Two Significant Reports on the November 8, 2012 Planning and Growth Management Committee Agenda:
Proposed Amendments to the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005
The Provincial Policy Statement ("PPS") sets out the Province's policies respecting land use planning. The Planning Act requires that all planning-related decisions of municipal councils, planning boards, Ministries and ministry boards, commissions or agencies of the government, including the Ontario Municipal Board, be consistent with policy statements issued by the Province.
The current PPS came into effect on March 1, 2005 and is required by legislation to be reviewed every five years to determine whether updating amendments are required. The Province commenced the required five-year review on March 1, 2010 and after extensive stakeholder consultation and input, released a draft amended version of the PPS this fall for stakeholder review and comment until November 23, 2012.
New Employment Policies under the Toronto Official Plan 5-year Review
The long awaited staff report on proposed changes to Official Plan policies and designations for employment lands has been released and will be considered by the Planning and Growth Management Committee on November 8, 2012. Assuming that the Committee endorses the report for onward transmittal to Council for its endorsement, the report together with any specific recommendations of the Committee will be considered at the City Council meeting scheduled for November 27, 2012.
Three new designations are proposed to replace the existing single designation of Employment-Core Employment, General Employment and Retail Employment. Additional changes proposed include removing the differentiation between Employment Areas and Districts and deleting Avenue designations on employment lands.
Also included in the report are the City's preliminary assessments of 65 of the now 90 requests received to date to convert lands from an Employment designation to another designation or to add site-specific policies to permit additional non-employment uses on the property. The requests were considered against the conversion criteria in Section 22.214.171.124 of the provincial Growth Plan and the PPS. The remaining conversion requests and any new requests received during the consultation period will be the subject of further reporting prior to the statutory public meeting together with the results and recommendations arising from stakeholder consultation on the draft policies.
Next Steps-Employment Policies-Extensive Stakeholder Consultation
Staff is seeking Council's endorsement of the draft Official Plan Employment policies and preliminary assessments of the conversion requests included in the report as the basis of consultation over the winter. Planned consultation includes open house meetings, internet and social media engagement and potential TV showcase of issues, stakeholder interviews/roundtables, expert panel discussion, and internal departmental and external government consultation.
No specific date has been set for the statutory open house, public meeting or conclusion of the consultation process.
The Next Version of Toronto's Draft City-wide Zoning By-law
Meetings with stakeholders on various matters directed at the October 12, 2012 Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting and discussed in the current staff report have not yet been completed. Reporting on the outcome of these meetings will result in further recommended changes to the draft zoning by-law.
As the draft zoning by-law will undergo change until it is passed by City Council, it is important to monitor changes and analyze potential impacts relative to existing development permissions and to get on the record with concerns in order to preserve your appeal rights.
Key Dates-New Zoning By-law
Key dates after the November 8, 2012 Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting are as follows:
- January 30, 2013, statutory open house;
- February 13, 2013, statutory public meeting; and
- April/May, 2013, City Council passing the new zoning by-law followed by a 20 day appeal period.
Do not miss the opportunity to protect your appeal rights
Any changes to Official Plan policies and land use designations, permitted uses, maximum densities, height limits and other zoning performance standards may impact development permissions and the value of lands. The proposed transition provisions may not adequately protect your property rights.
Some key points that you may want to take into consideration, whether or not you are seeking to develop or redevelop land, are as follows:
- City staff have not undertaken a comprehensive review of how the new zoning impacts each parcel of land in Toronto; nor will they undertake this analysis for the new Official Plan provisions. The onus is on the landowners to stay informed and get involved;
- Any landowner who fails to express concerns or issues with the proposed new zoning or Official Plan policies prior to their passage by City Council will not be able to maintain an appeal of either document and risks not being added as a party to an appeal at the Ontario Municipal Board; and
- For sites not omitted from the new zoning-by-law or developments not otherwise exempted, after the new zoning by-law is passed and while it is under appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, the Chief Building Official is likely to treat the new zoning, as passed by City Council as "applicable law" when considering the issuance of building permits where new zoning is more restrictive than the existing zoning.
How Stikeman Elliott can help
Stikeman Elliott's municipal and land use planning team would be pleased to speak with you about the new zoning by-law and Official Plan policies and discuss strategies on how you can protect your land development investments and opportunities.
Our team can assist you with:
- Opportunities to participate in the City's development of the new zoning by-law and Official Plan policies;
- Examining the potential implications of changes to zoning and Official Plan policies and designations on your property; and
- Safeguarding appeal rights and advocating your property interests at meetings with City staff and politicians, public meetings, municipal Council and at the Ontario Municipal Board.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.