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DURHAM REGION HOMEBUILDERS' ASSOCIATION

BUILDING DURHAM


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  • July 29, 2020 3:17 PM | Anonymous

    The City of Pickering will be hosting an electronic meeting from 2:30 - 3:30 PM on Thursday, August 13th, targeted to builders and developers of infill projects within the City to share the draft planning recommendations resulting from the Infill and Replacement Housing in Established Neighbourhoods Study (the Study). If you are interested in joining the meeting, please respond to Margaret Kish at mkish@pickering.ca by noon on Wednesday, August 12th. Please ensure that you provide the email address that you wish to be contacted at so that you can be connected via audio and video for the meeting. You will be provided with an electronic link and instructions prior to the meeting.

    The City of Pickering is undertaking the Study to determine how to manage infill and replacement housing construction in established neighbourhoods within the South Pickering Urban Area. The Study is now in its third and final phase.

    There will be a short pre-recorded presentation by the project team at 2:30 pm followed by an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the Draft Planning Recommendations Report and Draft Urban Design Guidelines (the key deliverables of Phase 3 of the Study). You are encouraged to review the Draft Planning Recommendations Report on the City’s website at pickering.ca/InfillStudy prior to the electronic meeting.

    The Draft Planning Recommendations Report provides the analysis of the Preferred Strategy proposed in Phase 2 of the Study and proposes detailed recommendations for the City to address compatibility of new infill and replacement housing in established residential neighbourhoods.

    Your comments will inform the staff report to the Planning & Development Committee meeting on September 14, 2020. Separate notification will be provided in advance of this meeting.

    Your comments and/or questions regarding the Draft Planning Recommendations Report can be forwarded to:

    Margaret Kish, MCIP, RPP

    Principal Planner, Policy

    City Development Department

    Tel: 905.420.4660, ext. 2196

    Email: mkish@pickering.ca

    For more information please visit our website at pickering.ca/InfillStudy


  • July 23, 2020 1:31 PM | Anonymous

    Oshawa City Council adopted report CNCL-20-154, which contains the City's comments on the Proposed Amendment 1 to A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshow, and the Proposed Land Needs Assessment Methodology.

    The following recommendations were adopted:

    1. That report CNCL-20-154 dated July 8, 2020, be endorsed as the City's comments on Proposed Amendment 1 to A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshow, and the Proposed Land Needs Assessment Methodology; and
    2. That staff be authorized to forward a copy of Report CNCL-20-154 dated July 8, 2020 and its related resolution by City Council to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for its consideration; and 
    3. That a copy of CNCL-20-154 dated July 8, 2020 and the Council resolution be sent to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Region of Durham, Durham area municipalities, Durham area M.P.P.s., the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, the City’s Building Industry Liaison Team which includes the Durham Chapter of the Building Industry and Land Development Association and the Durham Region Home Builders’ Association.


  • July 23, 2020 12:46 PM | Anonymous

    At the July 13th Oshawa Council meeting, councillors voted to receive report CNCL-20-149 regarding requiring 15% of new homes built have "visitable" features, including wider entrance ways, an accessible bathroom on the main floor, no stairs to the entrance, etc. 

    Of note in this report is that staff will request the Province of Ontario to amend the Ontario Building Code in consultation with municipalities and the building and development industry to permit municipalities to establish their own approach to accessible units.  If the OBC is ultimately amended by the Province, the preparation of accessibility standards would be undertaken in consultation with the public, building and development industry and other stakeholders (O.A.A.C.) and presented to Council for approval.

    Background:

    Oshawa Will Not Mandate 15% "Visitable Homes"

    June 10, 2020 2:27 PM | Anonymous

    In the Fall of 2019, the Oshawa Accessibility Advisory Committee provided the following recommendation to council:

    "Whereas the O.A.A.C. Built Environment Subcommittee is finding numerous site plans with only inaccessible townhomes and stacked townhouses; 

    Therefore the City require that all residential projects be designed with 15% accessible units with visitable features, including no stairs to entrances doors as well as entrance door and washroom door widths sufficient for mobility devices."

    Council referred the recommendation back to staff to have the matter discussed with Oshawa's Building Industry Liaison Team (BILT).

