Provincial Proposal to allow cities to pass an open-for-business planning by-law

15 12 2018

On Dec 6th, the Provincial Government tabled its new “Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act.”

As part of this proposed act, and in the government’s words, the government “is proposing to make changes to the Planning Act to create a new economic development tool, the open-for-business planning by-law. The tool would be available to all local municipalities to ensure they can act quickly to attract businesses seeking development sites.”

If the proposed bill becomes law, it has major implications for how development applications would be dealt with in Ontario cities.  

The law would apply to development that is:

  • a new major employment use (minimum 100 jobs for larger cities)
  • manufacturing and/or research and development, but not residential, commercial or retail as the primary use

This process would allow municipalities to permit the use (i.e., zone the lands) without having to strictly adhere to existing local requirements (e.g., official plan and zoning). The bill could short-circuit the application approval process and also eliminate the right of appeal to the LPAT in some instances.

A lay-person explanation of the proposed permitted uses is here. The proposed changes to planning process are outlined here.  The full bill is found here.

The deadline for comments is January 20. The comment link for the provincial government is found here. Please consider also leaving comments with:

Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden

Kitchissippi Ward Councillor Jeff Leiper

McKellar Park Community Association