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DURHAM REGION HOMEBUILDERS' ASSOCIATION

BUILDING DURHAM


  • July 09, 2020 9:27 AM | Anonymous

    As part of the COVID-19 post-pandemic recovery, the provincial government introduced Bill 197 COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act in the Legislative Assembly yesterday.  The omnibus Bill makes amendments to a number of pieces of existing legislation as part of Ontario's Plan for Economic Jobs and Recovery.  

    Highlights include:

    Planning Act and Development Charges Act Amendments (related to Community Benefit Charges (CBC) authority):

    • The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has responded to OHBA's major concerns articulated in OHBA's April 2020 submission responding to the Environmental Registry 019-1406 with respect to the Community Benefits Authority.  The provincial government received over 70 submissions from local home builders' associations and individual member companies (16 from DRHBA members) that "ran the math" to demonstrate potentially significant cost increases for new home purchasers due to the imposition of a CBC.
    • The proposed amendments to the Development Charges Act will expand the list of eligible Development Charges under hard services (moving them from previous soft service DCs).
    • While that shift from previous soft DCs to hard services means there will no longer be a 10% reduction (municipal contribution), the total list of eligible services for development charges has been reduces, meaning some services for which municipalities previously charged soft service DCs for will no longer be eligible.
    • The CBC framework (as recommended by OHBA and DRHBA) will no longer apply to low-rise or missing middle housing.  Only residential development with over 10 units AND 5-stories and over will be eligible for municipalities to apply a Community Benefits Charge.
    • The existing parkland dedication framework for low-rise housing within the Planning Act will continue to apply (the CBC framework previous amalgamated parkland dedication into the CBC).
    • The OHBA (and local HBA) submissions specifically advocated for a cap on the alternative parkland rate to support intensification, however the proposed legislative amendments do NOT include a cap.  OHBA will continue to advocate for a cap on the alternative cash-in-lieu of parkland rate.
    • Proposed amendments to the Planning Act will make parkland dedication by-laws for the first time appealable to the LPAT (as has been advocated by OHBA).

    Community Benefits Charges (CBC) Regulation:

    • Yesterday's introduction of Bill 197 does NOT include a final CBC regulation or a percentage CBC cap.
    • However, yesterday's proposed amendments to the Planning Act and Development Charges Act re-set the proposed framework for a Community Benefits Charges Authority and reflect positive discussions between OHBA, DRHBA and member companies throughout the spring with many of our recommendations being adopted by the government.
    • There is still important work to be finalized, but the proposed framework released today is a positive step forward for a transparent and more predictable framework.  OHBA and DRHBA will continue to engage with MMAH on what the percentage cap would be given this new framework and what is in vs. what is not in the "bucket" of services for the CBC.
    • As was originally proposed, municipalities will no longer be able to charge "Section 37" density bonuses - the new CBC replaces this municipal tool and municipal CBC bylaws will be appealable to the LPAT.

    Expanded Ministerial Zoning Order Authority:

    • In an effort to support transit oriented communities and economic recovery, legislation tabled yesterday proposes to expand Ministerial Zoning Order authority.
    • Additional Ministerial authority is proposed for Site Plan Controls in addition to existing zoning authority.
    • The use of these powers does NOT include lands within the Greenbelt.
    • The Minister will have the authority to prescribe affordable housing targets (inclusionary zoning) as part of this new authority.
    • The proposed legislative amendments reflect OHBA advocacy and recommendations supporting more housing supply and choice in transit oriented communities.

    Modernizing Municipal Class Environmental Assessments:

    • The MECP is proposing to modernize all eight classes of Environmental Assessments (including MCEA) which were covered in more detail above).
    • More info will be posted on the Environmental Registry.
    • The MECP is proposing streamlining initiatives to standardize project lists and reduce studies required.
    • These proposed amendments by the MECP will expedite the seven other classes Environmental Assessments (beyond MCEAs) process and be a very positive step for major critical infrastructure projects to move through the approvals process faster.

    Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECAs) for Waste Water and Storm Water Management:

    • The MECP is responding to OHBA advocacy moving towards a consolidated approvals approach for low-impact municipal sewage collection and stormwater management projects.
    • More information will be posted on the Environmental Registry.

