Wed, 14 Sep 2022
Following public review and input, Oakville Town Council has approved the new Parks Plan 2031 along with the associated Parkland Dedication by-law that together, will guide the town in continuing to maintain its parkland standards. This also helps establish a mechanism to ensure sufficient land and cash-in-lieu is available to support the town-wide parkland standard. Park designs, sites, sizes, distances and other details will be decided later by Council in a public process.
On September 6, 2022 Council approved a new Community Benefits Charges by-law that will help cover infrastructure costs for such amenities as parking, public art and cultural entertainment spaces, among others.
These two by-laws, along with the Development Charges by-law approved on July 12, 2022, concludes the town’s comprehensive review of its major growth infrastructure financing tools. These will help the town plan for future growth and build complete communities by recovering infrastructure costs from developers and minimizing the impact on existing taxpayers.
Parks Plan 2031 provides strategic direction on how the town will grow its already impressive parkland system. The Plan addresses how park needs can be addressed in urban centres identified as Strategic Growth Areas (e.g. Midtown, Uptown, Bronte GO and Palermo). The enhanced parks system could include a unique range of urban parkland types such as urban squares, pocket parks, courtyards, and pedestrian connections, approved by Council through a public process. The town will aim to maintain a parkland ratio of at least 2.2 hectares per 1,000 people until 2031, providing greenspaces to enhance livability.
Parkland Dedication by-law is the tool through which developers are required to transfer parkland or cash-in-lieu of parkland to the town as part of a new development project. This is required because municipalities are not permitted to use Development Charges for purchase of land for parks. Once land is dedicated or acquired by the town using the cash collected in lieu, new park amenities are constructed using Development Charges or Community Benefits Charges. The by-law maximizes the amount of non-tax dollars that can be available for parkland expansion.
Community Benefits Charges by-law introduces a new charge to be collected from high-density development of five or more storeys with 10 or more residential units and will be used towards the cost of new municipal parking, public art and cultural entertainment spaces. This is a dedicated financing tool that replaces bonus zoning for increased height and density under the previous section 37 of the Planning Act.
In 2019 and 2020, Bills 108, the More Homes, More Choice Act, and 197, the Covid-19 Economic Recovery Act, introduced legislative changes that required municipalities to approve three major financial tools - Development Charges, Parkland Dedication, and Community Benefits Charges - before September 18, 2022.
On July 12, 2022 Council approved the new Development Charges by-law that details how the town collects fees from property developers for building new community infrastructure such as roads, transit network, recreation centres and libraries, parks and fire stations.
Visit the Growth Infrastructure Financing Tools page for more information.
“The new Parks Plan 2031, Community Benefits Charges and the community infrastructure funding measures will support responsible, long-term financial planning that ensures growth pays for growth in Oakville. These tools will help ease the tax burden for residents, and better fund the community services that enhance our livability.”
Mayor Rob Burton