their zoning by-law amendment applications within 90 days (or 120 days if submitted concurrently with an official plan amendment application) and on a graduated basis thereafter for applications made on or after January 1, 2023, and
    • Establish a new Community Infrastructure and Housing Accelerator (CIHA) tool for municipal requests to expedite zoning outside of the Greenbelt area.
      • The Minister shall also issue guidelines governing the scope of how this authority may be used, and the guidelines would need to be in place before an order could be made.
  • Streamlining development approvals processes and facilitate faster decisions by:
    • Requiring decisions on site plan applications to be delegated to staff for applications made on or after July 1, 2022
    • Extending site plan application review from 30 to 60 days
    • Establishing regulation-making authority to prescribe complete application requirements for site plan applications
    • Requiring municipalities to partially refund site plan application fees to applicants who do not receive a decision within the 60-day timeframe and on a graduated basis thereafter for applications made on or after January 1, 2023
    • Establishing regulation-making authority to prescribe what cannot be required as a condition of subdivision approval
    • Establishing a one-time discretionary authority to reinstate draft plans of subdivision that have lapsed within the past five years, subject to consumer protection provisions.
  • Providing increased certainty of parkland requirements for Transit-Oriented Communities (TOCs) by:
    • Implementing a tiered alternative parkland dedication rate for municipal parkland dedicated by TOC developments.
    • This would ensure that land continues to be made available for parks for TOC developments, while providing greater certainty of development costs on these particular sites. 
    • The structure of the tiered alternative parkland dedication rate would be based on a percentage of the development land or its value:
      • For sites less than or equal to five hectares, parkland would be dedicated up to 10% of the land or its value; and,
      • For sites greater than five hectares, parkland would be dedicated up to 15% of the land or its value.
    • Transit-oriented community lands subject to the proposed tiered alternative parkland dedication rates would be identified pursuant to subsection 2 (1) of the Transit-Oriented Communities Act, 2020.
    • Ministerial authority would also be provided to the Minister of Infrastructure to identify encumbered land (e.g., land with underground transit tunnels or other infrastructure) at TOC development sites that would be conveyed to a municipality as parkland. Encumbered parkland would count towards any municipal parkland dedication requirements. This would help ensure that TOC developments can provide new homes and parkland for use by the community.
  • Provide increased certainty of development costs by:
    • Providing the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing with regulation-making authority to authorize landowners and applicants to stipulate the type of surety bonds and other prescribed instruments to be used to secure obligations in connection with land use planning approvals.

Other proposed changes would increase transparency in the planning process and support dispute resolution by:

  • Establishing regulation-making authority to require public reporting on development applications / approvals.
  • Requiring municipalities with a community benefits charge (CBC) by-law to undertake and complete a review, including consulting publicly, on their by-law at least once every five years after the by-law is passed, and every five years thereafter.
  • Providing the Minister with new discretionary authorities when making decisions to:
    • “Stop the clock” if more time is needed to decide on all official plan matters that are subject to Minister’s approval (with transition for matters that are currently before the Minister),
    • Refer all or part(s) of an official plan matter to the Ontario Land Tribunal for a recommendation, and
    • Forward all of an official plan matter to the Ontario Land Tribunal to make a decision.

Schedule 1 of Bill 109 would also make consequential amendments to the City of Toronto Act, 2006.

Protecting the Greenbelt remains a key priority, and the government has recently launched the next phase in its consultation on Growing the Greenbelt. These proposed changes would not impact the Greenbelt.

These proposed changes build on improvements that have already been made through More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, including recent changes to the Planning Act that:

  • reduced planning timelines
  • limited appeals for certain matters 
  • enabled the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to require the use of the community planning permit system, and
  • broadened the Ontario Land Tribunal’s jurisdiction over major land use planning matters.

The proposed legislation provides more detail on all the proposed reforms and can be viewed on the website identified below.

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from March 30, 2022
to April 29, 2022

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