    Other Items:

    • The proposed changes will allow the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to make regulations that will streamline the Building Code development process, align it with National Construction Codes and enable Ontario to respond faster to construction sector needs.
    • The Ontario government is proposing changes to permanently establish the Office of the Provincial Land and Development Facilitator and give the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing the authority to appoint the Facilitator.
    • The Ontario government is advancing the Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) Program, which will help connect people to places by building communities that are centred around transit stations along the four priority subway projects.

    Government Press Release:

    https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/07/ontario-starting-down-the-path-to-growth-renewal-and-economic-recovery-1.html

    Government Backgrounder:

    https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/07/ontario-starting-down-the-path-to-growth-renewal-and-economic-recovery.html 



  • June 24, 2020 2:13 PM | Anonymous

    DRHBA has received notice from the Town of Whitby that the special council meeting to ratify the Whitby Green Standards (WGS) has been postponed from July 20 to an undetermined date in the Fall.

    DRHBA representatives met with the Whitby Green Standards committee yesterday, June 23, and again raised our serious concerns with the program.  To date, none of the concerns identified by DRHBA have been addressed by the committee.

    In an email to DRHBA, the Town of Whitby states that they "will review all the feedback and address any revisions that need to be made to the proposed WGS.  We are also revisiting the timeline to bring the project to Council.  We will be taking time over July and August to address the feedback and present any changes to the WGS to the development community before the matter is presented to Council in the Fall."

    If you have any concerns or questions about the Whitby Green Standards, please contact Stacey at s.hawkins@drhba.com.



  • June 24, 2020 9:43 AM | Anonymous

    At the Monday, June 22 Oshawa Council meeting, council voted unanimously in favour of new dust and mud control bylaws.

    The bylaws are contained in report CNCL-20-122 - Dust and Mud Control Related to Construction and Development Activities

    The three bylaws in the report are:

    • A bylaw to control nuisance dust and mud
    • A bylaw to regulate the fouling of highways
    • A bylaw to amend general fees and charges bylaw 13-2003


  • June 23, 2020 9:51 AM | Anonymous

    In December, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation & Parks (MECP) released a final excess soils regulation under the Environmental Protection Act as well as an amendment to the Record of Site Condition (brownfields) regulation 153/04 in a package of regulatory amendments generally supported by OHBA.  The intent was to make it safer and easier for more excess soil to be reused locally by clarifying rules for managing and transporting excess soil.  Full details on the announcement can be found here.

    The MECP has made an announcement that it recognizes the impact COVID-19 has had on the regulated community and that it recognizes that in some cases temporary relief from certain regulations may be needed to maintain operations and to support quick response to emergencies.

    The MECP has announced it will temporarily delay the implementation of the first phase of requirements under the new Excess Soil Regulation by six months, from July 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021.  This delay will give developers and municipalities more time to gradually implement the new regulation while prioritizing their COVID-19 response.

    The MECP has also amended O. Reg. 153/04 to exempt temporary health or residential facilities, such as temporary hospitals or shelters, from needing a Record of Site Condition (RSC) before being established in response to an emergency.  This amendment would remain in place and apply to any future emergencies.  These amendments respond directly to concerns raised by municipalities and industry regarding their ability to effectively maintain operations and establish facilities in response to an emergency.

    For more information on these changes, please see this information notice.


  • June 23, 2020 9:03 AM | Anonymous

    The Government of Ontario has announced the creation of a new tribunal organization, the Ontario Land Tribunals, effective July 1, 2020.  The new organization will include the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), Environmental Review Tribunal, Board of Negotiation, Conservation Review Board and the Mining and Lands Tribunal.  The Assessment Review Board will remain a part of Tribunals Ontario.  Please note, Marie Hubbard, the former Associate Chair of the LPAT, has been appointed as the Executive Chair of the Ontario Land Tribunals when the organization is established on July 1, 2020.

    Ontario Land Tribunals will adjudicate and mediate matters related to land use planning, environmental and heritage protection, expropriated land valuation, mining and other matters.  Ontario Land Tribunals will focus on land-related dispute resolution to help increase the housing supply in the province, while balancing the needs of environmental protection and conservation.

    Additionally, effective July 1, fees for filing appeals with the LPAT will increase.  The filing fees will depend on the type of appeal being made.  Under the LPAT's new fee model, different filing fees will be charged based on tribunal time and resources required to resolve different types of appeals.  For additional details on this new fee model, please see the Tribunals Ontario news release.

