Bill 108 will change your Oakville

On June 6, 2019, the Province of Ontario passed  Bill 108, The More Homes, More Choice Act,2019.

This Act amends 13 different pieces of legislation including the Development Charges Act, Ontario Heritage Act and Planning Act that will seriously impact the overall livability of Ontario municipalities by changing land use planning processes, the protection of endangered species, the financing of infrastructure projects and the conservation of local heritage.

For more information, read the town's staff report (item 3) that Town Council endorsed on May 27, 2019, outlining the town’s position on the province’s proposed changes.

At Council’s direction staff submitted it to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing as well as the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport by the commenting deadline of June 1, 2019. To learn more read the town’s news release.

Some of the significant changes proposed in the bill include:

How we collect development charges to have growth pay for growth.

Development charges are fees collected by municipalities on new developments to pay for services that support population growth. Municipalities could charge for “hard” services (roads, water infrastructure) and “soft” services (libraries, community centres, arenas, playgrounds, or sports fields).

Through Bill 108 funding for “soft” services are no longer eligible to be collected through development charges, significantly reducing the town’s ability to make growth pay for growth.

How development applications are reviewed by the town and at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

Bill 108 gives the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) the power to overturn your elected municipal council’s planning decisions. The LPAT would determine the “best planning outcome” in development disputes in Oakville instead of sending the matter back to Town Council for a new decision.

Bill 108 results in shortened timelines for approving planning and development applications limiting the time residents have to review documents and provide comment. The review periods are now:

Official plans: 120 days (down 90 days; from 210 days)

Zoning bylaws: 90 days (down 60 days; from 150)

Subdivision plans: 120 days (down 60 days; from 180)

How we protect future parks and greenspace.

Bill 108 removes the town’s ability to set our own requirements for how much new parkland developers must include as part of new development sites and neighbourhoods. It limits the town’s ability to create functional parks that meet all residents’ needs as Oakville grows. Bill 108 takes away the town’s ability to plan for livable and complete communities.

How we conserve heritage properties that make Oakville unique.

Bill 108 sees changes to the appeal process for heritage designations which contributes to the town’s inability to work with a landowner to find the best solution to conserve our heritage properties. Appeals now go to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), whose decisions are binding whereas before they were made to the Conservation Review Board, whose recommendations were not binding.