March 2020
Government Proposes Regulations Relating to Community Benefits Authority

2020-03-02 11:17:53 AM

Last week, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark announced consultations on the proposed regulations relating to the Community Benefits Authority. The proposals are made under the Planning Act, the Development Charges Act, and the Building Code Act.

Brought about in Bill 108, Schedule 12 of the Bill, once proclaimed, establishes a new authority under the Planning Act for municipalities to charge for community benefits for land development or redevelopment. The funds from this are meant to fund municipal infrastructure needed to support new development, such as acquiring land for parks.

The proposals will be available for comment until March 30th. To comment, please click here.

Below is a summary of the proposed regulations:

1. Required Content of a Community Benefits Charge Strategy

Before passing a community benefits charge by-law, a municipality must prepare a community benefits charge strategy that identifies the items a municipality intents to fund through CBCs. The strategy must also comply with any requirements prescribed in regulation relating to the content that a strategy should address.

It is proposed that a municipality would need to include the following content in their strategy:

  • Anticipated type, amount and location of development or redevelopment that would be subject to a CBC;

  • Anticipated increase in the need for a specific community service that is the result of a new or redevelopment;

  • A parks plan examining the need for parkland in the municipality;

  • The amount of parkland per person currently being provided in the municipality, and if this is planned to increase, decrease or stay the same;

  • The capital costs associated with the increased need for a specific community service;

  • The excess capacity that exists in those specific services;

  • Whether the increased provision of the specified services would also serve existing residents; and

  • Any capital grants, subsidies, or contributions from other levels of government or other sources like donations that are anticipated to be made to support those specific services.

2. Services Eligible to be Funded Through Development Charges

Section 2(4) of the Development Charges Act lists services that are eligible to be funded through development charges. The services eligible include water supply services, waste water services, storm water drainage and control services, services related to a highway as defined in the Municipal Act or City of Toronto Act, electrical power services, policing services, ambulance services, fire protection services, transit services, and waste diversion services. This has yet to be proclaimed.

It is proposed that the following services be added in regulation to subsection 2(4) of the Act:

  • Public libraries, including library materials for circulation, reference or information purposes;

  • Long-term care;

  • Parks development, such as playgrounds (not the acquisition of land for parks);

  • Public health; and

  • Recreation, such as arenas.

These proposed services would be ineligible to be funded through CBCs.

3. Percentage of Land Value for Determining a Maximum CBC

Under Bill 108, there is a mechanism in place to determine the maximum community benefits charge payable for any particular development. The CBC payable cannot exceed the amount determine determined for a prescribed percentage to the value of the land under development.

It is proposed the percentages of land value be structured as:

  • Single-tier municipalities: 15%

  • Lower-tier municipalities: 10%

  • Upper-tier municipalities: 5%

The value of the land would be calculated as of the valuation date, which is the day before the building permit is issued. There would also need to be a connection between the CBC levied and the increased need for community services relating to the new development.

4. Timeline to Transition to the New CBC Regime

It is proposed that the date for municipalities to transition to the CBC regime would be one year after the date the proposed CBC regulation comes into effect.

The date would be prescribed in regulation under the Development Charges Act and would also be the deadline for establishing a community benefits charge strategy and by-law to charge for the capital costs of services funded through the CBCs.

This deadline is different to what the government first proposed, which was a transition deadline of January 1st, 2021. 

5. CBC By-Law Notice

Under the recently passed Bill 138, the Planning Act was amended to allow a municipality’s CBC by-law to be appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). When passing the by-law, municipalities would be require to provide notice to the public.

It is proposed that the following notice provisions be required:

  • Notice given through newspaper or to every landowner in the area covered by the by-law through personal service, fax, mail or email

  • Notice provided by personal service, fax, mail or email to individuals specifically requesting a notice, the clerk of the lower or upper-tier municipality, and secretary of every school board having jurisdiction in the area covered by the by-law

  • Facilitate public awareness of the passage by:

    • A statement that Council has passed a CBC by-law;

    • A statement setting out when it was passed;

    • A statement that an individual or public body may appeal the by-law to the LPAT by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the municipality. The notice would include the objection and the reasons supporting the objection;

    • A statement setting out the last day for appealing the by-law;

    • An explanation of the charges imposed by the by-law;

    • A description of the lands to which the by-law applies, a key map showing the lands to where the by-law applies, or an explanation as to why no description or key map is provided; and

    • An explanation of where and when persons may examine a copy of the by-law.

The date the notice would have been deemed to have been given would be:

  • The newspaper publishing date, if the notice is published by a newspaper.

  • The date the fax is sent, if the notice is faxed.

  • The date the email is sent, if the notice is emailed.

  • The date the notice is mailed, if the notice is mailed.

6. Minimum Interest Rate for CBC Refunds Where a By-Law has been Successfully Appealed

It is proposed that the minimum interest rate a municipality would be required to pay on amounts refunded after successful appeals would be the Bank of Canada rate on the date the by-law comes into force.

Alternatively, if the municipality’s by-law allows, the minimum interest rate would be the Bank of Canada rate updated on the first business day of every January, April, July, and October. 

7. Building Code Applicable Law

It is proposed that the Building Code Act be amended to add the CBC authority to the list of items under its Definition of Applicable Law. This would allow a way to ensure the payment of a CBC prior to a building permit being issued.

For more information, please see below:

Proposed Regulatory Matters Pertaining to Community Benefits Authority under the Planning Act, the
Development Charges Act, and the Building Code Act

AMCTO: Ontario Government Passes Bill 108

AMCTO: Government Passes Bill 138


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