News   Jul 12, 2024
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OMB Reform

I'm interested to see how they make it easier for developers without upsetting our rampant NIMBYism.

My guess is it will be a disaster. Because most things this government touches turns to shit.
 
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The Ontario government is turning back the clock on how development disputes are decided in the province — reverting to the old Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) rules under the newer Local Planning Appeal Tribunal’s (LPAT) name.

The changes are part of a sweeping piece of legislation announced Thursday as the government’s Housing Supply Action plan that Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark says will create more homes, including a more diverse mix of housing, to improve affordability.

 
The OMB is being brought back by the Province among other sweeping changes such as:
  • The EA Act is being modernized “to focus on projects considered to be higher risk and exempting other lower risk developments”
  • Section 37 and parkland dedication funds are being eliminated
  • The Ontario Building Code would be revised to eliminate the requirement for builders to install electrical vehicle charging stations in new homes.
  • Development charges exemptions and deferrals for the development of rental and non-profit housing
  • The province taking broader jurisdiction over planning around major transit stations and some employment zones.

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/20..._id=OntarioNews&utm_content=OMBOntarioChanges

Created a thread for discussion so as not to derail other threads
 
It seems to be part of a larger package 'targeting' housing affordability- I know I'll be trawling Twitter to figure out if this is a good change or not.

The proposed rule changes are supposed to make it faster and cheaper for developers to bring new homes to the market and easier for homeowners to build secondary suites such as basement apartments.

Clark said the government’s proposal will make it easier for people to live closer to their jobs, speed up the development approval process and address the shortage of missing middle homes — smaller apartment buildings and townhouses — that provide an alternative to traditional detached houses and highrises.
Among the government’s other proposed changes, Section 37 and parkland dedication funds, the money municipalities charge developers for local improvements, would be rolled into a single new charge that would also include municipal costs for soft services such as libraries and community centres and the recovery of waste diversion costs. Those changes would come under the auspices of a new Community Benefits Authority.

Secondary suites would be exempt from development charges in new homes to create an incentive to develop more of those units. Development charges also would be deferred for the development of rental and non-profit housing. Municipalities will be required to allow a secondary suite in secondary buildings such as coach houses, laneway homes and garages.

The province would have broader jurisdiction over planning around major transit stations and some employment zones. It would fast-track housing around transit and allow more housing around stable employment zones by allowing mixed-use development in some locations that were previously reserved for office and industrial building.

The Environmental Assessment Act would be modernized to focus on developments considered to be higher risk and exempting about 350 lower risk projects such as bike lanes.

Changes to the growth plan to take effect May 16 would simplify minimum intensification and density targets and streamline the process for increasing land supply by adjusting settlement area boundaries.

There will also be more adjudicators for Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board to clear a backlog of cases there.


 
Reverting back to the OMB rules was one of the very few things that I was looking forward to with this government. The LPAT rules crafted by the MMAH under the Liberal government were very poorly thought through.

Glad that this moment has finally arrived. Now I would be happy to get off DoFo's wild ride.
 
Secondary suites would be exempt from development charges in new homes to create an incentive to develop more of those units. Development charges also would be deferred for the development of rental and non-profit housing. Municipalities will be required to allow a secondary suite in secondary buildings such as coach houses, laneway homes and garages.

Man, in one fell swoop, DoFo's government has actually done more for affordable housing than the Liberal government ever did. I'll be damned.

Among the government’s other proposed changes, Section 37 and parkland dedication funds, the money municipalities charge developers for local improvements, would be rolled into a single new charge that would also include municipal costs for soft services such as libraries and community centres and the recovery of waste diversion costs. Those changes would come under the auspices of a new Community Benefits Authority.
This is major. Will be required to look into the details. I am not optimistic on this one, though it will provide more certainty for developers when negotiating with the city.

The province would have broader jurisdiction over planning around major transit stations and some employment zones. It would fast-track housing around transit and allow more housing around stable employment zones by allowing mixed-use development in some locations that were previously reserved for office and industrial building.
Changes to employment lands could lead to Houston-esque scenarios. I wonder if the market will take. It probably will.
 
"Section 37 and parkland dedication funds are being eliminated"

I'm not opposed to all the changes, but this is absolutely shameful. That money is 100% 'for the people'. Eliminating it is 100% 'for the corporate developers'.

For the record, section 37 permits the City to authorize increases in permitted height and/or density through the zoning bylaw in return for community benefits. In short, if the developer wants extra height/density (in other words, more $$$ by allowing them to build more stuff) then they can get it but they have to chip in some of that to developing nearby parks, art, bike lanes, or infrastructure such as the ferry terminal. By removing it, you're just letting the developer build higher/denser without having to share any of that extra $$$ with the community.
 
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The province isn't getting rid of section 37 or parkland fees, as far as I can tell. It's setting a fee structure for them and then including those fees in a single development charge.

Though, I personally wouldn't have an issue getting rid of them. The community benefit of new housing should be the housing created, and adding more fees and charges for community benefits or inclusionary zoning or what-have-you just increase the cost of market housing, the exact opposite of what we should be doing to lower housing costs.
 
This is also a pretty big change. Appeals of heritage designations will now go through LPAT rather than the Conservation Review Board:

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