The provincial government’s newest housing legislation, the More Homes Built Faster Act has passed and brings forward numerous important changes that will be beneficial for OHBA members. Some measures come into force immediately, others at a future date. See the key highlights below and the breakdown document for more details.
- Up to three residential units are permitted “as of right” on most land zoned for one home in residential areas without needing a municipal by-law amendment. Depending on the property in question, these three units could all be within the existing residential structure or could take the form of a residence with an in-law or basement suite and a laneway or garden home.
- Regulatory changes to provide certainty regarding inclusionary zoning rules, with a maximum 25-year affordability period, a five per cent cap on the number of inclusionary zoning units, and a standardized approach to determining the price or rent of an affordable unit under an inclusionary zoning program.
- Affordable and inclusionary zoning units, select attainable housing units, and non-profit housing developments are exempt from municipal development charges, parkland dedication levies and community benefits charges.
o Five-year phase-in of development charge rate increases, beginning with a 20% reduction in the first year, with the reduction decreasing by 5% each year until year five when the full new rate applies. This is proposed to apply to all new development charge by-laws passed since January 1, 2022.
o Discount remains unchanged, however, further transitional matters now provided. Rental housing discounts do not apply for a development in which a building permit was issued prior to November 28, 2022, unless a Development Charges Agreement has been entered into. If there is a Development Charges Agreement, the rental housing discounts will apply to all development charges payable after November 27, 2022.
o Development charge reductions now based on development charge by-laws passed on or after Jan 1, 2022.
o Development charge by-laws will expire every 10 years, instead of every five years. By-laws can still be updated any time.
o Cap the interest paid on phased DCs for rental, institutional and non-profit housing to prime plus 1%.
- Changes to the Planning Act removed site plan control requirements for most projects with fewer than 10 residential units (with limited exceptions).
- No removal of third-party appeal rights of official plans, official plan amendments, or zoning by-laws.
o Third-party appeal rights of consent and minor variance applications significantly restricted to certain public bodies. Current third-party appeals are dismissed unless they qualify for limited transition.
- The maximum amount of land that can be conveyed or paid for as cash in lieu is capped at 10% of the land or its value for sites under 5 ha, and 15 % for sites greater than 5 ha.
- Maximum alternative dedication rate reduced to 1 ha/600 units for land and 1 ha/1000 units for cash in lieu.
- Parkland rates frozen as of the date that a zoning by-law or site plan application is filed. Freeze remains in effect for two years following approval. If no building permits are pulled in that time, the rate in place at the time the building permit is pulled would apply.
- Maximum CBC payable to be based only on the value of land proposed for new development, not the entire parcel that may have existing development.
- Maximum CBC to be discounted by 4% of land value divided by the existing building size, as a proportion to total building square footage.
- Upper tier municipalities will be removed from the Planning Act approval process for both lower tier official plans and amendments and plans of subdivision.
- Public meetings no longer will be required for applications for approval of a draft plan of subdivision.
- Developments of up to 10 residential units will be exempted from site plan control.
- Architectural details and landscape design aesthetics will be removed from the scope of site plan control.
- Minister to be given the authority to enact regulations related to the replacement of rental housing when it is proposed to be demolished or converted as part of a proposed development.
- Municipalities will not be permitted to issue a notice of intention to designate a property under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act unless the property is already on the heritage register when the current 90-day requirement for Planning Act applications is triggered.
Please also see the Bill 23 Key Changes Breakdown.