Community Benefits Charge Strategy

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Community Benefits Charge

The City of Ottawa has begun work on a proposal to establish a new Community Benefits Charge (CBC) By-law and strategy replacing the current Planning Act, Section 37 provisions. Input from all stakeholders is an integral component of the project that will provide certainty to the development industry while allowing the City greater flexibility in implementing benefit funds. The proposed by-law and strategy will be submitted to City Council in June 2022.

How Section 37 worked in the past

To control land use planning, municipalities in Ontario create zoning by-laws or Official Plans that often place limits on heights and densities of buildings in municipalities. Under the Planning Act - Section 37, the City may allow increased height or density on a site in exchange for facilities, services or something else that will benefit the community. This exchange of increased height and/or density in return for community benefits is referred to as density bonusing.

In September 2022, provincial legislation will end the City’s ability to collect those revenues. Instead, municipalities will be able to enact a community benefits charge by-law to collect fees and fund a range of community services required as a result of new growth.

New CBC regulations

Community benefits charges will work with development charges and parkland dedication to ensure that municipalities have the tools and resources they need to build complete communities. CBCs could be imposed to recover the capital costs of any service needed due to development.

Municipalities are only permitted to impose CBCs for higher density residential development. Community Benefits Charges will be capped at four per cent of land value on the day before a building permit is issued. Section 37 prohibits CBCs for developments or redevelopment of fewer than 10 residential units or for buildings or structures with fewer than five storeys.

The following types of development are exempt from CBCs:

  • Long-term care homes
  • Retirement homes
  • Universities, colleges, and Indigenous Institutes
  • Memorial homes, clubhouses or athletic grounds of the Royal Canadian Legion
  • Hospices
  • Non-profit housing

CBC Strategy

Before passing a CBC by-law, the City must have a CBC strategy which identifies what will be funded by the charges and meets the requirements in the regulation. Estimates of increased need for services or facilities as relate to the anticipated development would be included.

  • The CBC strategy will be aligned with Council priorities, promoting economic growth and diversification by supporting business investment and expansion.
  • The CBC strategy will promote thriving communities through safety, culture, social and physical well-being for our residents. Investments may include park improvements and/or dedication, cycling infrastructure, public realm improvements and traffic calming measures.
  • The CBC strategy will also promote sustainable infrastructure, ensuring that investment meets the future growth and service needs of the city.

The CBC By-law and strategy must be passed by City Council prior to the end of the statutory transition period on September 18, 2022.

Timelines

Consultation Q4, 2021, and Q1, 2022

Report to Planning Committee and Council Q2, 2022

How to get involved

  • Register for updates on the project
  • Sign up for the City Builders newsletter
  • Attend a consultation session
  • Provide your feedback

Community Benefits Charge

The City of Ottawa has begun work on a proposal to establish a new Community Benefits Charge (CBC) By-law and strategy replacing the current Planning Act, Section 37 provisions. Input from all stakeholders is an integral component of the project that will provide certainty to the development industry while allowing the City greater flexibility in implementing benefit funds. The proposed by-law and strategy will be submitted to City Council in June 2022.

How Section 37 worked in the past

To control land use planning, municipalities in Ontario create zoning by-laws or Official Plans that often place limits on heights and densities of buildings in municipalities. Under the Planning Act - Section 37, the City may allow increased height or density on a site in exchange for facilities, services or something else that will benefit the community. This exchange of increased height and/or density in return for community benefits is referred to as density bonusing.

In September 2022, provincial legislation will end the City’s ability to collect those revenues. Instead, municipalities will be able to enact a community benefits charge by-law to collect fees and fund a range of community services required as a result of new growth.

New CBC regulations

Community benefits charges will work with development charges and parkland dedication to ensure that municipalities have the tools and resources they need to build complete communities. CBCs could be imposed to recover the capital costs of any service needed due to development.

Municipalities are only permitted to impose CBCs for higher density residential development. Community Benefits Charges will be capped at four per cent of land value on the day before a building permit is issued. Section 37 prohibits CBCs for developments or redevelopment of fewer than 10 residential units or for buildings or structures with fewer than five storeys.

The following types of development are exempt from CBCs:

  • Long-term care homes
  • Retirement homes
  • Universities, colleges, and Indigenous Institutes
  • Memorial homes, clubhouses or athletic grounds of the Royal Canadian Legion
  • Hospices
  • Non-profit housing

CBC Strategy

Before passing a CBC by-law, the City must have a CBC strategy which identifies what will be funded by the charges and meets the requirements in the regulation. Estimates of increased need for services or facilities as relate to the anticipated development would be included.

  • The CBC strategy will be aligned with Council priorities, promoting economic growth and diversification by supporting business investment and expansion.
  • The CBC strategy will promote thriving communities through safety, culture, social and physical well-being for our residents. Investments may include park improvements and/or dedication, cycling infrastructure, public realm improvements and traffic calming measures.
  • The CBC strategy will also promote sustainable infrastructure, ensuring that investment meets the future growth and service needs of the city.

The CBC By-law and strategy must be passed by City Council prior to the end of the statutory transition period on September 18, 2022.

Timelines

Consultation Q4, 2021, and Q1, 2022

Report to Planning Committee and Council Q2, 2022

How to get involved

  • Register for updates on the project
  • Sign up for the City Builders newsletter
  • Attend a consultation session
  • Provide your feedback
Page published: 20 August 2021, 15:52