Proposed Planning Act and City of Toronto Act Changes (Schedules 9 and 1 of Bill 23 - the proposed More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022)

ERO number
019-6163
Notice type
Act
Act
Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Notice stage
Proposal Updated
Proposal posted
Comment period
October 25, 2022 - December 9, 2022 (45 days) Open
Last updated

Update Announcement

Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 was passed by the Legislature and received Royal Assent on November 28, 2022. We have extended the deadline of this posting to enable your feedback to continue to be submitted so that it can help inform the implementation of this proposal as well as future initiatives. You may also want to consider submitting comments on other related postings and/or providing your comments directly to the Ministry at planningconsultation@ontario.ca.

This consultation closes at 11:59 p.m. on:
December 9, 2022

Proposal summary

The government is proposing changes to the Planning Act and the City of Toronto Act, 2006 to make it easier and faster to build new homes for Ontarians as part of its commitment to build 1.5 million homes over the next ten years.

Proposal details

Everyone in Ontario should be able to find a home that is right for them. But too many people are struggling with the rising cost of living and with finding housing that meets their family’s needs.

Ontario’s housing supply crisis is a problem which has been decades in the making. It will take both short-term strategies and long-term commitment from all levels of government, the private sector, and not-for-profits to drive change. Each entity will have to do their part to be part of the solution to this crisis.

Ontario needs more housing, and we need it now. That’s why the Ontario government is taking bold and transformative action to get 1.5 million homes built over the next 10 years.

To support More Homes Built Faster: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan: 2022-2023, the government introduced the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, which, if passed, would ensure that cities, towns, and rural communities grow with a mix of ownership and rental housing types that meet the needs of all Ontarians. These visionary changes will place Ontario at the forefront of housing policy in North America.

These changes are providing a solid foundation to address Ontario’s housing supply crisis over the long term and will be supplemented by continued action in the future.

Bill 23 proposes changes to the Planning Act and City of Toronto Act, 2006 to further streamline approvals for housing and reduce barriers and costs to development so that cities, towns and rural communities can grow with a mix of ownership and rental housing types – from single family homes to townhomes and mid-rise apartments.

You are invited to share your thoughts on the changes proposed under the proposed More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, which are set out in more detail below.

Proposed Planning Act Amendments

Schedule 9 of the Bill proposes a number of amendments to the Planning Act.

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

Addressing the Missing Middle

  • Changes are proposed to strengthen the existing “additional residential unit” framework. The proposed changes would allow, “as-of-right” (without the need to apply for a rezoning) up to 3 units per lot in many existing residential areas.
  • The proposed changes would supersede local official plans and zoning to automatically apply province-wide to any parcel of land where residential uses are permitted in settlement areas with full municipal water and sewage services (except for legal non-conforming uses such as existing houses on hazard lands).
  • To remove barriers and incent these types of units, the proposed changes would also prohibit municipalities from imposing development charges, parkland dedication or cash-in-lieu requirements (Proposed Planning Act and Development Charges Act Changes: Providing Greater Cost Certainty for Municipal Development-related Charges), applying minimum unit sizes or requiring more than one parking space per unit in respect of any second unit in a primary building and any unit in an ancillary structure.

Higher Density Around Transit

  • Changes are proposed to require municipalities to implement “as-of-right” zoning for transit supportive densities in specified areas around transit stations, known as “major transit station areas” (MTSAs), and “protected major transit station areas” (PMTSAs) that have been approved by the Minister.
  • If passed, the changes would require municipalities to update their zoning by-laws to permit transit-supportive densities as-of-right within 1 year of MTSA or PMTSA approval; if zoning updates were not undertaken within the 1-year period, the usual protection from appeals to the Ontario Land Tribunal for PMTSAs would not apply.

Streamlining Municipal Planning Responsibilities

  • Changes are proposed to remove the planning policy and approval responsibilities from certain upper-tier municipalities (regions of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel, Simcoe, Waterloo, York). These proposed changes would come into effect upon proclamation at a future date.
  • Future regulations would identify which official plans and amendments would not require approval by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (i.e., which lower-tier plans and amendments of the lower-tier municipality would need no further approval).
  • The proposed changes could also potentially be applied to additional upper-tier municipalities in the future via regulation.

Third Party Appeals

  • Changes are proposed to limit third party appeals for all planning matters (official plans, official plan amendments, zoning by-laws, zoning by-law amendments, consents and minor variances). Third party appeals are generally appeals made by someone other than the person who made the planning application.
  • Appeal rights would be maintained for key participants (e.g., applicants, the Province, public bodies including Indigenous communities, utility providers that participated in the process), except where appeals have already been restricted (e.g., the Minister’s decision on new official plan).
  • The proposed limit on third-party appeals would apply to any matter that has been appealed (other than by a party whose appeal rights are being maintained) but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing on the merits of the appeal by the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) on the day the bill is introduced.

Public Meetings - Plans of Subdivision

  • Changes are proposed to remove the public meeting requirement for draft plans of subdivision.

Site Plan – Exemption for Development up to 10 units, Architectural Details and Landscape Design

  • Changes are proposed to exempt all aspects of site plan control for residential development up to 10 units (except for the development of land lease communities).
  • Changes are proposed to limit the scope of site plan control by removing the ability for municipalities to regulate architectural details and landscape design.

Streamline Approval Process for Land Lease Communities (LLC)

  • Changes are proposed to allow LLCs to be approved through site plan control instead of plan of subdivision so that they can leverage a maximum lease period of up to 49 years (up from the maximum permitted of 21 years without a land division approval). This change would not apply in the Greenbelt Area.

Facilitating Aggregate Applications

  • Changes are proposed to remove the “2-year timeout” period for applications to amend new official plans, secondary plans and zoning by-laws in respect of mineral aggregate operations.
  • Currently, the Act sets a 2-year period where changes to new official plans, secondary plans and new comprehensive zoning by-laws are not permitted, unless these changes are municipally-supported.

Conservation Authorities

  • Changes are proposed to re-enact provisions that are not yet in force but would limit conservation authority (CA) appeals of land use planning decisions. CAs would continue to be able to appeal matters where they are the applicant. When acting as a public body, CAs would only be able to appeal with respect to matters related to natural hazard policies in provincial policy statements.
  • Changes are also proposed to broaden the ability of CAs to use an existing streamlined process to sever and dispose of land.
  • Both of these changes are proposed to take effect January 1, 2023.

Schedule 1 of Bill 23 would also make consequential amendments to the City of Toronto Act, 2006 related to proposed changes to site plan provisions.

Bill 23 provides more detail on all the proposed reforms and can be viewed on the website identified below.

Analysis of Regulatory Impact:

  • The anticipated economic benefits of this proposal overall would be positive in terms of impacts on the land development and construction industry and homeowners. The proposed changes to the land use planning system would expedite development (time savings), remove barriers and reduce costs (e.g., application fees) for the development sector and private homeowners.
  • There would be no annual administrative costs to businesses anticipated from these proposed changes.
  • However, based on preliminary analysis, there may be costs to municipalities as a result of these proposed changes. This would range from minimal direct compliance costs associated with municipal staff learning about the changes and adapting existing business processes, to significant one-time direct compliance costs for “upper-tier municipalities without planning responsibilities” and the lower-tier municipalities in those jurisdictions to revise administrative and financial processes and shift resources accordingly. It is expected that any additional costs associated with planning responsibilities would be taken on by lower-tier municipalities
  • The Ontario Land Tribunal would have an interest in these proposed changes and would be expected to benefit from the resulting reduced caseload, which could also help expedite the resolution of other appeals These impacts on the tribunal could also benefit municipalities, property owners and the development sector through faster decisions.

Supporting materials

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

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