New Legislation You Need to Know About
Bills 108, 109, and 23
The Ontario government has changed the rules for all residential development (high-rise and low-rise) in this province substantially by introducing Bills 108 and 109. These changes are far reaching and significant:
- The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (“LPAT”) has been replaced by the “Ontario Lands Tribunal” (“OLT”). This is not just a name change. The OLT is developer oriented in design and staffing. The objective it to speed up development approvals and discount the interests of the City, residents, and local interests groups.
- Money for parks and infrastructure. The legislation combines all of these into Community Benefit Charges and it offers a percentage amount related to the scale of the project. That percentage is substantially less than the City of Toronto has negotiated in the past. The City will not have sufficient money to build/maintain the required infrastructure.
- The minister can override decisions of the City and change the Zoning
This has resulted in an avalanche of new applications for development and many are skipping the normal process with the City and going directly to the OLT. There are at least 65 new buildings either under construction or in the planning stage within the boundaries of the DMRI.
But apparently, this is not enough. The Conservative government has tabled Bill 23 on October 31st to speed up the process even more. It removes many hurdles that a developer needs to pass in order to get approval. These include review by conservation authorities and it removes the ability of 3rd parties, such as the DMRI or any environmental or heritage agencies, from appealing a development application at the OLT. It further reduces the money the City will get for building infrastructure (such as community facilities) to accommodate the increased development and requires less parkland designations in developments.
The result will be a massive amount of unchecked development with deficient infrastructure paid for by our property taxes. There will be less community facilities and less park space.
The DMRI has always been an active voice for our community and have had a positive impact on many of the developments within Don Mills. We've been able to negotiate lower buildings, lesser density, and most recently secured a Community Centre. All of these activities require an investment of time, energy, and funds. As an example, currently there are three developments we're actively engaged in with our lawyers to make sure the interests of the DMRI community are well-heard and reflected.