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DURHAM REGION HOMEBUILDERS' ASSOCIATION

Oshawa - Construction of Accessible Units - Council Accepts Report

July 23, 2020 12:46 PM | Anonymous

At the July 13th Oshawa Council meeting, councillors voted to receive report CNCL-20-149 regarding requiring 15% of new homes built have "visitable" features, including wider entrance ways, an accessible bathroom on the main floor, no stairs to the entrance, etc. 

Of note in this report is that staff will request the Province of Ontario to amend the Ontario Building Code in consultation with municipalities and the building and development industry to permit municipalities to establish their own approach to accessible units.  If the OBC is ultimately amended by the Province, the preparation of accessibility standards would be undertaken in consultation with the public, building and development industry and other stakeholders (O.A.A.C.) and presented to Council for approval.

Background:

Oshawa Will Not Mandate 15% "Visitable Homes"

June 10, 2020 2:27 PM | Anonymous

In the Fall of 2019, the Oshawa Accessibility Advisory Committee provided the following recommendation to council:

"Whereas the O.A.A.C. Built Environment Subcommittee is finding numerous site plans with only inaccessible townhomes and stacked townhouses; 

Therefore the City require that all residential projects be designed with 15% accessible units with visitable features, including no stairs to entrances doors as well as entrance door and washroom door widths sufficient for mobility devices."

Council referred the recommendation back to staff to have the matter discussed with Oshawa's Building Industry Liaison Team (BILT).

DRHBA was present at the October 29, 2019 meeting where representatives voiced concerns over mandating accessibility, which was followed up by a letter.  It was pointed out that many builders offer this option to purchasers already.

As a result, staff presented Report CNCL-20-67 to council on May 25, 2020.

In the report, the following recommendations were made:

  • Implement conditions in planning agreements to promote consumer awareness of developers' accessible construction programs but maintain status quo pursuant to Ontario Building Code Requirements.
  • Staff to encourage builders to construct model homes with accessible features to further increase consumers' awareness.

It should also be highlighted that the staff report noted that "municipalities are not permitted to require houses, triplexes, and boarding or rooming houses with fewer  than eight boarders, to exceed the minimum standards established by the OBC for barrier-free design or otherwise."

At the council meeting, Councillor Rosemary McConkey moved "That the Report CNCL-20-67 be amended to add the following as Parts 2 and 3:

2. That the Province of Ontario be requested to implement changes to the Ontario Building Code to require a portion of all new single-detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, row townhouse dwellings proposed in developments in excess of 6 new dwelling units to contain an accessible front entrance, an accessible width front door and an accessible washroom on the ground floor; and,

3. That all Durham Region municipalities be notified of the recommendation directly above and their respective councils encouraged to support this resolution."

Councillor Brian Nicholson moved "That Parts 2 and 3 to Report CNCL-20-67 be referred to staff for a report back to the next meeting of City Council."  This recommendation was carried.

Councillor McConkey then moved "That Part 1 of the recommendation contained in Report CNCL-20-67 be referred back to staff."  This motion lost.

The vote to adopt the recommendation contained in Report CNCL-20-67 carried.


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Durham Region Home Builders' Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 1-1255 Terwillegar Avenue Oshawa, Ontario L1J 7A4

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