    DRHBA was present at the October 29, 2019 meeting where representatives voiced concerns over mandating accessibility, which was followed up by a letter.  It was pointed out that many builders offer this option to purchasers already.

    As a result, staff presented Report CNCL-20-67 to council on May 25, 2020.

    In the report, the following recommendations were made:

    • Implement conditions in planning agreements to promote consumer awareness of developers' accessible construction programs but maintain status quo pursuant to Ontario Building Code Requirements.
    • Staff to encourage builders to construct model homes with accessible features to further increase consumers' awareness.

    It should also be highlighted that the staff report noted that "municipalities are not permitted to require houses, triplexes, and boarding or rooming houses with fewer  than eight boarders, to exceed the minimum standards established by the OBC for barrier-free design or otherwise."

    At the council meeting, Councillor Rosemary McConkey moved "That the Report CNCL-20-67 be amended to add the following as Parts 2 and 3:

    2. That the Province of Ontario be requested to implement changes to the Ontario Building Code to require a portion of all new single-detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, row townhouse dwellings proposed in developments in excess of 6 new dwelling units to contain an accessible front entrance, an accessible width front door and an accessible washroom on the ground floor; and,

    3. That all Durham Region municipalities be notified of the recommendation directly above and their respective councils encouraged to support this resolution."

    Councillor Brian Nicholson moved "That Parts 2 and 3 to Report CNCL-20-67 be referred to staff for a report back to the next meeting of City Council."  This recommendation was carried.

    Councillor McConkey then moved "That Part 1 of the recommendation contained in Report CNCL-20-67 be referred back to staff."  This motion lost.

    The vote to adopt the recommendation contained in Report CNCL-20-67 carried.


  • July 23, 2020 9:30 AM | Anonymous

    At the July 6, 2020 council meeting, Clarington council voted to approve a zoning bylaw amendment and passed Bylaw 2020-050.

    This by-law adds restrictions to building new homes and renovating current homes in the specified area.

    The passed bylaw can be viewed here.



  • July 23, 2020 9:25 AM | Anonymous

    In July, students returned to Durham College (DC) to complete the practical components of their programs which were impacted by the closure of the college campuses in response to COVID-19.

    Three-quarters of these “stranded” students are studying skilled trades and will spend the rest of the summer acquiring the hours and hands-on experience required to complete their studies and qualify for graduation.

    As they have resumed their training, the college has resumed its Building for Skills campaign, in support of DC’s Whitby campus phase IV expansion. Slated to open in September 2021, this new 60,000 square foot building will include shop labs, classrooms and student spaces, allowing 750 more learners prepare for careers in the building construction and industrial skilled trades each year.

    Funding for the $35 million building project is coming from a number of sources. DC is covering 70 per cent of the cost through a loan and use of reserves, and is seeking $10 million from the community through the Building for Skills campaign. Prior to closure, $4.2 million had already been secured, thanks to the Region of Durham, the Town of Whitby and several individuals and foundations.

    DC is doing what it can to address the demand for skilled workers, from employers looking for talent, to students looking for space in the college’s programs so they can learn the skills needed to secure work or open businesses in the skilled trades. DC seeks to raise the remaining funds to support this expansion from companies, organizations, foundations and individuals that see value in opening more doors for those interested in careers in the skilled trades.

    To learn more about how you can help please contact Jennifer Clark, senior development officer, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs (Jennifer.clark@durhamcollege.ca or 905.259.4598).


  • July 20, 2020 9:31 AM | Anonymous

    Part-time Course Developer- Stairs and Railings, Walls and Floors and Interior Trim

    Durham College is seeking an experienced and motivated professional who shares our commitment to quality and student success.  The Centre for Professional and Part-Time Learning (PPL) requires a part-time course developer to create quality learning materials in three courses entitled Stairs and Railings, Walls and Floors and Interior Trim.  These courses are part of a new program entitled Construction Jobsite Readiness.

    RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE (BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO):

     Reporting to the Director, the course developer will create a highly engaging and effective learning environment for students. This will include:

    1.     Create course content using the appropriate tools including the D2L (Desire2Learn) learning management system;

    2.     Fully develop the course, including writing lessons, curating and incorporating resources, designing navigation, creating assessments and rubrics, and adding appropriate multimedia content etc.;

    3.     Implement the principles of Universal Design for Learning during development of materials;

    4.     Maintain alignment of all teaching materials with the course learning outcomes;

    5.     Ensure all materials are AODA and WCAG 2.0 compliant and follow copyright law.

     THE IDEAL CANDIDATE WILL MEET OR EXCEED THE FOLLOWING QUALIFICATIONS:

    ·       Minimum of five years of recent industry experience that relates directly to the topic being taught;

    ·       Holds a 4-year Bachelors (or higher) in a construction-related field. A Master of Education is considered an asset;

    ·       Minimum of 3 years teaching/training experience at the post-secondary level or within a construction industry environment, with the demonstrated application of adult educational principles and teaching/assessment methodologies;

    ·       Strong technical skills using various applications such as Word, PowerPoint, YouTube;

    ·       Experience with the various tools within a learning management system (such as D2L Brightspace) an asset;

    ·       Superior skills in the areas of verbal and written communication, interpersonal skills, critical thinking and problem solving;

    ·       Excellent organizational and time management skills;

    ·       A proven track record in consistently meeting deadlines;

    ·       Self-motivated and independent worker who also functions well in a team environment;

     

    Preference will be given to candidates with relevant educational credentials and a proven track record of relevant work/teaching experience.  Please note that a cover letter is required in addition to a resume in order to apply for this position. Combine these within one document, with the cover letter appearing first. Job competition closes at 4:00pm on Friday July 24, 2020. Competition number is PT-PPL-175.

    All applications can be submitted through our online portal: https://durhamcollege.ca/about/employment-opportunities



  • July 09, 2020 10:41 AM | Anonymous

    TORONTO — The Ontario government, in consultation with Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force that were made under s.7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 22, 2020. The extension was made to ensure the province maintains the necessary flexibility to protect public health and safety as more businesses reopen and people go back to work.

    The extension of the emergency orders will help protect vulnerable people, such as seniors, by allowing the redeployment of frontline staff in long-term care facilities, retirement homes and other congregate care settings, like women's shelters and residential services. In addition, the extension would allow public health units to redeploy or hire staff to support case management and contact tracing.

    "Our government is getting Ontario back on track and more people back to work, but at the same time taking steps to ensure we don't undo the tremendous progress we have made together," said Premier Doug Ford. "By keeping these emergency measures in place, we will continue to support our frontline care providers, protect our most vulnerable, and ensure we can rapidly respond to potential outbreaks or surges."

    The government intends to extend emergency orders to align with the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, if passed. This proposed legislation is part of the government's plan to cautiously reopen Ontario in a way that recognizes the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 even after the provincial declaration of emergency has ended. The bill, if passed, would allow Ontario to continue its path to recovery by easing restrictions where appropriate, while maintaining important select tools to address the ongoing threat of this deadly virus and protect Ontarians.

    A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and at Ontario.ca/alert.



  • July 09, 2020 10:12 AM | Anonymous

    The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has posted a number of online resources and Environmental Registry postings that members should be aware of.

    As part of the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks (MECP) proposed components of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery ActMECP is proposing to move forward with the next phase of environmental assessment modernization, to further reduce delays and focus resources on projects with a higher potential of environmental impacts so that the provincial government can help communities get important infrastructure projects built faster, while maintaining strong environmental oversight.

    Proposed amendments to the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA)

    The legislation (Bill 197) would allow the MECP, through subsequent regulations and proclamations, to allow online submissions, reduce the average time by half for the largest projects and match the potential environmental impact of a project to the level of study required. The proposed changes are aimed at getting important infrastructure projects built faster, while maintaining strong environmental oversight by focusing on projects that have the most potential to impact the environment.

    Please refer to https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-2051 for more information.  

    Amendments to Class Environmental Assessments (Class EAs)

    The MECP is seeking input on proposed amendments to 8 Class EAs (including Municipal Class EAs for which OHBA has been engaged with a variety of recommendations to the MECP). These proposed changes would support the MECP modernization initiative as they would exempt low-impact projects from the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act, eliminate duplication and find efficiencies in the planning process. This would speed up projects that are important to communities, such as erosion, repair, or remediation initiatives, or important upgrades to machinery such as waterpower generators.

