UPDATE ON BILL 23
Summary of the Key Changes from the First Reading to Royal Assent
On November 28th, 2022, Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act received Royal Assent, as amended. The Act was changed in a number of ways since Q9 Planning + Design published our original article, which can be found here. This article will review
the amendments that were included with the Bill as passed by the Provincial Legislature.
Significant amendments were made with respect to proposed Planning Act changes as part of the original version of the proposed Bill. A key amendment was the return of third-party appeals for Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment applications, with the appeal restrictions remaining for Minor Variance and Consent applications. The end product of this is that third party appeals will be restricted to
“specified persons” for minor variances and consent applications but will not be restricted to “specified persons” for Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments. Consequently, any appeals of consent and minor variance applications that have not been scheduled by the Ontario Lands Tribunal as of October 25th, 2022 are to be dismissed.
The original version of Bill 23 also referred to previous changes to the Planning Act which restricted amendments to new Official Plans and Zoning By-laws for a period of two years. That restriction has been removed, which would allow the City’s new Official Plan to be amended. Language was therefore also removed from the Bill which referred to exceptions to the two-year amendment restriction for licensed pits and quarries.
The approved version of Bill 23 also allows Municipalities to require that Community Benefits Charge agreements be registered against the title of the land to which it applies, allowing it to be enforced against any subsequent owners of the land. Furthermore, the removal of exterior design as a consideration in site plan control applications has been revised to exclude matters related to sustainability. Exterior design may now only be reviewed by municipalities in a site plan control application if the appearance impacts matters of health, safety, accessibility, sustainable design, or the protection of adjoining lands.
It should also be noted that, owing to the approval of Bill 23, provisions of the City of Ottawa’s Site Plan Control By-law to the contrary of the Act, such as the Sandy Hill Special Site Plan Control Area, have been overridden and superseded by the requirements of Bill 23.
Development Charges Act
A small change was included to the approved version of Bill 23 from the original version. The amendment revises the applicability of the phased reductions of imposed development charges to development charges by-laws passed on or after
January 1st, 2022 instead of June 1st, 2022. Changes were also made that allow Bill 23’s rental development charges discount to apply for parts of the development charge that were part of an agreement under Section 27 in respect of a prescribed development entered into on or before November 28th, 2022, other than a part of the
development charge payable under the Section 27 agreement before the day the development was prescribed.
Other Key Changes
Though not included as part of Bill 23, the Province has provided updates with respect to Bill 109 implementation that may affect municipal response to recent provincial legislative change. In response to municipal feedback, the MMAH sent a letter (found here) to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario promising to table legislation that would, if passed, delay the implementation of development application refund requirements from January 1st, 2023 until July 1st, 2023. This may have spillover effects into how municipalities respond to recent policy changes, though no details have been provided to date by the City of Ottawa.
Now that Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act has received Royal Assent, significant changes in the land use planning and development process will be realized in the near future. For more information on how this may affect your property, please reach out to Christine McCuaig at email@example.com. If the summary presented herein has interpreted something incorrectly, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act. Legislative Assembly of
Update on Bill 23 (More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022): Royal
Assent and Key Changes from First Reading. Gowlings WLG:
Bill 23 – More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 passed…fast. Osler: