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  • Writer's pictureQ9 Planning + Design

Breaking Down Bill 185: Further changes to Ontario's planning framework proposed

The Provincial government has announced Bill 185, the Cutting Red Tape to Build More Homes Act, 2024. The Bill proposes to repeal a number of the government’s previous legislative changes, including the five-year phase in of new development charge increases introduced in Bill 23, as well as the Planning Act application fee refund provisions introduced in Bill 109. In addition, the following new changes are proposed:




Third Party appeals - limiting third party appeals of Official Plan & Zoning By-law amendments to the Ontario Land Tribunal


Voluntary Pre-Consultation & Fee Refund - pre-application consultations with municipalities will be voluntary and applicants can bring a motion to the Tribunal with respect to the reasonableness of complete application requirements. The fee refund provisions put in place by Bill 109, if a municipality did not make a decision within specified times, are proposed to be removed.


Parking minimums - parking minimums in protected major transit station areas to be prohibited;


Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs) - a new framework is in place for requesting an MZO;


Lapsing Provisions - developments with approved site plans which do not achieve permits within a period of time can have their approvals withdrawn. Draft plans of subdivision will also have mandatory lapsing provisions;


Upper Tier Municipalities - Halton, Peel and York will no longer have planning responsibilities as of July 1, 2024;


Public Notices - Changes are proposed to how notice is given for Planning Act applications by a municipalities, including the use of a website if local newspapers are not available;


Additional Dwelling Units - regulations barriers are proposed to be removed to further facilitate small multi-use residential developments.


The government has also released a new Provincial Planning Statement for comment. We are reviewing the document, and will provide an update shortly. 


Q9 Planning + Design will provide a detailed summary of Bill 185 once is has been passed by legislature. 

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