Open House and Statutory Public Meeting for Toronto's Draft City-wide Zoning By-law

A statutory open house on the revised draft zoning by-law will be held on February 6, 2013 in the rotunda of Metro Hall, 55 John Street between 4-8 pm.

A January 22, 2013 final staff report on proposed amendments to the November 8, 2012 version of the draft zoning by-law resulting from staff meetings with various stakeholders, will be considered at the statutory public meeting to be held by the Planning and Growth Management Committee on February 13, 2013. Recommended amendments relate to, among other matters, places of worship, adult entertainment-type uses and holistic service-type uses, crematoriums, drive-through facilities and group homes. Changes are also proposed to various zoning maps to reflect corrections and to exempt properties under the transition protocol for which site plan and zoning by-law amendment applications were filed between September 14 and December 31, 2012.

As the draft zoning by-law will undergo change until it is passed by City Council, it is important to monitor changes and analyze potential impacts relative to existing development permissions and to get on the record with concerns in order to preserve your appeal rights.

Summary of Key Dates - New Zoning By-law

Key dates are as follows:

  • February 6, 2013, statutory open house;
  • February 13, 2013, statutory public meeting; and
  • April/May 2013, City Council passing the new zoning by-law followed by a 20 day appeal period.

Consultation Begins on New Employment Policies under the Toronto Official Plan 5-year Review

The October 23, 2012 staff report entitled: "Planning for a Strong and Diverse Economy: Official Plan/Municipal Comprehensive Reviews-Draft Policies and Designations for Employment" on proposed changes to Official Plan policies and designations for employment lands was considered by the Planning and Growth Management Committee on November 8, 2012 and subsequently endorsed by City Council on November 27, 2012.

The existing single designation of Employment is proposed to be split into three new designations - Core Employment, General Employment and Retail Employment. Additional changes proposed include removing the differentiation between Employment Areas and Districts and deleting Avenue designations on employment lands.

Also included in the report are the City's preliminary assessments of 65 of the now more than 100 requests received to date to convert lands from an Employment designation to another designation or to add site-specific policies to permit additional non-employment uses on the property. The requests were considered by City staff against the conversion criteria in Section 2.2.6.5 of the provincial Growth Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement. The remaining conversion requests and any new requests received during the consultation period will be the subject of further reporting prior to the statutory public meeting together with the results and recommendations arising from stakeholder consultation on the draft policies. The timing for this further report has not been set.

Next Steps-Employment Policies-Open Houses as part of Extensive Stakeholder Consultation

Council endorsed the draft Official Plan Employment policies and preliminary assessments of the conversion requests included in the October 23, 2012 report as the basis of consultation over the winter. Planned consultation includes open house meetings, internet and social media engagement and potential TV showcase of issues, stakeholder interviews/roundtables, expert panel discussion, and internal departmental and external government consultation.

A flyer advertising the times and locations of the February 12, 14, 19 and 27 statutory open houses has just been posted on the City's website. No date has been set for the statutory public meeting or conclusion of the consultation process.

Status of Other Proposed Official Plan Policies

At its meeting on October 12, 2012, the Planning and Growth Management Committee commenced the statutory public meeting on the proposed new Heritage and Public Realm policies, listened to deputants and then adjourned the meeting and directed staff to form a working group and report back to the Committee on January 28, 2013. Pursuant to a January 7, 2013 staff report recommendation adopted by the Planning and Growth Management Committee on January 28, the statutory public meeting will be further continued on February 28, 2013.

The statutory public meeting for the proposed revisions to the Official Plan regarding Section 37 policies related to Affordable Housing will be held by the Planning and Growth Management Committee on February 28, 2013. A printed copy of the proposed Official Plan Amendment will become available on February 8, 2013 at the City Clerk's office, 10th Floor, West Tower, City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. The final report on the proposed Amendment should become available on the City's website approximately one week before the February 28, 2013 Committee meeting.

Broad consultation on proposed new Transportation policies for the Official Plan has not officially begun.

Do not miss the opportunity to protect your appeal rights

Any changes to Official Plan policies and land use designations, permitted uses, maximum densities, height limits and other zoning performance standards may impact development permissions and the value of lands. The proposed transition provisions may not adequately protect your property rights.

Some key points that you may want to take into consideration, whether or not you are seeking to develop or redevelop land, are as follows:

  • City staff have not undertaken a comprehensive review of how the new zoning impacts each parcel of land in Toronto; nor will they undertake this analysis for the new Official Plan provisions. The onus is on the landowners to stay informed and get involved;
  • Any landowner who fails to express concerns or issues with the proposed new zoning or Official Plan policies prior to their passage by City Council will not be able to maintain an appeal of either document and risks not being added as a party to an appeal at the Ontario Municipal Board; and
  • For sites not omitted from the new zoning-by-law or developments not otherwise exempted, after the new zoning by-law is passed and while it is under appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, the Chief Building Official is likely to treat the new zoning, as passed by City Council as "applicable law" when considering the issuance of building permits where new zoning is more restrictive than the existing zoning.