    MECP is seeking input on these proposed amendments during a 45-day comment period, closing on August 22, 2020.  Details of this proposal may be found at https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-1712

    Exempting Regulations

    MECP is proposing regulatory exemptions from the Environmental Assessment Act to eliminate duplication and reduce delays for projects and activities related to Indigenous land claim settlements and other agreements with Indigenous communities dealing with land, projects within provincial parks and conservation reserves, and select highway projects being planned by the Ministry of Transportation. Some of these projects and activities are already subject to other legislation or planning processes that would provide the appropriate level of assessment and consultation. Other projects may be exempted from the EAA but would still be subject to conditions such as requirements to post notifications or undertake technical studies as appropriate.

    MECP is seeking input on these proposed amendments during a 45-day comment period, closing on August 22, 2020. Please refer to https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-1805.

    Proposed changes to environmental approvals for municipal sewage collection works

    MECP is proposing to modernize Ontario’s environmental approval process for low-risk municipal sewage works by implementing a Consolidated Linear Infrastructure Permissions Approach. The proposed approach will consolidate and update the approvals process for these types of works and incorporates measures that will enhance environmental protection. OHBA Resolution #1 (Modernization of Approvals) passed at our AMM in September 2019 and, the OHBA Modernizing Ontario’s Environmental Assessments (ERO 013-5101) submission the OHBA Made in Ontario Environment Submission have supported streamlining the redundant ECA process for SWM facilities and in particular SWM ponds that require sign off by the MECP following municipal approvals

    MECP is seeking input on these proposed amendments during a 45-day comment period, closing on August 22, 2020. Please refer to https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-1080

    Proposals for select Ministry of Transportation projects

    The provincial government is proposing a regulation to exempt select Ministry of Transportation projects from the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act, subject to conditions for environmental protection: the Bradford Bypass and several Ministry of Transportation Provincial Transportation Facilities class environmental assessments (Class EA) projects. The full list of projects is included in the Environmental Registry link below. MECP is seeking input on these proposed amendments during a 45-day comment period, closing on August 22, 2020. Please refer to https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-1883

    The provincial government is a regulation to update the existing environmental assessment process for the Ministry of Transportation’s Greater Toronto Area (GTA) West Transportation Corridor. The regulation would create a new streamlined process for assessing potential environmental impacts of the project, as well as consulting on it. MECP is seeking input on these proposed amendments during a 45-day comment period, closing on August 22, 2020. Please refer to https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-1882.

    Many of the MECP proposals listed above respond directly to OHBA advocacy through the OHBA Submission to Ontario’s Jobs and Recovery Committee, OHBA Resolution #1 (Modernization of Approvals) passed at our AMM in September 2019, the OHBA Modernizing Ontario’s Environmental Assessments (ERO 013-5101) submission and the OHBA Made in Ontario Environment Submission. OHBA would like to thank our many volunteer members who have dedicated countless hours on these files.



  • July 09, 2020 9:27 AM | Anonymous

    As part of the COVID-19 post-pandemic recovery, the provincial government introduced Bill 197 COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act in the Legislative Assembly yesterday.  The omnibus Bill makes amendments to a number of pieces of existing legislation as part of Ontario's Plan for Economic Jobs and Recovery.  

    Highlights include:

    Planning Act and Development Charges Act Amendments (related to Community Benefit Charges (CBC) authority):

    • The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has responded to OHBA's major concerns articulated in OHBA's April 2020 submission responding to the Environmental Registry 019-1406 with respect to the Community Benefits Authority.  The provincial government received over 70 submissions from local home builders' associations and individual member companies (16 from DRHBA members) that "ran the math" to demonstrate potentially significant cost increases for new home purchasers due to the imposition of a CBC.
    • The proposed amendments to the Development Charges Act will expand the list of eligible Development Charges under hard services (moving them from previous soft service DCs).
    • While that shift from previous soft DCs to hard services means there will no longer be a 10% reduction (municipal contribution), the total list of eligible services for development charges has been reduces, meaning some services for which municipalities previously charged soft service DCs for will no longer be eligible.
    • The CBC framework (as recommended by OHBA and DRHBA) will no longer apply to low-rise or missing middle housing.  Only residential development with over 10 units AND 5-stories and over will be eligible for municipalities to apply a Community Benefits Charge.
    • The existing parkland dedication framework for low-rise housing within the Planning Act will continue to apply (the CBC framework previous amalgamated parkland dedication into the CBC).
    • The OHBA (and local HBA) submissions specifically advocated for a cap on the alternative parkland rate to support intensification, however the proposed legislative amendments do NOT include a cap.  OHBA will continue to advocate for a cap on the alternative cash-in-lieu of parkland rate.
    • Proposed amendments to the Planning Act will make parkland dedication by-laws for the first time appealable to the LPAT (as has been advocated by OHBA).

