City building | December 7, 2022
The City of Mississauga has undertaken a complete overhaul of its development application review process. In a report to Council today, staff provided an overview of the steps the City will take to meet the new requirements of Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act.
The legislation, enacted in April 2022, introduces new timelines municipalities must follow when making decisions on major development applications such as official plan amendments, rezoning, and site plan applications. In addition, the legislation includes a penalty system requiring some, or all, of the development application fees collected by the City to be refunded if the new timelines are not met.
“Given all of the financial pressures on cities and taxpayers, we simply can’t afford to give back more than $7 million a year in application fees to the development community,” said Paul Mitcham, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer. “These fees are critical in offsetting the cost of reviewing the many detailed development applications that come into the city each year. Without these fees, the cost would have to be funded by taxpayers which is unfair and once again erodes the principle that growth should pay for growth.”
According to the legislation, municipalities across Ontario must approve or make a decision on development applications according to the following timelines:
“Over the past few months, our team has worked to ensure we meet these aggressive new timelines while maintaining the integrity of the process and principles of good planning,” said Andrew Whittemore, Commissioner, Planning and Building. “As we move forward, we will do what it takes to meet these timelines alongside our residents and the development industry, without sacrificing the integrity of well planned, safe and connected communities.”
The Province’s new approvals timelines will require a number of changes in how the City works with the development community, particularly in the period before a complete application is submitted to the City. Some of the changes include:
What Bill 109 Means for Mississauga Residents
The City is aiming to ensure community engagement remains part of the process despite the aggressive new timelines. Here are some of the changes to expect:
The City will begin to pilot these changes starting January 1, 2023 in order to meet the original timeframe outlined in the legislation. Last week, the government signaled its intention to delay the refund requirements set out in Bill 109 by six months, from January 1, 2023 to July 1, 2023.
A report on the City’s pilot – and any changes required – is expected to come before Council in the second quarter of 2023.
The province passed two major housing bills in 2022 that have implications for the City of Mississauga.