Ontario Heritage Act Regulations Update
The Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries has announced that public consultation on the proposed regulations to support the amendments to the Ontario Heritage Act made under Bill 108: More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 has been postponed due to the COVID-19 Emergency. The Ministry is now targeting January 1, 2021 as the date for proclamation of the amendments. Please see the communication from the Ministry by clicking here..
BILD and OHBA Submissions on Proposed Community Benefits Charge (“CBC”) Authority
On April 20, 2020, BILD and OHBA submitted comment letters in response to the proposed Community Benefits Charge regulations.
BILD’s submission is supportive of the Province’s desire to introduce a new methodology for calculating development fees. The comment letter provides recommendations that would help to ensure that such fees are reasonably and fairly applied across all development types and densities and do not exceed the actual increases in municipal expenditures arising from development. Further, BILD’s recommendations aim to improve the transparency and predictability of development fees. The key points in BILD’s submission, as detailed in the executive summary, can be summarized as follows:
- A one size-fits all approach should be avoided – different development types and densities should be treated differently
- The calculation of CBC’s should be based on the same prescribed methodology as it applies to the calculation of development charges and all of the required calculations should be detailed in the CBC strategy
- An appeal to the LPAT should be available to resolve disputes on the valuation of land
- Where existing agreements are in place, transition provisions should stipulate that the CBC would not apply
- Further, a transition regulation should be included that directs parkland contribution obligations to be determined in accordance with Master Parkland Agreements that are entered into before a CBC by-law is adopted
- This regulation should allow for future Master Parkland Agreements to be entered into by municipalities after a municipality adopts a CBC by-law, with appropriate credits/adjustments to the CBC payable within the applicable area, as determined with the municipality
- The Province should add items to the list of eligible services to be funded through development fees in order to maintain certain municipal revenues; such a list would not include public realm/civic improvements, affordable housing and long-term care
- The Province should limit the CBC to a maximum of 10% of the land value, that it should only apply to single and lower-tier municipalities, and should be based on a study that is appealable
- Park needs justification studies should be expressly required to assess whether parkland funded by the CBC would result in an increase in the average amount of parkland per resident within the municipality for parks of various categories (local, community or district).
- Rules pertaining to the calculation of CBC’s should prohibit CBC funding increases in parkland service levels or parkland that benefits existing development being funded by the CBC
- CBC’s should apply only to new residential development with a net residential development density of over 100 residential units per hectare, with development at lower densities subject to the parkland dedication at the 5% rate
- Mid-rise developments should also be exempt from the CBC and be subject to parkland dedication at the base rates in the Planning Act as amended by Bill 108
- For high-rise projects, the value of the CBC should be determined well before a project goes to market for sale, and that this occur during the Municipal Comprehensive Review or Official Plan stage of development
- For site-specific developments and where master plan communities are intended, land values could be determined at the time of a Zoning By-law Amendment application or Site Plan application stage
- Non-residential developments should be subject to a CBC of 2% of land value, which is consistent with current parkland dedication/cash-in-lieu rates per the Planning Act as amended by Bill 108
- Adaptive-reuse development or renovation projects should be explicitly exempt from the CBC
The OHBA’s submission also contains very specific and detailed recommendations, the most significant of which are as follows:
- The CBC framework should not apply to low and mid-rise housing below a density threshold of 100 units per net hectare, with development at lower densities subject to parkland dedication at the 5% rate
- The CBC should be limited to high-rise projects that have a density threshold equal and greater than 100 units per net hectare and be utilized for community benefits (including parkland) up to a maximum of 10% of land value
- The appraisal/valuation date for a CBC should be moved earlier in the planning process
- The regulations must include a robust and fair ineligible services list
- Service standards must be applied for municipal implementation of CBC by-laws
The team at Davies Howe would be delighted to answer any questions you may have pertaining to the proposed CBC framework and how it may affect your current and future development projects.