Planning and Housing Committee – September 17, 2019

good morning everybody welcome to
meeting 8 of the planning and Housing Committee due to a medical emergency
were about a half an hour delay we certainly hope that everything turns out
to be ok and the person is in good health I hope everybody had an excellent
summer and is all reenergized to do lots of work that we have coming in the fall
and I want to welcome back the members of the committee and welcome the members
of the public here in attendance and for those in the room with us the screen at
the back of the room provides real-time updates concerning where we are in the
agenda and what’s coming up next you can follow the agenda and the bait on your
computer tablet or smartphone at wer HEA slash council we acknowledge the land we
are meeting on as the traditional territory of many nations including the
Mississauga’s of the credit Anishnabeg Haudenosaunee and the windat people’s
and is now home to many diverse First Nations in we and Métis peoples we also
acknowledge that Toronto is covered by treaty thirteen with the Mississauga’s
of the credit are there any declarations of interest other than under the
municipal conflict of interesting at interest act seeing none can I have a
motion to confirm the minutes of the July 3rd 2019 meeting Councillor Perks
all those in favour that carries and we will go through the agenda right now so
first item review of electrical systems at Toronto Community Housing update on
maintenance and upgrade process for electrical services at Council Wong-Tam
review of the terms of reference subcommittee on the protection of
affordable rental housing move approval by Councillor Perks all those in favour
that carries 8.3 open door program call for applications 2019 support for 651
new affordable rental homes we have deputations on that 8.4 Toronto
Municipal Code Chapter three six three construction and demolition bylaw update
Councillor Perks moves approval all those in favour
that carries 8.5 visibility of implementing a supports Centre for
Committee of Adjustment in Toronto local appeal body matters we have speakers on
that eight point six appeals of citywide zoning bylaw five six nine two thousand
thirteen request for a direction Councillor Perks asked your hold eight
point seven and two end review of the development review process we have
deputations on that item and eight point eight response to auditors general
outstanding recommendation regarding section 37 and section 45 funds not
received in 2008 to 2017 approvals hold Councillor Perks okay okay so we will
start with item which is review of the electrical system at Toronto Community
Housing update on maintenance and upgrade processes for electrical
services Council Wong-Tam you held the item yes thank you very much I have some
questions for staff thank you very much for the report I just want to have a
fuller understanding with respect to the maintenance program and the upgrades
many of the TCH see buildings are of a particular vintage we’re looking at
60, 70, 80 years old. Similar to that of 650 parliament which is
where we saw the catastrophic failure of electrical system.
Is it — are all the — are all the electrical systems in TCHC buildings, as reported here,
are they all up to date with respect to infrastructure, hardware and is there anything more we can
do to ensure fire protection? Thank you for the question, Councillor.
Through the chair, I will speak, Councillor for the — from the fire perspective and actually
I did follow up nying — from the electrical perspective Councillor, general manager of
safety authority has the utmost confidence in the electrical maintenance systems in the
TCH buildings owned and managed by TCH. He wanted know draw a distinction.
They’ve been part of proactive electrical inspection.
For those managed by Toronto community housing. Where the electrical safety authority has
expressed concerns and confidence are those contract managed.
They have not within participating in the pro active electrical inspections because
they are contracted out. And those are similar issues that we have
seen with the fire prevention matters. The patterns have been the contract managed
buildings have a higher incidence with violations respect to the fire code and the safety authority
confirmed throughout the process that that is where they see an opportunity for improvement.
And how many of these buildings and campuses and complexes are actually contracted out?
Through the chair, Councillor, I don’t have that information in terms of numbers specifically
managed by the contract managed companies. And with respect to the work orders that might
outstanding from some of these electrical audits, in the report it stipulated that there’s
about 6,000 work orders. How many of them are directly related to TCHC?
Through the chair, Councillor, Toronto fire does not have that information.
We don’t have the jurisdiction to issue the orders under the electrosafety authority.
With respect in ensuring — trying to do everything we can to prevent electrical fires to ensure
that electrical systems are not compromised, including the false alarms, I know that’s
a constant breach. Is there anything more that TCHC owned buildings,
whether they are contracted out or perhaps TCHC managed, is there anything more that
the corporation could do because it sounds to me we have two tiers of TCHC buildings.
One that is owned and managed all in house and one contracted out.
It seems to me that those are substandard level of service as received by those contracted
out. Is there anything more that they can do.
Through the Deputy Mayor, Councillor, state from — again, from a fire perspective, those
buildings that are managed and operated by Toronto community housing solely have certainly
a lot less violations that Toronto fire have noted over the number of years.
From that perspective no, they’ve been proactive with us.
That was the same message communicated to me this morning by the general manager in
terms of preventative maintenance. In terms of buildings managed outside of TCH
by contract companies. Obviously Toronto fire can’t speak to the
contracts or any requirements, but certainly, you know, we have seen a higher proportion
number of violations, as has the electrical safety authority, by those buildings not directly
managed. Is TCHC here to answer questions.
For the staff at TCHC I want to know, the program that TCHC managed buildings go under
with respect to safety audits seems mandatory. For those contracted out to third party property
managers is not. Is there a reason for this service discrepancy?
I’m [inaudible] in your wards, I’m familiar with the area.
As part of RFP for the contract property managers, they are responsible for implementing their
own electrical pm program. It’s part of program to the pm program using
the specifications set out by TCHC. So is it a matter of fact that the third party
contracted out buildings are not following their own program?
We believe that they are following their own program.
They are required to submit their full p.m. Records to TCHC when there’s a deficiency
and we do review the entire p.m. Program to make sure the property managers are meeting
the required specifications and standards to make sure they are addressing any deficiencies.
What we’re moving towards is to require them to submit the full p.m. Reports annually and
standardize their documentation because they don’t have standardized documentation.
May I ask — they are — are you receiving those reports from them?
They are supposed to send them to you but are you receiving them?
Yes, they do receive them through the contract managed group but we’re asking them to standardize
them so they are in a standard. TCHC has a standard format that we do our
peks — inspections in. We’re asking the contract managers to do them
in that same format. Thank you.
Councillor Fletcher? What percentage of TCHC portfolio is contract
managed? I’m going — 2,000 units.
Or 20% by percent? I guess you can’t answer that.
Do you know the answer? Why don’t you come up to the table.
It’s less than 20%. Just less than 20.
If council passed a motion for TCHC to itself contract.
As know there’s a plan to transition away from contract manager.
We’ve undertake ton develop the transition plan.
As you know, contracts are approaching their renewal date.
And we’re working with contract managed partners to determine whether or not their performance
can be improved to bring it in line with the rest of the corporate race — corporation.
And this is a board decision or a staff decision? So, we need to work with them to determine
whether or not they can come up to standards as part of the process of determining whether
or not to renew those contracts. Do you have any idea the amount of profit
that they make in delivering these services to you?
I do not. Okay.
And who oversees the contract managed billings? Are — buildings?
Are they overseen by the same staff or special group?
There’s a special group inside the division that was known as asset management.
As of last week, that operation has been transitioned into the new operations position.
Right, so they’ll be — will there still be a special group or under the coo now?
That say group reporting to the c.o.o. Okay.
Thank you very much. Sorry you had to get dragged up here.
That’s all right. Thank you.
Any other questions? Can I ask how many fires there are in these
buildings or false alarms compared to other buildings?
Through the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Fletcher I don’t have a breakdown between the number
of fires between contract management building and TCH buildings.
What I can say is the number of violations we noted over the last number of years, there’s
a difference, a hire yes proportion of those managed by TCH.
I’m not satisfied with adopting the report in its entirety council.
I would like to work with them on how to strengthen what is contained in here.
What is troubling to me is deputy chief’s particular comments and report back that there
seems to be a sub level of maintenance and service when it comes to buildings that are
contracted out around the electrical system. That means that there are at least 20% of
those residents and tenants who live in TCHC who could be.
I don’t know what the particular resolution is right now, but I know that it would be
a mistake for us to let this go to council without some proper amendments to make making
sure that we can bring all 100% of the portfolio so the electrical safety authority will be
satisfied across the corporation with every single unit that is owned by TCHC regardless
of who is managing it that they are all given the same level of service.
I think that we can all learn from mistakes that have taken place especially most recently
in St. James Town. It’s a community that has been living with
impact after impact. Now that we’re trying to strengthen the programs
around life safety systems for high rise buildings that started off in privately owned and privately
managed companies, I don’t think we should excuse ourselves from any of that.
So I hope this we can work proactively towards fine tuning and strengthening this report
because it doesn’t tell us to do anything. It tells us the stat status quo is okay, adopt
it as it is, but from what I’m reading in these pages, the status quo is not okay and
we have to do so. Councillor Fletcher.
I’m going to move this report to council formally because it’s not technically going there yet.
It’s just a report for the committee. At that point, I will ask as well that this
report bed for — report be forwarded — City Council forward the report to the Toronto
community housing board of directors and I guess this means it has to go to council.
I think I’m doing the same thing you wanted to do.
This is really an interesting — an interesting report.
It’s very good to know that in our directly managed buildings things are being managed
so well. I want to thank you very much for the work
around fire safety and fire prevention and it’s very concerning to note that in the contract
[inaudible] that things are not going as well. It’s left up to the contract managers.
So we don’t know if they are cutting corners or not.
We have to do a bit more work on that before it gets to TCHC.
I would note that through our tenants’ satisfaction survey the contract managed buildings scored
20% or 30% lower on satisfaction than the directly operated buildings.
So the council made a motion to eliminate contract managed buildings, TCHC is looking
at that. This is an incredible weight toward moving
in that direction with fire safety. Nobody knows that more than you, Councillor
Wong-Tam, when you have a building, when you have a compromised fire system such as what
we have there at parliament 650 and that could happen in our building.
The other thing that is interesting and doesn’t connect to this is just the number of false
alarms that are coming from the housing and managing that.
I’m just — I’m not sure if we asked for that before but I’m sure we’ll find a way to find
that out to manage the false alarms. Just thank the staff for their vigilance around
fire safety both TCHC and our fantastic fire department.
Mr. Jessup is always on the job. Thank you very much.
Are you finished miss — Councillor shall — Fletcher.
[Laughter] great. I would like to thank staff.
When I was talking to staff before the meeting, I was being told that actually most of the
buildings at to TCHC the electric service is way better than the average of the city.
That’s good to know. It is disappointing to know that our outsourced
managed buildings are not up to par. I think that there’s a little bit of work
to do in there, and I think we’re very much interested in the work that TCHC is already
nfer — undertaken to bring it to the same level of system.
That’s what I heard from Councillors as. We’re looking forward to working with TCHC
and the fire department to make sure both contracted out managed buildings and directly
managed buildings have the same standards and their way of [inaudible] that TCHC is
actually delivering well on this. So with that, Councillor Fletcher moved a
motion and the report. If I could have a vote on that.
All those in favour? That carries.
Thank you. We can move that as a [inaudible] perfect.
Okay. Great.
Thank you. So we’re moving now to 8.3 open door program
call for applications 2019: Support for 651 new affordable rental homes.
And we have a deration. Good morning, Mark.
Good morning. — we have a deputation.
Good morning, Mark. Good morning.
There you go. Councillors I won’t waste your time this morning
because I know you are run running behind arrest.
Mark Richardson from housing Website established last year after the mayor
made his announcement for 40,000 housing units. It’s an average requirement that you need
to deliver 3300 units of affordable housing every year.
It’s a tough number for you to get to as you are well aware.
Over the last eight, nine months, we launched our public open map of the housing now sites
that were announced trying to make the information as clear as possible.
Trying to be as transparent as possible and trying to track against the targets.
Since we launched in January, we’ve had over 23,000 visitors to our web site.
And coming soon to our web site is going to be all of your open door’s history.
Every open doors site you have assigned numbers to since 2015.
Really we’re just trying to do this because we’re finding that getting the information
is incredibly difficult. You have to go into different staff reports,
different pdfs, scrape information out of tnis.
Numbers don’t always come to fruition for various different reasons.
A couple of examples, there’s the open door site from a few years ago at 365 Coxwell.
That was supposed to have housing units for seniors.
That fell apart. We’re still counting those numbers in the
talking points used about affordable housing. Yesterday we were out at 80 dale which is
going be at full council next week, I believe, so, please feel free to talk about 80 deal
where you went from 116 units in the original proposal down to 33 in the revised proposal.
So you lost 83 units of affordable housing. You only lost 17 units of market housing.
This is a site next to a go station. It’s transit-oriented development.
This is a slide that sometimes gets used and a talking point that gets used that you have
7,000 affordable rental units under development. It’s a super fuzzy number because it’s really
what you have said you are going to develop on those sites.
They can be in a really embryonic state in the development process.
Things can fall apart. The numbers never seem to get revised down.
The term under development and pre-development are fairly unreliable while they are discussed
around here until you get to the column that is affordable rental units under construction.
Under a building permit is physically issued for these projects, we need to be careful
with how the fair — numbers are described. Across all the affordable housing proms, open
doors, housing now, inclusionary zoning plan. All of them are going to require more density
than the locals want in order for to you make your imagine work.
It’s pretty — your math work. It’s pretty clear from the open doors meetings
we’ve been at as well. You need to be painfully transparent t ier
on confidence. The locals and Facebook groups and neighbourhood
fliers take your lack of detailed information and misuse it to run down your projects before
your meetings ever happen. I’m sure some of your Councillors experienced.
