OHBA says new neighbours and existing communities deserve greater accountability and transparency from Ontario’s land-use planning and infrastructure financing system
Ontario Construction Report staff writer
The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) looks forward to responding to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s announced review of Ontario’s land-use planning/appeals system, development charges and other municipal fees that finance infrastructure projects across the province.
“The facts are, new neighbour taxes in the form of development charges, parkland levies, and other government imposed fees have been dramatically increasing across the province for the last 10 years and directly impacting housing affordability for Ontarians,” says OHBA CEO Joe Vaccaro. “This consultation is an opportunity for new neighbours, municipalities, the building and development industry and the province to make affordability and fairness the cornerstone of Ontario’s infrastructure financing system.”
The two separate, but concurrent provincial consultations will evaluate Ontario’s development charges system including other related municipal measures that levy costs on new neighbourhoods such as parkland dedication policies and section 37 density bonusing agreements. The second consultation will review Ontario’s land-use planning system and appeals process.
“Time and time again we see how difficult it is to get politics out of planning decisions,” Vaccaro said. “We need to have a fact-based discussion about how Ontario’s complex public planning system requires a nonpolitical, adjudicative tribunal. Without it, planning decisions will be undermined by political pressure. A non-partisan, adjudicative tribunal can ensure governing legislation and good planning principles are applied to bring complete and livable communities forward that will serve the needs of Ontario’s growing population, create economic opportunities and support infrastructure investments across the province.”
It is time to educate all participants in the public planning process – existing residents, future residents, new neighbours, municipalities, the building and development sector and the provincial government – as we work together to make housing affordable and attract jobs to Ontario, the OHBA news release said.