    The Ontario Land Tribunals will focus on more efficient land and environmental disputes resolution to help increase the housing supply, which helps support More Homes, More Choice: Ontario's Housing Supply Action Plan.  A news release from the Ministry of the Attorney General is available here with the following quote from Attorney General Doug Downey:

    "Our government is committed to creating a justice system for the 21st century, one that is more accessible, responsive and resilient.  More efficient services at tribunals is a key element of our plan as they will drive innovation in the justice sector and more more services online.  Ms. Hubbard's experience reducing the backlog at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal will help ensure land disputes continue to be resolved quickly, and more housing is built across the province."

    As a result of the creation of the new organization, the former Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario website will be decommissioned.  On July 1, 2020, the new Ontario Land Tribunals website will be found at www.olt.gov.on.ca.



  • June 18, 2020 3:04 PM | Anonymous
     

    On June 16, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing posted to the Environmental Registry (019-1679 and 019-1680) a series of proposals related to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe that responds to key advocacy positions of OHBA and the 11 local home builders' associations impacted by the Growth Plan (Durham Region, Niagara, West End, Brantford, Haldimand-Norfolk, Waterloo Region, Guelph & District, Greater Dufferin, Simcoe County, Peterborough & the Kawarthas, and BILD).  

    The proposed Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan and the Land Needs Assessment have each been posted for a 45-day public consultation to July 31, 2020.  OHBA is looking for feedback from members as they will prepare a submission to respond to the amendments and they will be working with BILD on an upcoming webinar (date TBA) for members regarding the proposed amendments.

    OHBA, DRHBA, BILD and a number of members from other impacted local HBAs participated during the Fall of 2019 and Winter of 2020 on Ministry established stakeholder working groups regarding the Schedule 3 population and employment forecasts as well as the Land Needs Assessment.  With respect to improving the LNA methodology, OHBA submitted recommendations on October 22.  Tuesday's Growth Plan proposals also responds directly to OHBA Resolution #7 passed at the OHBA Annual Meeting of Members on September 23, 2019 that specifically recommended that the Growth Plan Schedule #3 be updated with 2051 forecasts and that the Ministry update the Land Needs Assessment methodology.

    Key highlights from the Environmental Registry postings (019-1679 and 019-1680):

    • Policy 2.2.1.5 of the Plan requires upper- and single-tier municipalities to use the Methodology issued by the Minister to assess the quantity of land required to accommodate forecasted growth to the horizon of this Plan. The government is consulting on a proposed new Land Needs Assessment Methodology for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Environmental Registry 019-1679)
    • The proposed Methodology outlines key steps for assessing community and employment land need to the Plan horizon year. Municipalities must follow the steps of this methodology as part of the municipal comprehensive review to ascertain the amount of land required to accommodate the amount and type of additional housing units and jobs required to meet market demands in conformity with the Plan and determine whether there is a need for a settlement area boundary expansion for employment area or community area, which is all other settlement area land outside of employment areas.
    • Schedule 3 is the baseline to be used by municipalities. Lower forecasts for population, dwellings by type or employment are not permitted as this would lead to land supply issues which would lead to housing affordability issues and land shortages.
    • The Minister has initiated a review and update of the Distribution of Population and Employment for the GGH (Schedule 3), in accordance with policy 5.2.4.7 of A Place to Grow. The forecasts are being updated and extended to 2051 through a proposed amendment to the Plan.
    • For more detailed background information about the proposed updated growth forecasts and the methodology behind them, please view “Greater Golden Horseshoe: Growth Forecasts to 2051” available at: https://www.hemson.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/HEMSON-Schedule-3-Forecasts-FINAL-16JUN20.pdf.
    • In addition to the updated forecasts, a related policy change is proposed to specify that municipalities would use the forecasts in the Plan or higher forecasts determined through the municipal comprehensive review as part of their long-term planning work.
    • Another proposed change is an extension of the Plan horizon from 2041 to 2051 to ensure municipalities have sufficient land to support the fostering of complete communities, economic development, job creation and housing affordability. The new horizon is consistent with the long-range planning approach of previous growth plans and better aligns with the land supply requirements of the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020.
    • Under the Reference Forecast, the GGH is forecast to grow to close to 15 million people and 7 million jobs by 2051.
    • Proposed Amendment 1 also includes a proposed change to A Place to Grow policies related to mineral aggregate resources. The proposed changes would make it easier to establish new mineral aggregate operations closer to market throughout the GGH outside of the Greenbelt.
    • In light of the unique nature of each zone and to address the government’s objective of intensification around major transit station areas MTSA(MTSAs), Proposed Amendment 1 proposes to change an employment policy within A Place to Grow with respect to the planning of MTSAs within a Provincially Significant Employment Zone (PSEZ). Notably, the policy amendment would allow conversions of employment areas to non-employment uses within a provincially significant employment zone that is located within a MTSA. This proposed change would allow for mixed-use developments to be initiated faster around MTSAs.
    • Given the most recent changes to the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020, (PPS)proposed Amendment 1 proposes to change A Place to Grow policies to ensure continued alignment with the new PPS, which came into effect on May 1, 2020. 
    • The date by which municipalities must conform with the policies in A Place To Grow will remain July 1, 2022.

