DURHAM REGION HOMEBUILDERS' ASSOCIATION
At today's Development Services Committee meeting in Oshawa, the committee passed staff's recommendation on expanding the Greenbelt.
The full report, DS-21-72 can be viewed here.
Prior to the report being passed, Councillor McConkey attempted to make an amendment to the recommendation, to request that all of the area north of the 407 that is not currently within the urban boundary be included in the Greenbelt.
Her amendment lost 5-1.
The original report passed unanimously.
Highlights of the report include:
1. That the City of Oshawa supports expanding the existing Urban River Valley designated areas in the Greenbelt Plan to include the Proposed Expansion Areas,as generally outlined in Attachment 1, to the extent that they coincide with associated lands designated as Open Space and Recreation on Schedule ‘A’, Land Use, of the Oshawa Official Plan and as Natural Heritage System and Natural Heritage and/or Hydrologic Features outside of the Natural Heritage System on Schedule “D-1”, Environmental Management, of the Oshawa Official Plan;
2. That the City of Oshawa supports expanding the existing Urban River Valley designated areas in the Greenbelt Plan to include Corridors 2 and 3 as generally outlined in Attachment 1, given that Corridor 2 is subject to Policy 5.1.9 of the Oshawa Official Plan which, among other matters, supports the maintenance and restoration of a continuous corridor function within the Lake Iroquois Beach area,and given that Corridor 3 coincides with lands already subject to Policy 188.8.131.52 of the Oshawa Official Plan which, among other matters, explicitly recognizes the importance of lands within one (1) kilometre of the Lake Ontario shoreline as wildlife habitat and a regional wildlife movement corridor;
3. That the Province of Ontario be requested to provide implementing land acquisitionfunding to acquire new public Greenbelt Urban River Valley connection landsincluding Lake Ontario Waterfront lands;
4. That staff be authorized to forward Item DS-21-72 and any related resolution of the Development Services Committee to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and to provide subsequent follow-up once Council has considered this matter; and,
5. That a copy of Item DS-21-72 and the related Council resolution be sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in response to the posting on the Environmental Registry of Ontario entitled “Consultation on growing the size of the Greenbelt” (Posting Number ERO 019-3136), with copies also provided to the Region of Durham, Durham area municipalities, Durham area M.P.P.s, the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, and the City’s Building Industry Liaison Team which includes the Durham Chapter of the Durham Region Home Builders’ Association.
At the April 6, 2021 Region of Durham Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting, Ajax Mayor pulled correspondence from the Town of Ajax.
The Town of Ajax has passed a direction to send this letter to the Honorable Jeff Yurek at the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks. The letter outlines the Town of Ajax's objection to having three developers on the Conservation Authorities Working Group.
Initially approved by Ajax Council in February, Mayor Collier was looking for the Region of Durham to endorse this letter instead of simply receiving it for information.
In his comments to the committee, Mayor Collier mentioned that politicians must go through a commenting process to be heard, while developers have seat at the table, and said, "we feel that this is fundamentally wrong."
He continued on to say, "we feel the conservation authorities have already had their powers reduced substantially, and now to put members of the development community on; and I'm not saying anything negative about them, but I'm just saying the conservation authorities are already operating a little under duress as we've seen."
Mayor Collier also said that having developers on the working group was akin to putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.
Mayor Collier's motion was seconded by Councillor Lee, but lost.
Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan, also Chair of the committee, moved a motion to receive the correspondence for information, and stated that the working group had been in place since December, and that the 18 individuals in the group included 11 from conservation authorities, 1 politician, AMO and 2 regional staff members, and 3 from the development community.
Chair Ryan's motion to receive for information passed.
On Saturday, April 3, 2021, the Toronto Star ran an article entitled "Friends with benefits? An inside look at the money, power and influence behind the Ford government's push to build Highway 413." The article can be read here.
OHBA & BILD have released a joint statement in response to the article, which can be read here.
On Thursday, April 8, 2021, the provincial Minister of Labour, Monte McNaughton made an announcement on an enhanced health, safety and sanitation inspection blitz on jobsites across Ontario, beginning Friday, April 9, 2021. You can view the entire press conference here.
Specific to construction, the press release notes that there will be increased inspections and enforcement across the province that will include:
It is absolutely critical that members continue to invest in and enhance health, safety and sanitation protocols as new COVID variants are more contagious and require more vigilance on jobsites.
