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Spending of Section 37 and 42 Development Charges

sunnyraytoronto

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Seems RioCan, Metropia and Capita recently paid up on some of their Section 37 Community Benefit owing [for 11YV] - which is a requirement to get Building Permit (Building Permit issued on Mar 30, 2022 for "19 256342 STR 00 CP Conditional Permit - Partial Permit - Structural Framing" and "19 256342 PLB 00 PS Plumbing(PS)")

Of which $2,484,737 is going towards "Protecting Existing Housing and Creating Permanently Affordable Homes with Supports for Youth at 556 Bathurst Street" which was approved at City Council yesterday
 
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Seems RioCan, Metropia and Capita recently paid up on some of their Section 37 Community Benefit owing - which is a requirement to get Building Permit (Building Permit issued on Mar 30, 2022 for "19 256342 STR 00 CP Conditional Permit - Partial Permit - Structural Framing" and "19 256342 PLB 00 PS Plumbing(PS)")

Of which $2,484,737 is going towards "Protecting Existing Housing and Creating Permanently Affordable Homes with Supports for Youth at 556 Bathurst Street" which was approved at City Council yesterday

Obviously a laudable cause, but what relationship does 556 Bathurst Street have to Yorkville?

Not a fan of seeing builders push affordable housing or community commitments well away from the luxury developments they're building. Doing so undermines the goal of creating true mixed-income communities.
 
Obviously a laudable cause, but what relationship does 556 Bathurst Street have to Yorkville?

Not a fan of seeing builders push affordable housing or community commitments well away from the luxury developments they're building. Doing so undermines the goal of creating true mixed-income communities.

The only thing both 556 Bathurst and Yorkville have in common is they're both in Cllr Mike Layton's Ward 11 University-Rosedale. Section 37 Community Benefit can be on-site, off-site or cash-in-lieu,... but can only be spent within the same ward where the Development occurs.

In fairness to the Developer,... here it seems this was from Section 37 Community Benefit cash-in-lieu (meaning, it's not committed to any specific project which would have been City Planning's Final Report),... and the Toronto Star article mentions the 556 Bathurst project recently came to Cllr Layton seeking assistances,.... and Cllr Layton recently came across this chunk of un-committed Section 37 Community Benefit money (due prior to Building Permits being issued for this project). So technically; RioCan, Metropia and Capital never really pushed the Affordable Housing off-site elsewhere - they just paid their some of their Section 37 Community Benefit cash-in-lieu as agreed upon years ago,... and Cllr Layton found a worthy project which happens to be Affordable Housing for students (it could have been non-profit daycare, arts, community centre expansion, public library, etc,...) that could benefit now - and it just happens to be elsewhere in the Ward.

There are a few cases where Development proposals are near Ward boundary and would negatively impact nearby local residents in neighbouring Ward,.... sometimes if the two Councillor are on friendly terms, they might agree to share the Section 37 Community Benefit - but that's the exception not the rule. Original Section 37 Community Benefit agreement for original TTC Headquarters at 4050 Yonge had the Section 37 Community Benefit being distributed for projects on both side of Yonge Street - which is the Ward boundary of that area,... and some of it went 3km away into former Cllr Karen Stintz Bedford Park neighbourhood!
https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threa...28s-gupta-ibi-group.12571/page-6#post-1079526

Personally, I would much favour all Section 37 Community Benefit money (which adds about $15K to each unit) be spent on-site or within 500m to 1km of site when on-site isn't feasible.
 
Personally, I would much favour all Section 37 Community Benefit money (which adds about $15K to each unit) be spent on-site or within 500m to 1km of site when on-site isn't feasible.

I would be content to somewhat split the difference.

That is to say, clearly not all areas benefit equally from S.37/42 funding.

While that is somewhat fair in terms of providing some benefit the community affected by any given development to to service the demand for public services created by same, it does lead to a problem in that communities that don't attract
much development (relatively) end up w/lesser infrastructure in many cases.

I think the idea that money earmarked directly to meet local needs be spent very locally (within 1km of site) is entirely reasonable; but I don't mind the idea that some portion of the money be hived off to meet the needs of other communities.

But in that case, I don't think it should be tied to the ward at all; it should be city-wide; there should be no councillor discretion, and to be fair, it ought to go exclusively to NIAs (neighbourhood improvement areas) which have inordinate need
and fewer resources.

