Tag Archives: Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT)

h_nov19_industry_report_fi

Local planning appeal tribunal often works for the common good

Latest News


Local planning appeal tribunal often works for the common good

If you follow development and construction in Ontario, you will be familiar with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) and its predecessor, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

LPAT adjudicates disputes about the decisions of municipal councils as they relate to the Planning Act. Opponents of development often label LPAT as biased in favour of developers. These critics erroneously believe that the decisions of local councils should be placed ahead of Ontario policy and legislation.

What often goes unmentioned are the countless decisions by LPAT that have resulted in new housing developments that benefit those in need. As the provincial government prepares to introduce changes to streamline and expedite the LPAT process, it is a good time to remember some of these decisions.

Thanks to LPAT, Habitat for Humanity was able to build nine affordable housing units at 357 Birchmount Rd. in Scarborough, despite opposition from the local councillor and residents.

Housing for more than 1,700 students will be added to the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph after the resolution of appeals to LPAT.

When the City of Toronto was unable to reach a decision within the prescribed time frames, LPAT allowed the building of 1,000 purpose-built rental units near transit in the High Park neighbourhood of Toronto.

A housing project for seniors on vacant Toronto District School Board property got the go-ahead from LPAT after the city failed to make a decision. It resulted in a continuum-of-care facility funded by the Ministry of Long-Term Care, and 49 independent seniors’ apartments.

In Hamilton, LPAT approved a residential care facility for adolescent girls with mental health challenges following the intervention of the Ontario Human Rights Commission over the city’s bylaw objections.

These are some of the numerous decisions that have been made by LPAT, and the OMB, that have resulted in development that would not have occurred in their absence. These decisions, by LPAT and the OMB, have benefited seniors, students, people with disabilities, and those needing rental housing in a city with a housing shortage.

When a group feels a municipal development decision runs counter to provincial policy or legislation, the case can be brought to LPAT, which derives its authority from provincial legislation.

Through Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act, the province reinforces the notion that an effective and efficient tribunal is a necessity to ensure that planning conforms to provincial policy and regulations and that the planning process is free of political interference.

Recently, the provincial government announced changes to LPAT to enhance the effectiveness and speed by which the body adjudicates disputes. These positive changes will increase LPAT resources, streamline the appeals and ensure that decisions are made on the latest and best possible information.

Undoubtedly, these are positive steps to increase supply of housing and affordability for Ontarians.

Dave Wilkes is president and CEO of BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association), and can be found on: Twitter.com/BILDGTA Facebook.com/BILDGTA YouTube.com/BILDGTA and BILD’s official online blog: BILDBlogs.ca

SHARE  

Featured Products


cl_nov19_industry_report_fi

Local Planning Appeal Tribunal often works for the common good

Latest News


Local Planning Appeal Tribunal often works for the common good

If you follow development and construction in Ontario, you will be familiar with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) and its predecessor, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

LPAT adjudicates disputes about the decisions of municipal councils as they relate to the Planning Act. Opponents of development often label LPAT as biased in favour of developers. These critics erroneously believe that the decisions of local councils should be placed ahead of Ontario policy and legislation.

M2M Condos by Aoyuan

What often goes unmentioned are the countless decisions by LPAT that have resulted in new housing developments that benefit those in need. As the provincial government prepares to introduce changes to streamline and expedite the LPAT process, it is a good time to remember some of these decisions.

Thanks to LPAT, Habitat for Humanity was able to build nine affordable housing units at 357 Birchmount Rd. in Scarborough, despite opposition from the local councillor and residents.

Housing for more than 1,700 students will be added to the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph after the resolution of appeals to LPAT.

When the City of Toronto was unable to reach a decision within the prescribed timeframes, LPAT allowed the building of 1,000 purpose-built rental units near transit in the High Park neighbourhood of Toronto.

A housing project for seniors on vacant Toronto District School Board property got the go-ahead from LPAT after the city failed to make a decision. It resulted in a continuum-ofcare facility, a facility funded by the Ministry of Long-Term Care, and 49 independent seniors’ apartments.

In Hamilton, LPAT approved a residential care facility for adolescent girls with mental health challenges following the intervention of the Ontario Human Rights Commission over the city’s bylaw objections.

These are some of the numerous decisions that have been made by LPAT, and the OMB, that have resulted in development that would not have occurred in their absence. These decisions, by LPAT and the OMB, have benefited seniors, students, people with disabilities, and those needing rental housing in a city with a housing shortage.

When a group feels a municipal development decision runs counter to provincial policy or legislation, the case can be brought to LPAT, which derives its authority from provincial legislation.

Through Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act, the province reinforces the notion that an effective and efficient tribunal is a necessity to ensure that planning conforms to provincial policy and regulations and that the planning process is free of political interference.

Recently the provincial government announced changes to LPAT to enhance the effectiveness and speed by which the body adjudicates disputes. These positive changes will increase LPAT resources, streamline the appeals and ensure that decisions are made on the latest and best possible information.

Undoubtedly, these are positive steps to increase supply of housing and affordability for Ontarians.

