Specific Legal Issues
From the CCI Huronia Winter 2023 Condo Buzz Newsletter
Bill 23, or the More Homes Built Faster Act (the “Act”), is an omnibus piece of Ontario housing legislation that “streamlines” dozens of laws to build 1.5 million homes in the next 10 years. It received Royal Assent on November 28, 2022. The changes that will have the biggest direct impact on existing condominiums are the revisions to the Development Charges Act and the Planning Act.
During drafting of Bill 23, there were changes proposed to the the energy efficiency requirements of the Ontario Building Code to achieve the provincial government’s goal of building more affordable and attainable residential units. The proposed changes conflicted with climate change initiatives that are currently in focus nationally and internationally. In the end, the changes were not adopted in the Act and the Ontario Building Code was unaffected.
The Development Charges Act was revised to exempt certain types of new residential units from Development Charges. The exemption applies to affordable residential units and attainable residential units, non-profit housing developments and inclusionary zoning residential units in urban areas. Municipalities and other critics of the legislation maintain that the loss of revenue from these exemptions will burden existing taxpayers with increased taxes and/or reduced level of services.
The Planning Act was revised so that a Municipality’s Zoning Bylaw cannot restrict secondary and tertiary residential units (eg. basement apartments). This has implications for condominiums because the Act takes precedence over a Condominium’s Declaration, Bylaws and Rules. Current restrictions in the Condominium’s documents with respect to creation of secondary units deserve a closer look to ensure they do not run counter to the Act. It is worth noting that where secondary and tertiary residential units are constructed, they must still be constructed in accordance with the requirements of the Ontario Building Code.
Another revision to the Planning Act with implications for Condominiums involves parking. The Act was revised so that a Municipality’s Zoning Bylaw cannot require more than one parking space per residential unit. Increasing residential density while decreasing parking space allocation will make parking control even more challenging for Condominium Property Managers going forward.
These are just a few examples of the changes adopted in the Act which will directly impact Condominiums. Further examples will come forward as we continue to unpack this diverse piece of legislation.
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