What percent can be hived off is a fair point of debate, to which I don't think there's any clear right answer. But a figure can be reasonably chosen.
 
I would be content to somewhat split the difference.

That is to say, clearly not all areas benefit equally from S.37/42 funding.

In Toronto, all Development Charges & Fees averages to about $76,800 (about 11 per cent of the cost) - all passed onto the buyers! This includes Section 42 Parkland Dedication and Section 37 Community Benefit which typically amounts to about $15K-20K per unit
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/rea...er-development-charges-pits-toronto-province/

The key purpose of Section 37 Community Benefit is to offset the negative impacts of the (re-)development (traffic, crowded school, crowded parks, less sunlight due to shadows, etc,..) by compensating Local Residents most adversely affected with new infrastructure for the local community such that their level of neighbourhood utility/satisfaction remains constant - before and after the redevelopment. That's why rule stating that Section 37 Community Benefit can only be spent within a radius of only 500m or 1km from site makes sense.

Section 37 Community Benefit is controlled by the local Ward Councillor,.. some of whom has a habit of distributing Section 37 Community Benefit into areas where his/her supporters are,... and often timed just before election,... allowing the incumbent to literally buy votes. Cllr Wong-Tam's ward is sitting on about $100 million of cash in Section 37 Community Benefit money!

The current Provincial government feels that there's too much Section 37 Community Benefit money,... and have lowered the rate to less than half under the new Community Benefit Charges - further, if any Section 37 Community Benefit cash-in-lieu isn't spent within 2 years, it goes back to the Developer! Will the Developer refund that money back to the buyers,... or pocket it?!?!

Yes, there are other communities that don't attract redevelopments, that are in desperate need of more/newer community infrastructures (non-profit daycare, public libraries, community centres, etc,...),... and it's relatively wasteful seeing a high-density community spend Section 37 Community Benefit money on another Subway Entrance with Public Art that the local residents won't even use because regardless of which direction they're coming from or even which side of the street - they'll have to pass by another subway entrance to reach this new Subway entrance!

If other Communities/Wards want more Section 37 Community Benefit money,... then they should welcome more ReDevelopments with higher densities and height - which triggers more Section 37 Community Benefit money,... otherwise, they'll be stuck on a to-do waiting list of city infrastructure improvements from a City short of revenue
 
Section 37 Community Benefit is controlled by the local Ward Councillor,.. some of whom has a habit of distributing Section 37 Community Benefit into areas where his/her supporters are,... and often timed just before election,... allowing the incumbent to literally buy votes. Cllr Wong-Tam's ward is sitting on about $100 million of cash in Section 37 Community Benefit money!

What this speaks to, that drives me nuts, is that Planning/Transportation/Parks should have a master list of projects in every ward that are assumed to go head only with partial/full support from S.37/42 / CBA

The list should exist before the money arrives, rather than have it sit around waiting for someone to come up with a worthy cause.

Here's KWT's ward for another few weeks:

1649443025351.png


Watch me disappear the money:

Streetscaping:

Fully fund Ryerson Campus Masterplan streetscapes
Begin to fund Yonge Street revitalization from Carlton to Davenport
Fully fund Front Street - Great Street streetscape project
Fully fund Bayview Avenue - scenic great street within the ward,

Parks:

Fund purchase of parking site on north/east sides of Metropolitan United for park space
Fund development/restoration of the above and existing greenspace here
Fund full revitalization of Allen Gardens, including all pathways, entrance/exit landscapes and return a grand fountain as centrepiece
Expand parallel to Yonge Parks, develop Green P lot at Wellelsey Yonge as park.

Housing:

Replace the shelter capacity of Maxwell Meighan at Sherbourne/Queen with a equal capacity deeply affordable units
Redevelop one existing shelter site as 60-bed modular housing
Redevelop/revitalize Dan Harrison complex

Long Term Care
Redevelop Fudger House
Develop new Long-Term Care home at Grace Hospital site w/Redeveloped hospice care facilities

****

There I've spent the entire 100M and then some......
 
What this speaks to, that drives me nuts, is that Planning/Transportation/Parks should have a master list of projects in every ward that are assumed to go head only with partial/full support from S.37/42 / CBA

The list should exist before the money arrives, rather than have it sit around waiting for someone to come up with a worthy cause.