    Community Benefits Charges (CBC) Regulation:

    • Yesterday's introduction of Bill 197 does NOT include a final CBC regulation or a percentage CBC cap.
    • However, yesterday's proposed amendments to the Planning Act and Development Charges Act re-set the proposed framework for a Community Benefits Charges Authority and reflect positive discussions between OHBA, DRHBA and member companies throughout the spring with many of our recommendations being adopted by the government.
    • There is still important work to be finalized, but the proposed framework released today is a positive step forward for a transparent and more predictable framework.  OHBA and DRHBA will continue to engage with MMAH on what the percentage cap would be given this new framework and what is in vs. what is not in the "bucket" of services for the CBC.
    • As was originally proposed, municipalities will no longer be able to charge "Section 37" density bonuses - the new CBC replaces this municipal tool and municipal CBC bylaws will be appealable to the LPAT.

    Expanded Ministerial Zoning Order Authority:

    • In an effort to support transit oriented communities and economic recovery, legislation tabled yesterday proposes to expand Ministerial Zoning Order authority.
    • Additional Ministerial authority is proposed for Site Plan Controls in addition to existing zoning authority.
    • The use of these powers does NOT include lands within the Greenbelt.
    • The Minister will have the authority to prescribe affordable housing targets (inclusionary zoning) as part of this new authority.
    • The proposed legislative amendments reflect OHBA advocacy and recommendations supporting more housing supply and choice in transit oriented communities.

    Modernizing Municipal Class Environmental Assessments:

    • The MECP is proposing to modernize all eight classes of Environmental Assessments (including MCEA) which were covered in more detail above).
    • More info will be posted on the Environmental Registry.
    • The MECP is proposing streamlining initiatives to standardize project lists and reduce studies required.
    • These proposed amendments by the MECP will expedite the seven other classes Environmental Assessments (beyond MCEAs) process and be a very positive step for major critical infrastructure projects to move through the approvals process faster.

    Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECAs) for Waste Water and Storm Water Management:

    • The MECP is responding to OHBA advocacy moving towards a consolidated approvals approach for low-impact municipal sewage collection and stormwater management projects.
    • More information will be posted on the Environmental Registry.

    Other Items:

    • The proposed changes will allow the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to make regulations that will streamline the Building Code development process, align it with National Construction Codes and enable Ontario to respond faster to construction sector needs.
    • The Ontario government is proposing changes to permanently establish the Office of the Provincial Land and Development Facilitator and give the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing the authority to appoint the Facilitator.
    • The Ontario government is advancing the Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) Program, which will help connect people to places by building communities that are centred around transit stations along the four priority subway projects.

    Government Press Release:

    https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/07/ontario-starting-down-the-path-to-growth-renewal-and-economic-recovery-1.html

    Government Backgrounder:

    https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/07/ontario-starting-down-the-path-to-growth-renewal-and-economic-recovery.html 



  • June 24, 2020 2:13 PM | Anonymous

    DRHBA has received notice from the Town of Whitby that the special council meeting to ratify the Whitby Green Standards (WGS) has been postponed from July 20 to an undetermined date in the Fall.

    DRHBA representatives met with the Whitby Green Standards committee yesterday, June 23, and again raised our serious concerns with the program.  To date, none of the concerns identified by DRHBA have been addressed by the committee.

    In an email to DRHBA, the Town of Whitby states that they "will review all the feedback and address any revisions that need to be made to the proposed WGS.  We are also revisiting the timeline to bring the project to Council.  We will be taking time over July and August to address the feedback and present any changes to the WGS to the development community before the matter is presented to Council in the Fall."

    If you have any concerns or questions about the Whitby Green Standards, please contact Stacey at s.hawkins@drhba.com.



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