Bill 185: implications on King

May 11, 2024 | Developments, Policies, Masterplans, The Issues | 6 comments

On May 13 Council agenda there is a comprehensive report from Staff presenting the implications of Bill 185, The Cutting Red Tape To Build More Homes Act and the proposed Provincial Planning Statement.  Once again the provincial government is modifying how decisions about land use are to be made. And once again there has been a short period (only 30 days) for feedback; not surprisingly our Staff will be submitting their feedback a few days late as the deadline is May 10th. As a citizen and as a municipal councillor I find the frequency of these dramatic changes on very critical issues and the short timelines to be very disrespectful.  The staff report is very informative on the implications on King starting on Page 3; also the feedback proposed to be submitted to the Province pending discussion at our Monday Council meeting is given. Below I have commented on a few of the issues.

Bill 185 includes a new ministerial zoning order framework. Speaking bluntly I find this one very troubling. To really go out on a limb:    from my read of Staff’ s comments I can see that i) if it is as I understand and ii) if the legislation passes this sets the stage to consider again building the hospital on Bathurst which was proposed in late 2022 but was then reversed at same time as the Greenbelt cutouts were reversed.

I very much agree with the Staff comment that Bill 185’s prohibition of requiring parking for new developments within the lands designated as the transit station area is very problematic. As there is limited public transit in King City it is unrealistic to think that persons living in the GO train station area would not want or need a car. Hence inevitably there would be expectations that the municipality provide parking which will cost the taxpayer.

I am very much concerned about the exemptions for certain forms of development from the Planning Act. The forms to be exempted include post secondary institutions and “community service facilities” (i.e. long term care homes, public hospitals.)  I do not fully understand the extent to which these exemptions apply to King as most of our land area is Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine.  I am very sensitive to further erosion of public consultation and Council authority.  Already the current legislation eliminated the opportunity for Council to approve or reject the application for the long term care facility at Mary Lake.

Bill 185 includes further limitation on appeal rights. Under Bill 23 third party appeals on minor variance or consent applications was eliminated. With Bill 185 the same restriction  is to be applied to Official Plans, Zoning Bylaws and amendments to both of these.   As commented in the report this restriction is advantageous in terms of speeding up the process to get official plans etc to be in force. Currently appeals are permitted and it can take several years for an OP, for example, to be in force. In addition to not being able to use the authority of the new OP it  costs the municipality in terms of planning and legal expertise.  I am intrigued by our Staff’s comment that there could be the unintended consequence that participation and pressure by the public (who are currently the potential 3rd party appelants) during the initial review of an application will increase because it will be understood that there is no other chance.

The staff report also reviews proposed policies for a new Provincial Planning Statement. This statement is replacing “A Place To Grow: Growth Plan For The Greater Golden Horseshoe” and the  Provincial Policy Statement.  As these two policies have been critical policies underlying land use planning for many years (since 2005)  there is great concern about what is being lost.  Staff have noted concerns about agricultural mapping; currently its required to use the provincially mapped agricultural system but that requirement will be removed.  Staff have flagged both the burden being placed on the municipality to do it but also that there is risk of inconsistencies across municipalities.

There is a lot of significant policy issues on the table.  I encourage you to let Council know what message you went sent to the Province.  You can register to make a deputation at or you can send in your comments to and they will sent to Council.  You need to each of these actions by noon May 13.






    Thought provoking but very late to the plate in my humble opinion. Myself bought into King City because of the opportunities for space to grow. This bill and it’s implications represent an a attack on the specifications for space. What was once thought as the gold standard for a backyard, 75 feet or so has been relegated to 30 feet or less. Even more disturbing is the thought entire neighbourhoods can be considered redundant because current land use policy wants to dictate less land is good for us all. The strange thing is no one asks that landowner what he or she thinks applies to him or her. But, we sure like to hand out property tax bills that someone seems to believe reflects our specific needs.

  2. Jacquie Whitten

    I fully agree with your assessment of the impacts of bill 185. The provincial government seems bent on taking away lands especially for their own purposes. The cutting of red tape and the short time period for feedback is unacceptable. We need to send the government our opposition to this bill. Please let them know our feelings on this issue.

    • Debbie

      hello Jacquie, The Province needs to hear from citizens. It was pressure from citizens that led to the reversal of the Greenbelt cuts in fall 2023. Please write to MPP Stephen Lecce and Premier Ford asking them to not approve Bill 185 and the dismantling of the Provincial Policy Statement. Or, sign onto this letter written by Liveable Ontario.
      Here is link to the letter.

  3. Ian Hilley

    Debbie: tough to read 133 pages & provide a considered perspective from the Thursday immediately before a meeting of Council that includes Mother’s day.
    The comments of Enviromental Defence & the Enviromental law association maybe helpful to you.


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