May 30, 2019
City of Mississauga staff has prepared a detailed analysis of the Province of Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan and Bill 108 More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 and its potential impact on Mississauga. The Bill introduces substantial changes to the City’s current financial tools used to support development.
On May 2, 2019, the Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing presented the Plan intended to increase the supply of new ownership and rental housing in Ontario. Bill 108 transforms Ontario’s land use planning system including changes to thirteen Acts, some new or updated regulations and changes to provincial planning policies.
“While we support the aim of this legislation, to bring new housing supply to market more quickly, it does so by lessening the burden on developers by reducing fees and approval,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “We have not seen any evidence that reducing fees and timelines for developers will result in the creation of more affordable housing or that savings will be passed along to consumers. In Mississauga, we have well over 20,000 housing units ready to be built, which doesn’t include the pre-zoned lands within the downtown core. Further, the long-held principle that ‘growth pays for growth’ would no longer apply, resulting in existing taxpayers and residents footing a larger share of the bill for new growth. I urge the government to consult more with municipalities on this important piece of legislation.”
“We are concerned this will result in a loss of Development Charge (DC) revenue to the City,” said Janice Baker, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer. “As well, the currently separate charges for cash-in-lieu of parkland, Section 37 (bonus zoning), and soft services development charges will now be combined into one `Community Benefit Charge’. Any reduction in funds as a result of this change will limit our ability to provide adequate park, recreation, library and other infrastructure. This is the very infrastructure that promotes health, social inclusion and drives quality of life in a community.”
The City Planning staff report details the proposed impacts – introduction of a Community Benefit Charge, changes to the Planning Act, changes to the administration of Development Charges and appeals of development applications, new regulations on inclusionary zoning and major transit station areas, and changes to how endangered species are classified.
“We are in the midst of implementing inclusionary zoning – a mechanism to designate a certain percentage (5% – 10%) of housing units as affordable,” said Andrew Whittemore, Commissioner of Planning and Building. “Bill 108 largely limits this power to areas designated by the Minister of Municipal Affairs through a community planning permit. Such a method is generally untested in Ontario.”
Whittemore further explained, “Timelines for development approvals have been shortened, which will lessen public consultation and put added administrative and financial pressures on planning staff. The current Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) model is being changed back to the former Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) model and there will be less opportunity for public input and greater powers for developers to appeal the planning decisions of Council.”
The City of Mississauga will be making a formal submission to the province in advance of the June 1, 2019 deadline for public consultation.
Bill 108 has passed second reading in the Ontario legislature. It has been referred to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy. The committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing on May 31st. If you wish to appear before the committee or make a written submission, more information can be found here: http://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/committees/justice-policy/parliament-42/notice-hearings.
Fact Sheet: How Bill 108 Will Impact Mississauga