July 2019
Government Proposing Changes to the Provincial Policy Statement

2019-07-22 10:48:03 AM

As directed in the government’s More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is proposing changes to the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) – a consolidated statement of the government’s policies on land use planning.

The changes proposed would work with other changes to the land use planning system, including the Planning Act through Bill 108 and A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Municipal governments are the primary implementers of the PPS through the policies in their local official plans, zoning by-laws, and other planning related decisions.

The deadline for submitting comments is October 21st, 2019. To submit a comment, please click here.

The government is proposing the following policy changes:

Increasing Housing Supply and Mix

  • Increase land supply requirements that municipalities must meet:

    • Increasing planning horizon from 20 to 25 years

    • Increasing housing land supply from 10 to 12 years

    • Allow higher minimum requirement for serviced residential land (5 years) for upper and single-tier municipalities

  • Update provincial guidance to support land budgeting (i.e. Projection Methodology);

  • Increase flexibility for municipalities related to the phasing of development and compact form;

  • Add flexibility to the process for settlement area boundary expansions (e.g. allow minor adjustments subject to specific tests, highlight that study requirements should be proportionate to the size/scale of development);

  • Require transit-supportive development and prioritize intensification, including potential air rights development and proximity to transit, such as corridors and stations;

  • Support the development of housing to meet current and future housing needs and add reference to housing options;

  • Support municipalities in achieving affordable housing targets by requiring alignment with Housing and Homelessness Plans; and

  • Broaden PPS policies to enhance support for development of long-term care homes 

Protecting the Environment and Public Safety

  • Enhance direction to prepare for impacts of a changing climate;

  • Enhance stormwater management policies to protect water and support climate resiliency;

  • Promote the on-site local reuse of excess soil;

  • Maintain current policies related to natural and human made hazards;

  • Maintain current policies that require municipalities in southern Ontario to identify natural heritage systems and provide flexibility as to how to achieve this outcome; and

  • Maintain Greenbelt protections.

Reducing Barriers and Costs

  • Require municipalities to take action to fast-track development applications for certain proposals (e.g. housing);

  • Allow mineral aggregate operations to use rehabilitation plans to demonstrate that extraction will have no negative impacts;

  • Align policies and definition of cultural heritage with recent changes to the Ontario Heritage Act;

  • Refocus PPS energy policies to support a broad range of energy types and opportunities for increased energy supply;

  • Direct large ground-mounted solar facilities away from prime agricultural and speciality crop areas; and

  • Make minor changes to streamline development approvals and support burden reduction

Supporting Rural, Northern, and Indigenous Communities

  • Allow flexibility for communities by clarifying perceived barriers to sewage and water servicing policies for lot creation and development in rural settlement areas;

  • Enhance municipal engagement with Indigenous communities on land use planning to help inform decision-making, build relationships and address issues in the approvals process; and

  • Enhance agricultural protections to support critical food production and the agricultural sector

Supporting Certainty and Economic Growth

  • Encourage municipalities to facilitate conditions for economic investment, and review/update and assess locally-identified employment areas to ensure designations are appropriate;

  • Provide municipalities with greater control over employment area conversions to support development and job creation that suits the current and future local context; and

  • Provide stronger protection for major facilities, such as manufacturing and industrial uses where non-employment uses are planned nearby (i.e. buffering uses from new sensitive uses).

Based on the proposed PPS changes, the government is specifically looking for feedback on the following:

  • Do the proposed policies effectively support goals related to increasing housing supply, creating and maintaining jobs, and red tape reduction while continuing to protect the environment, farmland, and public health and safety?

  • Do the proposed policies strike the right balance? Why or why not?

  • How do these policies take into consideration the views of Ontario communities?

  • Are there any other policy changes that are needed to support key priorities for housing, job creation, and streamlining of development approvals?

  • Are there other tools that are needed to help implement the proposed policies?

For more information, please see below:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing: Provincial Policy Statement

Environmental Registry of Ontario: Provincial Policy Statement Review – Proposed Policies

AMCTO: Ontario Government Passes Bill 108


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