Bill 66 Section 10

On Council 1/14 agenda there is a report on Bill 66 which includes the Planning Staff’s recommendations for feedback to the Province by January 20.  In earlier posts I have reviewed why I consider Bill 66 Section to be regressive and bad for communities. My perspective is not changed.   It is said that the Bill is all about giving control to the municipalites so that they can act quickly to attract businesses.   It is really about giving control to a property owner in order to build a factory on lands currently protected.  Per Bill 66 a property owner with such lands asks the municipality to implement an open for business bylaw (OfB); and a willing municipality can choose to comply with no public consultation.  The Bill is very short sighted:  both about the consequences and the benefits.

As I have reviewed already OfB enables use of land without compliance to numerous conservation plans such as Greenbelt Act, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, Clear Water Act to name 3. There is also the potential for other pieces of legislation to be ignored. (Section 10 lists all the acts to which compliance is not required; and at the end of the list it says “any other prescribed provision.”

The site plan control process, as it is currently executed includes both items which ensure functionality and safety of site but also the overall “look” of a facility e.g. architecture, sustainable design elements etc.  Section 10 says the former is still required although no longer as a separate process but the elements which create the “look” can no longer be prescribed.

Public consultation prior to making a resolution to request authority to pass an OfB or to actually implement is not required.  There is no appeal process for a OfB.

I agree totally with the Staff’s comments that OfB’s with blanket exemptions from wide ranging policies has impact on more than the municipality which has enacted the OfB.   Our drinking water, both its quality and availability depends on the activities in every municipality.  The Greater Golden Horseshoe needs to have its transportation strategies planned and implemented wholistically.

The Bill opens the door to building industry outside the urban boundaries.  Who will pay the cost of maintaining the servicing infrastructure for next 50 years.  (If built with the urban boundary that infrastructure would be part of the whole system.)  What happens when the first “generation” of use is obsolete?  What is the chance of the 50 new jobs created at the manufacturing site being eliminated or at least reduced because of robotics?  (Per Bill 66 an OfB is for opportunities of creating 50 jobs for a municipality <250,000.)

To date there have been different responses to the Bill.  As reviewed in the report Whitchurch Stouffville has clearly indicated interest in taking advantage of the Bill.  I know that Aurora has passed a resolution stating that they would not execute a OfB.  In the media I have seen reports from Guelph and Orangeville that there is not similar interest.

Bill 66 is a terrible piece of legislation.  I want King to pass a resolution that we would not enact a OfB.


3 Responses to “ “Bill 66 Section 10”

  1. Greg Locke says:

    Thank you Debbie for taking a thoughtful approach to what I agree is, a “…terrible piece of legislation”.

    I am in favour of policies that make developing ZONED employment lands easier for land owners and businesses. It is true that there are layers of bureaucracy, including King, that make it unnecessarily hard for us as a community to attract new industry.

    But to do so in this manner, per Bill 66 Section 10, is detestable. We value the environmental protections we have worked so hard to achieve in the last 20 years and more. And there is ample zoned industrial lands in King to accommodate a wide variety of hard and soft industry (including Schomberg where I reside).

    In my opinion, this Bill speaks to the monied interest groups – developers and speculators – who have been frustrated they have not been able to realize their investments on lands deemed quite appropriately to be of more value to our society.

    This Bill aims to side-step our very reasonable protections to these lands.

    • Debbie says:

      Thank you for your comment about making it easier for lands already zoned for employment to be developed more easily. You are right to point out that addressing this might indeed enable something to happen there. This is critical as we have so much land zoned already for development. We need to understand why that is.

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