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Why a 4-storey apartment could be coming to a residential street near you

In December 2021 Ontario appointed nine members to a new Housing Affordability Task Force. The Task Force, chaired by Jake Lawrence, CEO and Group Head, Global Banking and Markets at Scotiabank, represents a diverse range of experts in not-for-profit housing, Indigenous housing, real estate, home builders, financial markets and economics. The chair’s report outlining the Task Force’s recommendations will be published in early 2022.

CBC report Affordable Housing Task Force draft recommendations

Affordable Housing Task Force draft report recommendations include:

  • all municipalities and building code regulations make it easier for homeowners to add secondary suites, garden homes, and laneway houses to their properties.

  • also to increase height, size and density along "all major and minor arterials and transit corridors" in the form of condo and apartment towers.

  • municipalities with a population of more than 100,000, the province should "allow any type of residential housing up to four storeys and four units on a single residential lot”.

  • any "underutilized or redundant commercial properties" be allowed to be converted to residential units without municipal approvals.

  • quasi-automatic approval for projects up to 10 units that conform to existing official plans and zoning, and goes so far to recommend that municipalities "disallow public consultations" for these applications

  • the province set Ontario-wide standards for specifics like setbacks, shadow rules and front doors, while excluding details like exterior colour and building materials from the approval process.

  • eliminate minimum parking requirements for new projects.

  • the province restore the right of developers to appeal official plans — a power that was removed by the previous Liberal government.

  • to eliminate what it calls "nuisance" appeals, the task force recommends that the fee a third party — such as a community group — pays to appeal projects to the Ontario Land Tribunal should be increased from the current $400 to $10,000.

  • the report discusses aligning housing development with the province's plan for Highway 413 in the GTA.

  • the draft report also talks about expanding urban boundaries.

1 Comment

In other words, the Conservative government wants to throw out moraine and environmental protections, muzzle community groups, ignore local planning, and allow developers to impose whatever junk condos they see fit to build, however high they want to maximize profits, wherever they want. And Joe/Jane Ontario Citizen is supposed to just shut up and live with the destruction/uglification because what THEY already approved now doesn’t matter.

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