The fact is that, in the context of Toronto`s larger budgetary needs, section 37 agreements simply do not make much money. According to this 2014 report [PDF], section 37 has brought $309 million in cash benefits since the merger. There are also important “in-kind contributions” such as the preservation of cultural heritage, which are difficult to prove with monetary value, but this report [PDF] has them at about half the value of cash contributions. This would mean that municipal land transfer taxes in the last year alone [PDF] have yielded as much as section 37 in 18 years. Not quite “Mayoral Legacy” money. Maybe just “Advisor Legacy” money. Okay, the report we just referred to says that section 37 is a planning tool. It is also the line of the city. It probably shouldn`t be.

Developers need incentives to engage in building a livable and well-designed city – but Article 37 is probably not the best way to do that. Some board members suggest that section 37 is necessary and works well as it stands. But a number of experts — including Toronto`s chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat, respected planner and planning expert Ken Greenberg, and a 2013 report from munk School`s Institute of Municipal Finance and Governance — have proposed some reforms. Given that the system is so arbitrary and often unpredictable, and sometimes seems to offer incentives that are contrary to what the city`s approved plans claim to want, a revision seems desirable. A “full review,” as the mayor suggests, with options for changes to the system, might be the best approach. The biggest criticism is that its effectiveness depends heavily on the competence and creativity of the local council. Since each section 37 agreement is negotiated separately, there is no real standard or baseline for how it works, how many types of allowances cost a developer, or what a community should expect in exchange for a major change in its street. The types of benefits provided are sensitive to the same eccentricity and often depend on the priorities (or “preferred projects”) of different decision-makers. And the funds are not evenly distributed across the city. This poses a real fairness issue as section 37 funding has become virtually the only source of funding for things like playgrounds and community centres due to the austerity measures imposed by low tax rates. It is in the nature of things that section 37 funds are spent in the communities where development takes place, which means that in the parts of the city where high-rise housing development is concentrated, a lot of money can be spent.

This has led to proposals, including from John Tory, that money should be “pooled” to be spent throughout the city in areas of need. Edward Keenan writes on urban issues. Follow: @thekeenanwire These services are negotiated by planning staff and with local councils in the area where development is under construction. Although the agreements themselves are approved by the City Council, the use of the funds is largely controlled directly by the City Council for use in projects in its municipality. The “injustice” of section 37 depends on how the law is written and how the city is formed. In the city center, where real estate is lucrative and space is limited, there is an incentive to build higher and denser. In the suburbs, you can easily stretch out, not upwards (although the green belt and growth plan make this more complicated, but that`s another story). The sprawling, car-centric design in much of the city discourages the type of developments to which Section 37 applies. The problem is that many residents – including city councils – love the suburbs because they are not downtown. But if you want Section 37 funds like downtown, you need to make your neighborhood more downtown-like. No one knows how Article 37 point tumblr dot com works #TOpoli the fact is that Article 37 is not intended to serve as a source of revenue for the city.

We have other sources of money for that – property taxes, for example. Specifically for new construction, the city charges a development fee for new construction projects specifically designed to generate revenue, and these could easily be increased if the council wants more money for general use. Article 37 agreements are designed to compensate for changes to a particular neighbourhood that will make the development that enters it specific. Bundling this revenue for use in other neighborhoods would require a likely flawed process and completely detach it from its underlying logic. The purpose of the article of the law is to compensate for the problems caused by changes made to a quarter when different types of developments are added, for example to compensate for the .B increase in traffic, population or changes in the streetscape that new developments imply. The implementing directives under Article 37 were adopted on 20 September. November 2007 adopted and revised by City Council to consolidate the amendments adopted by Council by July 2013. The guidelines are intended to assist in the implementation of the guidelines under section 37 of the Official Plan (section 5.1.1). The guidelines are designed to be read in conjunction with the official plan guidelines and address implementation principles, other implementation issues, and guidelines to achieve certain types of community benefits. The weakest point in the case of Section 37 as a planning tool is affordable housing, one of the city`s most pressing issues. As luxury condominiums grow downtown, Toronto`s least low-income people are being pushed into the inner suburbs. When council debates the budget, section 37 funding is often a source of discontent for suburban councils who feel that downtown districts are getting more resources.

At regular intervals, some suggest pooling all the money and dividing it up citywide, which is a terrible idea. Second, there is already a city-wide pool of money in which developers deposit. Called development fees, they are one of the limited ways in which Ontario communities can raise funds.1 Creating a system that is almost but not entirely different from development costs could be seen as an attempt to circumvent the law. This is one of the reasons why Section 37 services must be community-specific.2 Although many planners and councillors defend it as a valuable tool, several criticisms have been voiced inside and outside City Hall. There is an overview here. City Council has a bad habit of relying on revenue streams such as user fees, TTC rates, and municipal land transfer taxes, so it doesn`t have to increase property tax revenues. Raising property taxes to improve parks shouldn`t be a tough sale. In addition, this strategy often transfers the cost of running the city to people who can afford it less. The use of Section 37 as an income tool may create a corresponding problem that we alluded to earlier: residents of low-growth areas do not benefit from it. As poverty shifts to the inner suburbs, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that underserved neighbourhoods have a chance to catch up. Some developers have denounced it as an unfair shakedown. Often, the buildings they propose are types the city wants to promote — for example, a mid-sized building on a city`s main street — but intentionally restrictive zoning laws mean they have to sit back and play an unpredictable game of “make a deal” with the local city council.

Section 37 of the Planning Act allows the City to approve increases in the height and/or density permitted through the Zoning Act in exchange for benefits to the community, provided that there are appropriate guidelines for the official plan (section 5.1.1 of the Official Plan, and some region-specific guidelines). .