July 2021 Advocacy Update

New and Noteworthy:

TRBOT Offers COVID-19 Screening Kits to Businesses for SMEs

City of Toronto

As Ontario officially looks forward to Step 3, the City of Toronto partners with Toronto Region Board of Trade to offer COVID-19 screening kits to support small and medium sized businesses safely reopen.

Get yours here.

Ongoing NAIOP Initiatives:

City of Toronto Continues Review of Revenue Tools

At a July 6th meeting, Mayor Tory brought forward a motion to refer the Item back to the CFO and Treasurer to consider as part of the City’s 2022 Budget process; further analysis is to be done on revenue tool’s impact on post-pandemic economic recovery among other items. 

Both Mayor Tory and Budget Chief Councilor Crawford noted that they are hesitant to increase taxes. However, they want Staff to take a closer look at these revenue tools through the Budget process to get a better understanding of the financial challenges and opportunities facing the City.

LOOKING FOR MORE? Updated Assessment of Revenue Options. 

Changes Considered in City Consultation on Water Fees, Charges and Programs

The City of Toronto Infrastructure and Environment Committee met on July 5th to discuss the June 21st Staff Report; in the report, Staff recommended that the City not implement a stormwater charge for I&C properties or parking lots. At the meeting, there appeared to be an appetite to explore the idea for a stormwater charge for all property classes. 

A supplemental report was provided to Council on July 14th. Further to the Committee’s requests, the report addresses the following issues:

  • Enhanced information campaign (p.4) City could explore:
    • Development of web-based information and social media (tips and resources) on actions property owners can take to reduce stormwater on their properties (e.g. implementation of green infrastructure such as permeable pavement, bioswales, tree planting, etc.) to supplement current available information;
    • Incorporation of stormwater reduction information on City webpages such as BetterHomesTO;
    • Addition of web links on the City’s stormwater webpage to stormwater reduction information and resources made available through the TRCA.

  • Stormwater Management Incentives (pp 4-6) The City could consider stormwater management incentive programs offered by other municipalities across North America including:
    • Stormwater charge credits – provide a credit or reduction on a stormwater charge for property owners that implement stormwater management measures to reduce stormwater contributions to municipal sewer systems;
    • Stormwater grants or rebates – provide a grant or rebate to residents, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and community groups for the installation of green roofs, cisterns, rain gardens and other green infrastructure solutions to reduce stormwater runoff and support other environmental and community benefits;
    • Stormwater management financing – provide low-interest and/or long-term loans to property owners to assist in the implementation of stormwater management solutions on their properties;
    • Stormwater incentives for development – incentives offered to developers during the process of applying for development permits if they incorporate more sustainable site design and green infrastructure (e.g. . expedited permitting, reduced permit fees, and increases in floor area ratios);
    • Awards and recognition programs – showcase exemplary stormwater management projects for companies that have implemented sustainable practices on their properties.

  • Timeline for public consultation on a stormwater charge and credits for all properties (p 6-7)
    • City staff estimate that 18 months will be required to complete a comprehensive citywide review and public consultation on a stormwater charge and credits for all properties, which would be based on the stormwater charge consultation approach undertaken in 2016 and 2017.

LOOKING FOR MORE? Staff Report and Supplementary Staff Report.

NAIOP Participates in Toronto’s Review of Parking Requirements for New Development 

The City is considering the following guiding principle and points:

  • The proposed new guiding principle for the parking by-law is: “parking zoning standards should allow only the maximum amount of parking reasonably required for a given land use. Minimums should be avoided except where necessary to ensure equitable access”;
  • Removing all minimums except for accessible and visitor parking and adding maximums where they do not already exist;
  • In most parts of the City where there are maximums already, these would be lowered to the current minimum standards;
  • In areas where there are no maximums, new maximums would be set in line with what is already there and would then be adjusted in future;
  • There may be minimums considered for areas of the city with no access to transit.

Next Steps:

  • Staff will seek feedback this summer to inform draft proposals and further consultation will be held in September;
  • Staff are targeting to bring the final proposals to Committee in November/December.

Waterfront East LRT Online Questionnaire Extension 

The online questionnaire to get feedback on design elements hosted by Waterfront Toronto, City, and TTC closed July 11th, 2021. 

Next Steps:

  • Fall 2021 – Additional consultation;
  • Fall 2021 (October/November) – Staff will present their business case and 30% design for Phase 1 to Council, which will make the project eligible for City of Toronto funding in the 2022 Budget process.

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