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City of Burlington to Pause Work on Housing Strategy Inclusionary Zoning Municipal Assessment Report to Determine Implications of Coming Provincial Policy

Council Receives - Housing Strategy Inclusionary Zoning Update - TW

At our July 12 meeting, Council received an update from staff that work on the City’s Housing Strategy Inclusionary Zoning Municipal Assessment Report would be paused to allow staff time to assess implications of upcoming Provincial policies.

A Municipal Assessment Report would ensure the City meets the requirements of the Provincial Regulation for Inclusionary Zoning (Ontario Regulation 232/18) under the Planning Act. The preparation of a Municipal Assessment Report is the first step set out in legislation and regulation that enables the implementation of Inclusionary Zoning. The work on this report began in the summer of 2021 and has continued throughout the
development of the City of Burlington’s Housing Strategy.

Moving forward with the Municipal Assessment Report at this time was considered by City staff, however, the
significant potential for changes to Provincial approaches with respect to the creation of housing in Ontario represents a significant unknown right now. So, it was determined that the most prudent approach by the City of Burlington would be to allow time to understand new opportunities and challenges in advance of finalizing the Inclusionary Zoning Municipal Assessment Report.

This pause will allow the City’s project team to:

  • assess the implications of Bill 109, More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022 on planning policy;
  • understand any other Provincial actions to support housing;
  • monitor Inclusionary Zoning work underway in other municipalities; and
  • make progress on the City’s MTSA Area-Specific Planning Project.

While the work on the Inclusionary Zoning Municipal Assessment report is paused, staff will continue work related to moving the Housing Strategy to action. The City’s Housing Strategy was approved by Council on June 21, 2022, initiating the implementation phase of the Housing Strategy project.

Implementation of the Housing Strategy will be based on the direction of Council and guided by the implementation plan of the Housing Strategy.

The Housing Strategy identifies a number of quick wins that staff continue to pursue. Staff will continue to explore options to move the Housing Strategy to action.

Below are several actions that City staff will start or continue to work on:

  • Work with Development Review to find ways to incorporate the consideration of Housing Strategy objectives in advance of its implementation throughout the development review process;
  • Use the findings of the Housing Strategy project to inform the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw Review Project; and
  • Report back to Council with an update in Q1 2023.

You can click here to read the full staff report: PL-56-22 City of Burlington Housing Strategy Inclusionary Zoning Municipal Assessment Report Update.

MY TAKE:

Staff’s recommendation to place a pause on this work makes sense so we can align with the Provincial policy that is coming. I’ve been really pleased the development community and our stakeholder partners have been at the table from the start of this process and we’re all on the same page. We know that affordable housing is the key crisis of our time (along with climate change) and no one level of government, business or non-profit organization can solve this alone. Let’s take the time to do this right the first time. I meet regularly with the Halton chapter of the Building Industry & Land Development (BILD) Association and we talked about inclusionary zoning, and they are supportive of it as a tool, if implemented the right way. They are also supportive of the pause.

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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