Likewise, in my Ward 18 Willowdale, Cllr Filion is sitting on $25million cash in Section 37 Community Benefit money,... revelled during 2018 election and likely much higher now with all the new redevelopment construction projects.

You came up with a very thorough to-do wish-list that CityPlanning/TransportationService/Parks&Rec should have and constantly keep updated,... but that's not how it works or should work!


A few months after a Development Application comes in,... the local City Councillor sets up a Community Consultation meeting on the Development proposals,.. why?
- most local resident attend to bitch and complain about the development proposal being too tall, too dense, too many new residents, too much traffic congestion, local schools being too crowded, too much shadow, losing their (god-given) view,... this really does nothing except give the local Councillor some more leverage in negotiation
- once in a while a smart local resident or two would complain about something like:
=== not enough local affordable daycare space - the waiting list is so long the baby will be in kindergarten by the time space is available! Here, the local Councillor can direct Section 37 Community Benefit money towards Non-Profit DayCare facility
=== the nearby park is too crowded and dangerous for little kids, being chased around by unleashed dogs - the local Councillor can direct some of the Section 37 Community Benefit money toward fenced in off-leash dog park and new Children playground equipment
=== while the closest public library requires a long detour across the valley/highway interchange - here, the local Councillor can direct some Section 37 Community Benefit money towards a new local public library

And that's the real purpose of Community Consultation Meeting for Development Proposals,... it's not for locals to complain about everything they can think of,... but for the local Councillor and City Planning to figure out what projects the Community wants done with the Section 37 Community Benefit and Section 42 Parkland Dedication money! It's the Local Community that should decide,... not that to-do wish-list from CityPlanning/TransportationService/Parks&Rec - that's the real purpose of Community Consultation Meetings!

By the time a Development Application is Officially Submitted, it's after about 6 months of consultations between Developer and CityPlanning,.... and it's basically a done deal - sure it could be chopped by a storey or two, only to have the podium fatten up so FSI density and unit count remain about the same as before! Complaining about lost of view or whatever is a waste of time,... the smart folks at Community Consultation Meetings complain about what their community needs and give the Councillor the solution to get it done via Section 37 Community Benefit & Section 42 Parkland Dedication money from this project,... otherwise, that money disappear and go elsewhere in the Ward.

Here, the local residents never used up all the Section 37 Community Benefit money from this project - they left money on the table! (could have asked for addition to Yorkville Public Library or Toronto Reference Library, new park amenities for Village of Yorkdale Park or improved sports facilities like skating trail at Ramsden Park),... so now $2.5million of it is being dispensed by Cllr Layton to affordable housing for students 2km away. And in the future when the new buyers move in here,... and start complaining about the lack of local City amenities,... wait til they hear some of the Section 37 Community Benefit money which they paid for - went 2km away to another part of the Ward that won't likely benefit them.
 
Likewise, in my Ward 18 Willowdale, Cllr Filion is sitting on $25million cash in Section 37 Community Benefit money,... revelled during 2018 election and likely much higher now with all the new redevelopment construction projects.

You came up with a very thorough to-do wish-list that CityPlanning/TransportationService/Parks&Rec should have and constantly keep updated,... but that's not how it works or should work!


A few months after a Development Application comes in,... the local City Councillor sets up a Community Consultation meeting on the Development proposals,.. why?
- most local resident attend to bitch and complain about the development proposal being too tall, too dense, too many new residents, too much traffic congestion, local schools being too crowded, too much shadow, losing their (god-given) view,... this really does nothing except give the local Councillor some more leverage in negotiation
- once in a while a smart local resident or two would complain about something like:
=== not enough local affordable daycare space - the waiting list is so long the baby will be in kindergarten by the time space is available! Here, the local Councillor can direct Section 37 Community Benefit money towards Non-Profit DayCare facility
=== the nearby park is too crowded and dangerous for little kids, being chased around by unleashed dogs - the local Councillor can direct some of the Section 37 Community Benefit money toward fenced in off-leash dog park and new Children playground equipment
=== while the closest public library requires a long detour across the valley/highway interchange - here, the local Councillor can direct some Section 37 Community Benefit money towards a new local public library

And that's the real purpose of Community Consultation Meeting for Development Proposals,... it's not for locals to complain about everything they can think of,... but for the local Councillor and City Planning to figure out what projects the Community wants done with the Section 37 Community Benefit and Section 42 Parkland Dedication money! It's the Local Community that should decide,... not that to-do wish-list from CityPlanning/TransportationService/Parks&Rec - that's the real purpose of Community Consultation Meetings!

