The Province has designated Brampton a high growth municipality, but in order to continue building a strong, prosperous city, we will need important amendments to current provincial legislation. From adequate funding sources for new development, to the ability to make planning decisions without being overruled by provincial tribunals, the next provincial government must provide proper tools and decision-making powers to cities to manage growth successfully.
- Amend the Development Charges Act
- Ontario Municipal Board Reform
1. Amend the Development Charges Act
Development charges are fees that the City charges to developers to pay for the cost of new roads, sewers, buses, etc. that are needed because of growth. In 1997, the province set strict limits on the funds municipalities could recover through development charges. These changes reduced the developers’ contribution to things like transit, hospitals and cultural facilities, as well as other key services that are critically important to the quality of life in our communities.
What Brampton Needs from the Next Provincial Government: Reform the Development Charges Act so that the costs of growth are paid for by the developers rather than property tax payers.
This can be done by:
- Removing mandatory discounts on the recovery of costs related to many municipal services
- Allowing development charges on currently ineligible municipal costs, like hospitals and administration space
- Amending how certain services, like transit, are calculated
- Aligning development charges with other provincial planning objectives, such as curbing urban sprawl and promoting increased intensification
- Reforming the way GO Transit and hospital development charges are levied
2. Ontario Municipal Board Reform
Provincial legislation puts municipalities in charge of planning their communities. Municipal Councils are best suited to make these planning decisions, as they best know their communities. Despite this, the unelected Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) regularly overrules the decisions of democratically elected Councils. In Brampton, an example of this is the OMB decision to allow an 834 unit apartment building to be built in the established neighbourhood of Heart Lake, despite a unanimous decision of Brampton Council to reject the application.
What Brampton Needs from the Next Provincial Government: Reform the OMB to be prohibited from considering, commenting or overturning a unanimous decision of a democratically elected municipal Council.