    OHBA would like to thank our members from DRHBA and BILD that volunteered on the various working groups including Tiago Do Couto, Matthew Cory, Jeannette Gillezeau, Gary Gregoris, Robyn Brown and others that have provided support, advice and assistance. With over 5 million more #homebelievers forecast to join Greater Golden Horseshoe communities by 2051 – we are going to need approximately 2 MILLION new homes to make their #homebeliever dreams a reality. There is still work to be done on the Growth Plan file, and OHBA looks forward to consulting with members to respond to these Ministry proposals.


  • June 18, 2020 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    On June 23, representatives from DRHBA will be meeting with Whitby staff to discuss the proposed Whitby Green Standards.

    A special council meeting has been called for July 20, in which staff are asking council to ratify the program.

    The Durham Region Home Builders' Association has strenuously objected to implementing the Whitby Green Standards in its current form, as it mandates building above and beyond the Ontario Building Code and the Planning Act.

    DRHBA sent separate letters to the committee and to council on May 11 outlining our concerns.  A follow up letter was sent on May 29, accompanied by a legal opinion from Leo Longo, a prominent municipal law attorney.  To date, DRHBA has received no response from the WGS committee addressing the Association's technical and legal concerns.

    As part of the Whitby Green Standards, builders and developers will be required to follow two checklists -  Plan of Subdivision Checklist and Site Plan Checklist.  The WGS committee is requesting that Tier 1 criteria be made mandatory, and in following years to make each of the additional three tiers mandatory as well.

    It should be noted that while there have been three stakeholder sessions, the specific criteria were not released until April 15, and there has been no discussion with the building and development industry on the criteria.

     If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Stacey at s.hawkins@drhba.com.



  • June 18, 2020 10:31 AM | Anonymous

    The City of Oshawa will be considering proposed Dust & Mud Control bylaws at its Monday, June 22 electronic council meeting at 9:30 a.m.

    The report CNCL-20-122 - Dust and Mud Control Related to Construction and Development Activities will be presented to council.  In it are the findings from the public consultation as well as draft bylaws to control dust and mud on adjacent properties and city roads.

    Three by-laws are proposed in the report:

    • A bylaw to control nuisance dust and mud
    • A bylaw to regulate the fouling of highways
    • A bylaw to amend general fees and charges bylaw 13-2003

    The bylaw to amend general fees and charges bylaw 13-2003 is proposing to add:

     Dust and Mud Control Cleanup (after confirmation of an order) Full recovery of all costs including but not limited to staff, policing, agency time, contracted services, equipment charges and overhead costs. 
     Fouling of Roads Cleanup (after confirmation of an order) Full recovery of all costs including but not limited to staff, policing, agency time, contracted services, equipment charges and overhead costs. 

    If you have an concerns about these proposed bylaw, please email Stacey at s.hawkins@drhba.com.


  • June 12, 2020 2:10 PM | Anonymous

    The Ontario Home Builders' Association has opened their Awards of Distinction 2020 for 2020.

    OHBA is going virtual this year, and you won't want to miss it!  It's a great opportunity to showcase your talent across the entire province.

    Entering is easy...simply visit www.ohbaaod.ca to enter your submissions.

    Early bird pricing ends on June 26th - so enter soon!



  • June 12, 2020 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    In a report to the General Government Committee, staff are recommending that the Town of Ajax proceed with indexing on development charges on July 1.

    The full report can be viewed here.

    The conclusion of the report is that residential and non-residential development charges levied by the Town of Ajax are being indexed by 2.9% in accordance with by-law 50-2018.

    This report will be presented at the Ajax Council meeting on June 15.




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