Ontario Bill 108

Posted May 9, 2019 -- Last week the Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, introduced Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act 2019. This Bill will significantly change both legislation and regulations governing real estate development in Ontario. While it is aimed at increasing the supply of housing, there are a several relevant amendments for both the commercial and industrial development sector.

Below is a high-level overview of the Bill. For specific details, the FULL TEXT can be found here

In addition, there are three related consultations (ending June 1 2019) that you may also want to review. These are focused on the amendments to:

The Development Charges Act
The Planning Act
The Ontario Heritage Act

SOME OF THE RELEVANT CHANGES IN BILL 108 FOR NAIOP MEMBERS INCLUDE:


DEVELOPMENT CHARGES ACT
Proposed changes to the Act would:

Eliminate “soft services” from the development charge calculation (e.g. Libraries, Parks and Recreation, Child Care, etc.) as they will be included in the new Community Benefit Charge;

Allow commercial, industrial, institutional, rental housing and non-profit housing development to: 

  • Pay development charges in six annual installments starting when the building is occupied;
  • Freeze the development charge rate applied to the project at the rate in force when the application is made for site plan or zoning approval.


EDUCATION ACT

Proposed changes to the Act would:

Allow School Boards to use revenue from education development charges, with the Minister’s approval, towards innovative and lower-cost alternatives to site acquisition;

Provide the Minister with the power to approve localized education development charge agreements. These agreements would allow landowners to provide a lease, real property or other benefit to the Board for pupil accommodation in exchange for the Board agreeing not to impose EDCs on the land;


PLANNING ACT
Proposed changes to the Act would:

Reduce decision making timelines for municipalities to:

  • 120 days for official plans and amendments;
  • 90 days for zoning by-laws and amendments;
  • 120 days for plans of subdivision;

Allow the Minister to require the use of the community planning permit system in areas specified by the Minister (e.g. major transit station areas and provincially significant employment zones);

Bundle density bonusing provisions (previously Section 37), soft services in Development Charges (e.g. libraries, daycares, etc.) and (in some cases) parkland dedication into a single community benefit charge. These charges would be capped in regulation based on a portion of the appraised value of the land;

Reinstate the previous OMB rules under the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) name. These changes would include:

  • Re-instating “de novo” hearings in all cases;
  • Giving the Tribunal the ability to call and cross examine witnesses and consider new evidence;
  • Providing the Tribunal with the power to require mandatory participation in mediation or other dispute resolution processes by parties in specific circumstances;
  • Broadening the Tribunal’s jurisdiction over major land use planning matters (i.e. official plans, zoning by-laws and amendments) and giving it the authority to make final determinations on appeals of such matters;
  • Ensuring community groups and residents maintain affordable access to the appeals process.


ONTARIO HERITAGE ACT
Proposed changes to the Act include:

New mandatory standards for heritage designation by-laws;

New time limits to confirm a complete application for alterations and demolition, and for designation decisions. These time limits include:

  • 60 day timeline for notifying property owners of whether their applications for alteration and demolition are complete;
  • 90 day timeline for municipalities to issue a notice of intention to designate a property, once certain events have occurred;
  • 120 day timeline for passing a designation by-law after the municipality issues the notice of intention to designate;

Changing the process for adding new properties to the municipal heritage register to ensure property owners are given notice when their property is “listed” and enabling them to object to the municipal council;

Allowing appeals of municipal decisions on designation and alterations to heritage properties to LPAT, whose decision will be binding;

Regulations will be introduced to establish principles that shall be considered by municipalities when making decisions under Parts IV (Conservation of Property of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest) and V (Heritage Conservation Districts).