Ontario Construction News staff writer
Concerned about the potential impact on local municipalities, the Tow of Lincoln, is opposed to Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022. The Bill received royal assent Nov. 28 and includes changes to the land use approvals system in the province, with the goal of facilitating the construction of 1.5 million new homes by 2031.
Changes are planed for several statutes, including the Development Charges Act (DCA), Heritage Act, Municipal Act and Planning Act. While the bill has received royal assent, certain aspects are effective immediately, while others will be implemented at a date to be confirmed. Further information from the provincial government is expected.
“It is very clear that Bill 23 will have a significant impact on Ontario municipalities. While Lincoln is a unique community in many ways, we are certainly not immune to these changes,” said Town of Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton. “Amendments to these Acts will change how we fund the services and programs our community members expect from us. We will need to look seriously at the way we do business, as will all other municipalities across Ontario.”
A staff report outlined some of the most significant impacts to municipalities:
- Reductions or exemptions to Development Charges that will impact municipalities’ DC revenue and their ability to fund growth related capital projects, thereby transferring the shortfall in funding to the existing taxpayers.
- Changes to the Heritage Act that will limit some of the tools available to municipalities for conserving properties.
- Proposed changes to the Ontario Land Tribunal Act (OLTA) that will provide more authority for the Ontario Land Tribunal to dismiss an appeal.
- Changes to the Planning Act will impact municipalities’ ability to acquire the required amount of parkland and cash in lieu through the development process. This will result in the local municipality having to purchase additional parkland and a loss of cash in lieu of parkland funds.
Staff will send a letter to the Provincial government identifying concerns specific to how Bill 23 affects the Lincoln community. The letter will also address the proposed amendments to the Greenbelt Plan as outlined in Staff Report AD-18-22. While amendments to this Plan do not affect Lincoln’s urban boundaries, the Town will clearly state its position on protecting the environment and Lincoln’s natural heritage features.