Minister wants to 'speed up the time it takes to get the right kind of housing built in the right places' - music to the ears of the developers?

News 100 redBy Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

February 22nd, 2019



Mayor Marianne Meed Ward released the basics of a letter she received recently from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. We will let the Mayor speak for herself.

My office recently received a letter from Minister Steve Clark of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing regarding their work on the provincial government’s Housing Supply Action Plan.

Minister Clark outlined their desire “to take swift action to streamline the development approvals system” and “speed up the time it takes to get the right kind of housing built in the right places”. He further explained that “land use planning and development approvals are critical to achieving housing and job- related priorities” in our communities.

I agree with these assertions and am glad to see their continued commitment to expediting these processes. As part of the new Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force that my office has initiated to support local business attraction and growth, I am committed to cutting red tape for development applications that are supported by council and the community.

The Minister’s office continues to consult on proposed changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and review the Planning Act and Provincial Policy Statement as well, with the intention to bring forward legislation and policy changes in the coming months.

While Minister Clark’s letter advises local municipalities to consider pausing on activities that may be impacted, such as Official Plan reviews, I want to reinforce that until we get more specific details from the Province related to the municipal land use planning process, the City of Burlington will continue to move forward as planned with our review of the Official Plan as per the motion approved by City Council on February 5th.

On a related matter, I am disappointed to learn today that the province has announced the June 30th closing of the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre (LPASC), a resource that offers support to the public in navigating both land use planning matters and the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Public participation, a vital part of democratic community planning, should not be sacrificed in the name of ill- defined or non-existent efficiencies.

The best way to save time and money is to eliminate the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal altogether. The tribunal, like the Ontario Municipal Board it replaced, provides unelected and inefficient involvement in planning matters that are best left to local councils, unnecessarily slowing down the development process.

Leaving planning in local municipal hands would not only speed approvals and remove red tape, but also provide more incentives to the development industry to work with municipalities and their residents to plan full communities rather than just build housing.

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3 comments to Minister wants to ‘speed up the time it takes to get the right kind of housing built in the right places’ – music to the ears of the developers?

  • Alfred

    Of course we would not want a cost saving. efficient, time saving process.Lets drag everything on forever and add to,and not reduce the cost of housing. It looks like the new Sheriff Ford “gonna make things right again”. Penny I agree with you. Some on council run away from tough decisions. The ADI development comes to mind. The new Mayor wanted 12 stories there. The OMB. Allowed 26 stories clearly someone was out of touch with reality. May I predict that many more applications will be allowed heights consistent with the ADI decision. We will be stuck paying all the legal bills for nothing.

  • Mr Kowalchuk

    Who elected these clowns? Please remember who supported the agenda of Doug Ford and the development lobby over their own constituents next time the ballot comes around

  • Penny Hersh

    Thank you Mayor Meed-Ward for saying what many of us have been thinking for a very long time.

    Perhaps it is time to convince Premier Ford that City Councillors need to be held responsible for decisions they make. It could be that many city councils instead of making the hard decisions regarding development in their community left it up to the OMB or now LPAT to be “the bad cops”when dealing with developers.

    I have to think that there would be great pushback from developers should the elimination of LPAT or any such organization come to pass. There is a lot of money at stake for them.

    Residents need to get involved to make this happen.