Proposed modifications to O. Reg. 311/06 (Transitional Matters - Growth Plans) made under the Places to Grow Act, 2005 to implement the proposed methodology for land needs assessment for the Greater Golden Horseshoe
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Places to Grow Act
Summary of Decision:
We are proposing a minor change to the transition regulation for the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The change would support implementation of a standard method to calculate the amount of land needed for development until 2041, known as a land needs assessment. This will help municipalities to ensure land is used efficiently.
March 1, 2018
Summary of Proposal:
Description of regulation
O. Reg. 311/06 is a Minister's regulation under the Places to Grow Act, 2005 that prescribes transition provisions for growth plans under that Act. This regulation only applies to the growth plans under the Places to Grow Act, 2005 such as the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The provisions in this regulation are distinct from the transition provisions that apply to the Greenbelt Plan and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, as provided for by the separate legislation governing those Plans.
This regulation was last modified on July 1, 2017 to facilitate implementation of the updated Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017. Other than the minor modifications proposed in this notice, no further modifications to this regulation are being considered at this time.
Purpose of regulation
The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017 (the Growth Plan) took effect on July 1, 2017. It includes a new policy that states that the Minister of Municipal Affairs will establish a standard methodology for assessing land needs to implement the Growth Plan and requires that this methodology be used by upper- and single-tier municipalities to assess the quantity of land needed to accommodate forecasted growth. The Minister is currently consulting on a Proposed Methodology for Land Needs Assessment for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017.
Following the release of the first Growth Plan in 2006, municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) took a variety of approaches to how they accounted for undelineated built-up areas (settlement areas for which the Minister has not delineated a built boundary) in their land needs assessments. Key policy changes in the Growth Plan, 2017 clarified that growth must be limited in undelineated built-up areas and that development in undelineated built-up areas can no longer be counted towards the achievement of the intensification target. However, all lands within these settlement areas meet the Growth Plan definition of designated greenfield areas.
In order to address this transition matter and to facilitate implementation through a standard methodology for land needs assessment, it is proposed that the Minister would make modifications to the Growth Plan transition regulation to make an exception for settlement areas in the inner ring of the GGH that are identified as hamlets in the Greenbelt Plan, rural settlements in the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan or minor urban centres in the Niagara Escarpment Plan. For settlement areas that are located partially inside/outside the Greenbelt Area (as defined by O. Reg. 59/05), only the portion inside the Greenbelt Area would be excepted.
It is proposed that the regulation would specify that planning matters relating to these areas would be exempt from the Growth Plan density target for designated greenfield areas, which would mean that they would not need to be treated as designated greenfield areas for the purposes of land needs assessment. While the Growth Plan policies direct that growth must be limited in undelineated built-up areas, there are additional restrictions for development in those areas identified as hamlets in the Greenbelt Plan, as rural settlements in the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan or as minor urban centres in the Niagara Escarpment Plan and so any limited growth that might occur could instead be treated as rural development for the purposes of land needs assessment.
May 4, 2018