Ontario Strengthening System of Collecting Fees to Pay for Parks, Libraries
June 21, 2019
Province Consulting on Community Benefits Charge Regulations
TORONTO — On June 6th, our government passed Bill 108, the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 which established a new community benefits approach to ensure that developers pay for community benefits like parks, community centres and libraries. Ontario has launched consultations on the best way to implement this new approach to make sure that vital municipal revenue streams are maintained and to make community benefits more transparent and predictable.
Over 140 days of consultation are planned before the end of the year, with the final changes intended to make the upfront costs of new housing more predictable for everyone.
The consultation was launched following discussions with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the City of Toronto and municipalities across Ontario. Our government is seeking early feedback from municipalities on the approach to develop the formula associated with community benefits charges. We are establishing a technical working group with municipalities that will provide advice to our government on the proposed approach and a draft formula. More consultations will occur this fall on the draft formula.
“We are consulting on the best way to replace the current system of ‘let’s make a deal planning’ with a system that puts people and communities first. There is a patchwork of complex and confusing ways municipalities set and collect the fees that help pay for services like libraries and community centres,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Growth must pay for growth and it’s important that municipalities have the resources to support complete communities. By working with municipalities, we will develop a formula that protects vital revenue streams.”
- More Homes, More Choice was informed by a broad public consultation that included feedback from the public, as well as business and industry, research and development sectors, municipalities, the agricultural and environmental sector and many others. The government received more than 2,000 submissions and 85 per cent came from the public.
- Our government is consulting with local residents so they can have a say in deciding how community benefit charges are spent to support services like parks and daycares, through their municipality’s community benefits strategy.
- The new approach will ensure we avoid situations where municipalities, like the City of Toronto, can have over $200 million in money collected from development that isn’t being invested in the community.
- Proposed regulations for some of the changes to the Planning Act and Development Charges Act included in the recently-passed More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 are also posted for feedback on the Environmental Registry of Ontario.
- A related consultation on proposed Planning Act regulations will, among other things, look at how to make it easier for homeowners to create a second residential unit on their property and to bring in changes to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.