By the time a Development Application is Officially Submitted, it's after about 6 months of consultations between Developer and CityPlanning,.... and it's basically a done deal - sure it could be chopped by a storey or two, only to have the podium fatten up so FSI density and unit count remain about the same as before! Complaining about lost of view or whatever is a waste of time,... the smart folks at Community Consultation Meetings complain about what their community needs and give the Councillor the solution to get it done via Section 37 Community Benefit & Section 42 Parkland Dedication money from this project,... otherwise, that money disappear and go elsewhere in the Ward.

Here, the local residents never used up all the Section 37 Community Benefit money from this project - they left money on the table! (could have asked for addition to Yorkville Public Library or Toronto Reference Library, new park amenities for Village of Yorkdale Park or improved sports facilities like skating trail at Ramsden Park),... so now $2.5million of it is being dispensed by Cllr Layton to affordable housing for students 2km away. And in the future when the new buyers move in here,... and start complaining about the lack of local City amenities,... wait til they hear some of the Section 37 Community Benefit money which they paid for - went 2km away to another part of the Ward that won't likely benefit them.

I do know how the process works; we will have to disagree on how it should work.

By all means give the community input if there are 2 or more equally desirable projects on the already conceived lists; but I'm not prepared to subscribe to the idea that money should be frittered away on the pet project of the squeakiest wheel.

I will add though, I think that the way to rectify the periodic disconnect on minor projects in a given area that may occur is participatory budgeting through the budget process;
this was piloted in three areas already, I thought quite successfully where you let the community choose how to spend the minor improvements money that's earmarked for each district of parks/planning.

Would you rather add a DOLA or a Community Garden?; would you rather a water-bottle filling station in each of 3 parks or would prefer ping pong tables instead?

That can be a good way to allocate 25-50k in an area.

But when six or seven figures comes along, I don't think it should be whimsically allocated.
 
Sunnyray writes, in part: "Cllr Wong-Tam's ward is sitting on about $100 million of cash in Section 37 Community Benefit money!"

Sunny, can you tell me where one might get an accurate count of such funds. I looked arouind online and could find nothing. Thank you.
 
This is the most recent report, I think, which covered the balance of S.37 and S.42 through 2019 (report is dated 2021)

Thanks very much. Very useful.

Interesting how much $ has been given to the Church St TDSB, in light of "improvements." Another $190k in addition to the $1.8 million to construct a "light fence" (a project about which I cannot get access since it costs a lot of $ to get the files via "Freedom of Information). I can't get over how much of Section 37 is simply a slush fund for Councillors. Oh yes, it's all above board; but if you don't have the Councillor's ear, you're not going anywhere.
 
Thanks very much. Very useful.

You're welcome

Interesting how much $ has been given to the Church St TDSB, in light of "improvements." Another $190k in addition to the $1.8 million to construct a "light fence" (a project about which I cannot get access since it costs a lot of $ to get the files via "Freedom of Information). I can't get over how much of Section 37 is simply a slush fund for Councillors. Oh yes, it's all above board; but if you don't have the Councillor's ear, you're not going anywhere.

The money in that report is broken down by ward number, so up to that year, you have a good notion of what money belongs to which councillor and how much is allocated.

In the case of KWT (now gone from Council) you're looking for ward 13 totals, which are in that report.

***

Regardless of one's position on any given councillor, I would encourage you to try to have a positive relationship w/any given office. Its usually do-able, even if you disagree on one or two items.

If its not possible, befriend people in the bureaucracy. Many are more than happy to share what really is public info. They just have to vaguely like you and not worry that what you're asking of them will get them in trouble.
 
Oh, I agree, Northern re: being positive etc. But that got us, in the co-op I live in, nowhere. I'm in City Park, across from Church St PS, and we have so many needs for people who live there who are there by dint of the City of Toronto agencies putting them there. So it's a kind of a poke in the eye to look out from our co-op at a $1.8 million waste of S37 funds (aka tax dollars). I tried on occasion to contact the office to get S37 funds to construct a very badly needed dog park (in light of all the condos going up in the area and the vast increase in dogs), but nada, no reply. KWT, whose vocation is a realtor, never met a condo she didn't like.
 

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