In Fall 2013, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) led a consultation process surrounding the 1997 Development Charges Act. The Act is based on the core principle that development charges are a primary tool in ensuring that “growth pays for growth.”
MMAH asked stakeholders across the province for insight on how to improve the Act to make sure it is predictable, transparent, cost-effective and responsive to the changing needs of communities.
The Ontario Farmland Trust participated in this consultation and prepared several comments, concerns and recommendations related to the Act. OFT encourages policy reform that:
– Prevents development charges from subsidizing urban sprawl on farmlands;
– Encourages greater land use efficiency in expanding communities; and
– Supports mechanisms that ‘offset’ development on farmland with permanent protection of other agricultural lands elsewhere in a community.