City Council has endorsed a staff report that provides feedback to the Government of Ontario on proposed changes to several provincial planning acts.
On February 28, 2020 the Province released proposed changes to the Development Charges Act, the Planning Act and Ontario Building Code Act in order to implement a new Community Benefit Charge (CBC). The proposed regulations are part of the omnibus Bill 108, More Homes More Choices Act, 2019 which was introduced in May 2019 and received Royal Assent on June 6, 2019. The regulations were open for public comment until April 20, 2020. City staff submitted comments and recommendations.
The proposed Community Benefits Charge (CBC) will combine three existing City revenue streams into one charge. The CBC would take the place of parkland dedication and cash-in-lieu, certain soft service development charges and density bonusing. The CBC is proposed to be capped at 10 per cent of land value for the City of Mississauga and 5 per cent for Region of Peel.
“The principle of growth paying for growth has always been the foundation of how we build our City,” said Mayor Crombie. “The proposed Community Benefit Charge could result in us not having the powers and resources needed to build complete communities without using significant tax dollars to do so. Those who develop in our City have an obligation to contribute their fair share to the new infrastructure that is needed – parks, roads, water and much more – so that existing taxpayers don’t have to pay for new growth. Cities know what needs to be built and where; we see the entire City, not just one development. We need the power to build a complete, healthy City where everyone can afford to live, work and play.”
The proposed CBC regulations will make it harder for the City to acquire physical land for parks from developers, particularly in high density areas. It will also be more difficult for the City to fund affordable housing, public art, cultural infrastructure and other services which were previously funded under density bonusing through Section 37 of the Planning Act.
“At a time when we are grappling with the unprecedented financial impacts of COVID-19, the proposed Community Benefit Charge will leave Council even more difficult decisions,” said Janice Baker, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer. “We need a sustainable revenue stream that ensures the necessary infrastructure to support growth is fully and fairly funded.”
Staff forwarded the report to the Environmental Registry of Ontario by the deadline of April 20, 2020. A Council-endorsed version of this report, along with additional comments from Council, will be sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for their consideration. A copy will be added to the City’s webpage on Bill 108 for reference.