New and Noteworthy:
City of Toronto commences review of Official Plan, “Our Plan Toronto”
City of Toronto
On May 26 and May 27 the City of Toronto held two stakeholder engagement “Kick-off Town Halls” to review “Our Plan Toronto”. The City provided history of the Official Plan and outlined the review process, including key dates.
The City’s Official Plan review process will identify where this growth should go, and what is needed to support healthy, complete communities that are thriving and inclusive over the next thirty years. This process will include discussions on housing affordability, equity, employment, sustainability, and more.
- Part 1, Spring 2021 – Communications and consultation with various groups to learn, share and craft the vision and priorities for 2051
- Part 2, Fall 2021 – Set policy directions and map Toronto’s key growth areas
- Part 3, Winter 2022 – Draft policies to implement, share broadly and present to City Council
LOOKING FOR MORE? Our Plan Toronto.
City of Toronto releases plan to review growth-related funding tools (DCs, CBCs, Alt Parkland Rate) City of Toronto
The plan to review growth-related funding tools – including the Development Charges (DC) Act, Alternative Parkland Dedication Bylaw, and Community Benefit Charges – was discussed at the June 1 Executive Committee meeting.
Following the recent provincial legislative changes, there are new criteria that the City must consider when reviewing these growth-related funding tools:
- New eligible services for DCs include waste diversion, long-term care, by-law enforcement, emergency preparedness and electrical power services;
- Certain “soft services”, such as parking, cemeteries and airports are no longer eligible for DC charges;
- Eligible “soft services” are no longer subject to the 10% discount, increasing the costs that are now recoverable;
- There is no longer a mandatory 10 year planning period for “soft services”, although this planning period is still applied to Transit;
- Changes made in January 2020 that “freeze” DCs at the time of planning application and extend the collection time remain in effect;
Community Benefit Charges:
Following NAIOPs past advocacy, CBCs will not be imposed on non-residential development – only developments with five or more storeys and 10 or more residential units will pay CBCs;
The charge is capped at 4% of the entire land value;
In-kind contributions are permitted, but the agreements cannot be registered on title to bind future owners;
Alternative Parkland Dedication Rate:
Alternative parkland rates will continue to be available to municipalities;
However there is a new right of appeal, where LPAT now has the authority to amend a bylaw (but not the park plan), established by a municipality.
The City is required to update these by-laws by September 2022 (Bill 197), however due to the October 2022 municipal election, the City plans to bring forward new by-laws for Council consideration in Q2 2022.
The City has hired Hemson Consulting, Barry Lyon Consultants and O2 Planning + Design to lead the technical components of the review, including the background studies and strategies as well as an impact analysis. This work is already underway.
Stakeholder engagement is expected to begin in June/early July. An interim staff report is expected to be brought forward in Fall 2021.
Non-residential development in Toronto is currently exempted from paying DCs above or below the ground floor. During the last DC review, the City was moving towards eliminating this exemption and phasing in a requirement for non-residential to pay DCs on all floors. This effort was interrupted by the pandemic and it is likely that this issue will be raised again during the upcoming review.
Updates to follow.
Ongoing NAIOP Initiatives:
Changes Considered in City Consultation on Water Fees, Charges and Programs
NAIOP has participated in the City of Toronto’s water fees, charges, and programs consultation; of note is the proposal to implement a stormwater management charge. The final report will be submitted to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee on July 5. Other changes are being considered, including to the industrial water rate program, sewer charge rebate program, capacity buy back program, as well as proposals to create an administrative water charge, stormwater management charges and stormwater charge credits.
Waterfront East LRT Extension Releases Final Community Consultation Report
The final Community Consultation Report on the Waterfront East LRT has been released. Additional consultation is expected this summer.
City of Toronto Continues Review of Zoning By-Law Parking Requirements
Following these public meetings (June 1-3), staff will develop draft proposals to amend the zoning by-law and present them to a second series of public meetings in September. All relevant background and next steps can be found here.
Financial District Pilot Zone – Reopening and Recovery Playbook
The Toronto Region Board of Trade, in collaboration with the Financial District BIA and others, has released the “Financial District Pilot Zone Playbook” for reopening and recovery. The Playbook provides an overview of the value of the Financial District and a mitigation toolkit that includes leading practices which will continue to be updated on the website. Additional materials include a Landlord User Guide & Email Template, a Tenant Letter to Employer, a Tenant FAQ, and a Tenant Overview.