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April 23, 2015

Ontario: Province Introducing New Rules to Encourage ‘Smart’ Community Growth

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Ontario is proposing reforms to the Planning Act and the Development Charges Act that would give residents a greater say in how their communities grow and would provide more opportunities to fund community services like transit and recycling.

The proposed Planning Act changes, if passed, would:

  • Ensure residents are better consulted at the beginning of the planning process for new developments.
  • Encourage residents to provide feedback on the future of their communities.
  • Help municipalities resolve potential planning disputes earlier, reducing involvement of the Ontario Municipal Board in local disputes.
  • Extend the review of new municipal official plans to 10 years, instead of the current five-year cycle.
Changes to the Development Charges Act, if passed, would:

  • Help municipalities recover costs for transit services and waste diversion.
  • Create clear reporting requirements for capital projects municipalities financed though development charges, as well as section 37 of the Planning Act related to density bonusing and parkland dedication.
  • Working groups of stakeholders will review and consider further more complex land use planning and development charges issues, and propose solutions.

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