Members should review the Ministry of Labour’s guidelines for construction here and implement any infection prevention and control procedures not already in place.
Also, please consult other supporting resources including OHBA’s COVID webpage, template COVID workplace health and safety plans (which all workplaces must have) and IHSA resources.
A new Soil & Groundwater Protocol was presented to the Regional Planning and Economic Development Committee on April 6, 2021. The committee had no comments regarding the Protocol.
The Protocol includes updates to make it consistent with updated O.Reg. 153/04, and other improvements to streamline and simplify the process.
Highlights of the updates include:
The presentation is expected to be brought to Regional Council on April 26, 2021.
The presentation can be viewed here.
Based on the Premier’s announcement today, there are no new restrictions on construction. Jobsites are permitted to continue operating, with heightened enforcement of public health guidelines. As per the today’s announcement, the following businesses can remain open and operating including,
Construction activities or projects and related supporting services, including demolition and land surveying, are allowed.
Businesses allowed to open if they supply essential:
Real estate (including pre-sale construction)
No open houses – showing a property permitted by appointment only.
Maintenance, repair and property management services that manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings are allowed.
It is absolutely critical that members continue to invest in and enhance health, safety and sanitation protocols as new COVID variants are more contagious and require more vigilance on jobsites. The Ministry of Labour will be enhancing education, outreach and enforcement of COVID-19 safety requirements on construction sites. Members should review the Ministry of Labour’s guidelines for construction here and implement any infection prevention and control procedures not already in place. Also, please consult other supporting resources including OHBA’s COVID webpage, template COVID workplace health and safety plans (which all workplaces must have) and IHSA resources.
OHBA will continue to monitor the situation and communicate pertinent information and updates out to members. We all want safe jobsites, we need to keep each other safe. Please reach out if you have any questions.
The Durham Workforce Authority (DWA), in collaboration with the Social Research Centre (SRC) at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Ontario Tech), is conducting research on business trends in Durham Region. The DWA is funded through the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (LTSD) and aims to improve the availability of local labour market information in Durham Region.
The DWA and SRC, with significant input from community partners, have worked collaboratively to create a survey designed to provide significant information on employers in Durham Region. The Employer Survey will be utilized to fill significant gaps in labour market information and better understand the skills and needs of the businesses in Durham Region. The surveys probe employer respondents on topics such as attraction and retention of employees, skill sets required, industry outlook and the business climate in Durham Region. Analysis of this data will be used to augment data collected from the previous Workforce Report and create a fulsome picture of the supply and demand of the labour force in Durham Region.
Your contribution to this process is extremely important and highly valued. The surveys are anonymous and survey results are kept confidential. The surveys take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Please find the link to the survey below.
Should you have any questions or concerns please contact Matthew Stein, Director of the Social Research Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org. This study has been approved by the Ontario Tech Research Ethics Board (REB # 16926) on February 11, 2021.
On Wednesday, April 14 from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m., OHBA will be hosting its first #homebeliever session with special guest Mike Moffatt, senior director of policy and innovation from the Smart Prosperity Institute, to discuss his ongoing series, Ontarians on the Move, 2021 Edition. #1 -The Big Picture | by Mike Moffatt | Feb, 2021 | Medium.
Mike has taken a date-driven approach and focuses on the impact of population growth and migration on Ontario's housing market.
If we want to talk about housing affordability for #homebelievers, we can't ignore the elephant in the room, that Ontario continues to be a destination for people and that means we need to continue to plan new communities and build more homes.
At this time, municipal and regional governments across Ontario are making their plans for the future of housing in their communities, and Mike's data and analysis should help inform those decisions.
OHBA welcomes all members, municipal and regional representatives and elected officials to join OHBA for this important webinar.
The Region of Durham is currently in the process of updating their Planning fee schedule.
Their fee review process is now complete, and the new proposed fees can be viewed here.
The current fee bylaw came into effect on July 1, 2018 and the new fees are expected to come into effect on July 1, 2021.
The Region of Durham will be accepting feedback on the new rates up until April 21, 2021. If you have any questions or comments, please email Stacey.
The new fee bylaw has not been scheduled to be brought before council yet, but will be on either May 4 or June 1.
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Durham Region Home Builders' Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 1-1255 Terwillegar Avenue Oshawa, Ontario L1J 7A4