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Ford government targets Growth Plan controls against sprawl

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In Agriculture
Jan 16th, 2019
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AWARE News Network

The following are the changes being proposed for the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, affecting settlement area boundary expansions, intensification and density targets, Official Plan Amendments and much more. For full details, follow the links to the Environmental Registry of Ontario.

These changes, posted yesterday (January 15 2019), align with those in the proposed Bill 66, which aims to set aside transparency requirements and promote sprawl. The deadline for comment is February 28 2019.

013-4504 Proposed Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017
“The proposed changes address implementation challenges with the Plan that were identified by the municipal and development sectors and other stakeholders. These changes are intended to provide greater flexibility and address barriers to building homes, creating jobs, attracting investments and putting in place the right infrastructure while protecting the environment.”
These changes would apply across six broad categories:
-Employment Planning
A new designation system to “appropriately” protect employment lands “while unlocking land for residential development.”
-Settlement Area Boundary Expansions
Allowing municipalites to decide on changes to settlement area boundaries so as to unlock land faster
-Small Rural Settlements
To recognize small rural settlements as areas that are not expected to face significant growth pressures
-Natural Heritage and Agricultural Systems
Changes to regional mapping systems
-Intensification and Density Targets
New minimum intensification and density targets
-Major Transit Station Areas
Speeding up the determination of major transit station areas so that zoning and development can occur sooner.

013-4505 Transitional Matters – Growth Plans
-Delete provisions added to the regulation on June 28, 2017 to support implementation of a phased-in designated greenfield area density target
-Delete provisions added to the regulation on May 4, 2018 to support implementation of a standard method to calculate the amount of land needed for development to the horizon of the Growth Plan, known as a land needs assessment
-Opportunity to have minister approve official plans or official plan amendments that have been adopted by a municipality and are currently under appeal.

013-4506 Proposed Framework for Provincially Significant Employment Zones
-Identification of provincially significant employment zones that would receive enhanced protection for employment uses.
-Changing the policy framework for protecting employment areas by allowing employment area conversions to be approved ahead of the next municipal comprehensive review
-In list government attached to this section, the only Simcoe County area mentioned is: Alliston Hwy 89/ County Rd 10 (Employment areas surrounding the Honda Assembly Plant).

013-4507 Exemption from Approval – Official Plan Amendments
-Flexibility for municipalities on mapping requirements for Official Plan Amendments regarding agriculture or natural heritage.

Note: The ministry has prepared a draft amended growth plan that is meant to show how the growth plan would read.

Media coverage

New Tecumseth Free Press 

Globe and Mail 

Hamilton Spectator 

Ontario government news release :

Ontario to Help Increase Housing Supply, Attract Investment and Protect Jobs in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

Proposed Changes to Growth Plan Posted for Public Comment

From the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing January 15 2019

The Ontario government is helping to increase housing supply, attract investment and protect jobs in the Greater Golden Horseshoe by proposing changes to the region’s Growth Plan.

These changes would make it faster and easier to build housing for the growing number of people who will live and work in the region in the next 20 years. The changes would allow municipalities and developers to work together to build communities that address local needs and regional priorities.

“We believe there are too many barriers standing in the way of creating housing and attracting investment in the region,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “That is why we are proposing changes to the region’s growth plan to increase housing supply and bring down costs. Our government for the people is committed to ensuring Ontario remains the best place to own or rent a home, to work and to invest.”

With the changes, local communities would be better able to:

Build more housing and businesses around transit that supports growing areas;
Attract investment, encourage businesses to create and retain jobs; and,
Simplify growth planning in rural areas to create more housing.
The proposed changes build on feedback we heard from the business, research and development sectors, municipalities and others during detailed consultations last fall, including a growth planning forum attended by over 200 people.

Details of the proposed changes will be available on the Environmental Registry of Ontario and the Ontario Regulatory Registry for public comment for 45 days.

Quick Facts
The Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) is home to 25 per cent of Canada’s population (2016).
By 2041, the region is expected to house 13.5 million people and 6.3 million jobs — an increase of approximately 4 million people and 85 per cent of the province’s population growth.
The current vacancy rate in Toronto is close to one per cent, whereas two to three per cent is generally considered to represent a balanced rental market.
The GGH is the economic engine of Ontario and the country, generating more than 25 per cent of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product.
The GGH is the fourth largest region in North America (after Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles) and is made up of 110 municipalities.
Background Information
Proposed Changes to Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan

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