Report to Planning and Growth Management Committee Meeting on October 12, 2012

Having now completed a series of Open Houses and meetings with stakeholders, City staff has prepared a report (dated September 27, 2012) for the upcoming Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting on recommended changes to the draft citywide zoning by-law.

The September 27, 2012 staff report can be accessed at: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2012/pg/bgrd/backgroundfile-50653.pdf

Highlights of Changes to Draft Citywide Zoning By-law

  • An "Education Use" will be deleted as a permitted use in the "E" (Employment Industrial) Zone and permitted in the "EL" (Employment Light Industrial) and EO (Employment Industrial Office) Zones in response to concerns we raised on behalf of the Toronto Industry Network;
  • Size restrictions on offices in "EL" (Employment Light Industrial) and "E" (Employment Industrial) Zones will be removed; and
  • A new "RAC" (Residential Apartment-Commercial) Zone is proposed which will permit expanded commercial uses and services in declining apartment neighbourhoods.

Subsequent staff reports will deal with the proposed locations of the new "RAC" Zones, separation distance requirements for crematoriums and defining holistic type establishments and adult entertainment type uses. The draft citywide zoning by-law is expected to undergo further change until it is passed by City Council. For this reason it is important to monitor changes and analyze potential impacts relative to existing development permissions.

Key Dates-New Zoning By-law

The draft zoning by-law is quickly picking up momentum and a revised version of the by-law incorporating the changes outlined in the above-mentioned staff report is expected to be presented to the Planning and Growth Management Committee at its meeting on November 8, 2012. Key dates after that meeting are as follows:

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

Proposed Changes to Official Plan Policies and Designations in Toronto

Recommended changes to Heritage policies will be considered at a statutory public meeting at the Planning and Growth Management Committee on October 12th and may be adopted by City Council as early as October 30th, 2012. Recommended changes to Official Plan policies and designations for Employment lands will be considered by Planning and Growth Management Committee on November 8th, 2012.

On October 3, 2012, Bill 128, a Private Member's Bill relating to proposed Planning Act amendments respecting affordable housing received first reading in the Legislature. Among other matters, if approved, the Bill would allow a municipality to require a specified percentage of housing units in all new housing developments of 20 or more housing units be affordable and will give municipalities the ability to restrict ownership and occupancy of affordable units to eligible persons. In November, the City is expected to hold an open house on proposed new Section 37 policies for the Official Plan relating to affordable housing which will authorize affordable ownership housing and condominium registered rental units as eligible Section 37 benefits.

Proposed changes to other Housing related policies and Transportation policies are expected to be circulated for comment later in 2012 and in 2013, respectively.

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.