Dave Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

bild.ca

SHARE  

Featured Products


h_jul19_industry_report_fi

Good news for the GTA

Latest News


Good news for the GTA

The Housing Supply Action Plan (Plan) announced by the Government of Ontario on May 2 represents the first major step by any provincial government to address the supply challenges facing the housing market and their effects on affordability. The actions announced recognize that the “tax and restrict” approaches taken by previous and other levels of governments have simply fuelled the generational challenge faced by many in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and other large Canadian cities.

Layers of bureaucracy, outdated zoning, and complex policies and procedures have created structural barriers to the efficient operation of the housing market that have resulted in a generational shortfall of housing. These barriers delay development of new homes, add costs and have contributed to the run-up in housing costs experienced over the last decade. On average it now takes 10 years to build a typical highrise project and 11 years to complete a lowrise project in the GTA.

It is estimated that since 2006 the region fell short approximately 98,000 units versus forecasts, and is now falling behind by nearly 10,000 additional units per year. In addition, demand has increased as the GTA has become one of the fastest growing regions in North America with an estimated 115,000 new residents arriving every year. The population of the GTA is set to grow by 40 per cent or an estimated 9.7 million people by 2041. Residents in the area looking to buy their first homes and renters will be impacted the most.

Ontario’s new Housing Supply Action Plan takes meaningful steps to try to balance the housing market through supply and speed. First, it has recognized that the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) is not working for anyone, as evidenced by the nearly 1,000 cases and nearly 100,000 housing units that are stuck waiting for adjudication. Clarifying rules and increasing resources for the tribunal and being able to proceed with even 50 per cent of the units currently before the tribunal will go a long way to address the existing housing shortfall.

Second, the Plan acknowledges that it takes far too long to get approvals and looks to reduce duplication, cut red tape and speed up the development approval process. This will enable the industry to unlock housing supply and bring new product to market to meet demand. At the same time the Plan acknowledges that speed cannot come at the expense of other things that matter and explicitly recognizes the importance of the Greenbelt, cultural heritage assets and key employment and agricultural lands.

Third, the Plan adjusts provincial policy to encourage a mix of homes and to make it easier and faster to build more housing near transit. This will encourage more of the missing middle type housing (townhomes, stacked townhomes and midrise) so sorely needed in the GTA.

Lastly, the proposed changes also acknowledge the cumulative effect that taxes, fees and charges have on housing affordability. For market housing, providing the ability to lock in development charges early in the process increases predictability for the industry and consumers. Deferring development charges until occupancy provides greater incentive to build rental units and special provisions for social and not-for-profit housing will also lower the upfront cost of building.

The beneficiaries of these changes are the people and businesses of Ontario. The benefits for the average resident include having a greater choice in housing at the right price for them and their children. A healthy market that ensures that housing will not be a barrier to attracting and retaining the right talent will benefit businesses looking to grow.

Dave Wilkes is president and CEO of BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association), and can be found on: Twitter.com/BILDGTA Facebook.com/BILDGTA YouTube.com/BILDGTA and BILD’s official online blog: BILDBlogs.ca

SHARE  

Featured Products


Middle_Jan_RealEstate_fi

Make medium density housing a priority, report says

Latest News


Make medium density housing a priority, report says

More medium density housing must be made a priority, as the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is at risk of missing provincial population targets, according to a recent report. This would potentially result in 7,200 fewer new homes being built each year until 2041, which creates context for the recent introduction of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

The report – The GTHA’s Unbalanced Housing Stock: Benchmarking Ontario’s New LPAT System – states that up to 165,600 homes are at risk of not being built over the next 23 years. That’s equal to an annual loss of $1.95 billion in GDP from residential construction activity if various constraints continue to inhibit the goals set by the provincial growth plan, Places to Grow.

Paul Smetanin, president of socio-economic research and data firm the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA), says an important factor that will prevent the region from hitting provincial homebuilding targets is the lack of medium-density housing starts, or the Missing Middle.

“Hamilton has made the most progress on the Missing Middle,” Smetanin says. “Toronto, Mississauga, Markham, Newmarket less so, while Brampton is biased towards lower density starts.”

There are a range of issues among the region’s most populous municipalities, including:

  • Only 15 per cent of GTHA households live in medium-density housing, which leads to an inadequate supply of appropriate housing types for a range of household sizes and budgets.
  • Toronto’s number of annual starts is five to 15 per cent higher than required to hit Places to Grow targets. However, the mix of housing is constrained by land, meaning the city’s supply will be highly skewed towards taller towers.
  • York Region is the only area in the GTHA with current annual starts on pace to meet its future target population.
  • Among municipalities with populations of more than 80,000 people, Oshawa, Brampton and Newmarket have the lowest share of higher-density starts.
  • Municipalities can better optimize infrastructure investments by ensuring that community growth planning is based on a long-term and strategic analysis of our future housing requirements.

“We commissioned the report because we wanted to find out what the possible impacts of LPAT will be on delivering housing,” says Andy Manahan, executive director of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario. “We will work with provincial and municipal government officials to help ensure that the transition to the new LPAT system is as seamless as possible and does not create negative consequences for the housing supply in the province.”

RCCAO is a labour-management construction alliance which has advocated for infrastructure investment for 13 years, commissioning 48 independent, solutions-based reports and 10 videos to help inform decision-makers. To read the report, go to rccao.com/research/files/RCCAO_LPAT_REPORT_2018.pdf

SHARE  

Featured Products