Ontario Introducing New Rules for Community Smart Growth
Expanding the Ability of Municipalities to Use Revenue Tools for Transit
Ontario is proposing reforms to the Planning Act and the Development Charges Act that would give residents a greater say in how their communities grow and would provide more opportunities to fund community services like transit and recycling.
The proposed Planning Act changes, if passed, would:
- Ensure residents are better consulted at the beginning of the planning process for new developments.
- Encourage residents to provide feedback on the future of their communities.
- Help municipalities resolve potential planning disputes earlier, reducing involvement of the Ontario Municipal Board in local disputes.
- Extend the review of new municipal official plans to 10 years, instead of the current five-year cycle.
Changes to the Development Charges Act, if passed, would:
- Help municipalities recover costs for transit services and waste diversion.
- Create clear reporting requirements for capital projects municipalities financed though development charges, as well as section 37 of the Planning Act related to density bonusing and parkland dedication.
Working groups of stakeholders will review and consider further more complex land use planning and development charges issues, and propose solutions.
Helping communities grow is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
- The proposed amendments are based on input from across Ontario including more than 20 public workshops and stakeholder meetings held from October 2013 to January 2014.
- The government also held a webinar and invited mail-in and electronic submissions through an e-consultation.
- More than 1,200 submissions on the land use planning and appeal system, and the development charges system were received during the reviews.
- Municipalities use official plans and zoning bylaws to plan for and control development.
- Approximately 200 of Ontario’s 444 municipalities use development charges.
“Ontarians deserve a predictable, fair and transparent system guiding how their communities will grow. These proposals empower our cities and towns to better determine how neighbourhoods are shaped.”