That we need address the fail yours of projects, reductions as they happen so we can correct
them as we go forward. I’m great.
I’m so happy you got 651 units here today. But as all of these open doors projects move
forward, we need to put meaningful numbers in some way and do the tracking or you guys
need create user interfaces that are much more user friendly in order to have quality
information. Otherwise you become the victim of misinformation.
That’s my time. Thank you.
Any questions of deputants — deputant? No thank you, Mark, helpful as usual.
Questions of staff. Anybody else that would like to speak on this
item? Okay.
We have one more speaker. My name is [inaudible] — lives at one of
the buildings that is one of 651 units affordable housing slated for — of affordable housing,
slated for redevelopment and she’s a member of Riverdale’s committee for this development.
She wanted to thank Councillor Fletcher and city staff for moving this along and building
afford affordable housing where it’s needed. Thanks.
Thank you so much. Anybody else that would like to speak on the
item Councillor questions of staff? Councillor Perks?
Thanks very much. To the affordable housing office.
I’ve taken a look at the different 8 proposals here.
I’ve divided them to non-profit and for profit and tried to calculate how much public subsidy
we’re giving. It looks to me like the average subsidy is
87,000 per unit and 548,000 for the for profit. Is that in the ballpark?
It looks like about a 6-1 ratio. Am I correct that we’re subsidizing for profit
and unit basis six times as much as we’re subsidizing not for profit?
Across the 651 there are more private sector proposals funded.
I’m asking on a per unit basis. My calculations show that the average of 215
nonprofit total subsidy is $18.8 million is 87,000 per unit and the private sector total
subsidy overall is 31.8 million and 436 units which is 73,000 a unit.
We’re subsidizing the per unit cost higher than the private sector.
We have to do our math together. I’d be happy to do that.
The one telling thing is the for profit units are for shorter durations 30, 30, 40, 30,
50, whereas the not for profit are 99 years. If you take the subsidy on a year of housing
basis it’s wildly skewed in favour of for profit.
Is that correct? So the affordable period we increased from
25 years in this proposal called a 30 and, yes, we are getting longer affordability with
the non-profit. Which means that in terms of years of affordable,
— affordable — affordability the amount is much higher for private sector.
Correct. They are also getting property tax exemptions
extending beyond the 30 year period. And on a net present value imrais accounting
for that — Councillor. Per unit year to the private sector is much
larger than the subsidy on the per unit year basis than the private sector is that correct?
That would be correct. Thank you very much.
Those are my questions. Any other questions.
Councillor Bradford. Through the chair, noting on page nine of
the report, it says that we received a total of 20 applications.
I guess my question is, do we have a sense of if this is higher or lower than previous
years and what we can do to maybe increase the numbers of applications that the city
is receiving? Councillor, it’s in keeping with the range
of applications that we received in previous years.
What we have done for the first time in this report is we’re recommending some funding
for those applications that came from the non-profit organizations that we’re not in
a position to recommend to you today but we’re recommending $50,000 to those organizations
to perfect their applications and come back next year.
So we’re looking to scale up the number of the open door program.
But recognizing that all of these projects are coming without any federal or provincial
funding. So this is the extent of what we can achieve
in the absence of federal and provincial housing funding.
Okay. So if 20 is sort of the ballpark average we’ve
had over the past number of years and you are coming forward next year with support
s for those applications, is there a target or goal in mind of how many applications woe
like to receive and how many we would like to be supporting?
Prior to the housing now initiative introduced we were targeting 1,000 units a year.
I think from a staff perspective we would like to get to 1,000 units recognizing as
well next year is the last year of open door program and City Council has a decision to
make as to what that program looks like and whether it would be continued.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
Councillor Wong-Tam? Thank you very much.
There seems to be a deputy with respect to some being 30 years and others as far as 99
years and I know there were other policies that the city have less of a term lock in,
about 20 years. Why is there such a wide range of occupations
did options for the developer and why do we not just try to be consistent and good for
99 years, the longest term possible? Typically in these instances, the 99 year
term would be something where the city owned the land or the land is owned by a nonhistory
profit organization. We have not factored in instance stances where
land has to be purchased. That is, if you will, a drag on the projects,
so far the economics and ability to make them work.
So if we could go back, we’re having some discussions with planning as well and rezoning
as to whether or not we could express the term limit, if you will.
All things considered, as I indicated, we moved that minimum term from 25 years
and we can look at that further. For those sites actually privately owned a
drawing upon the financial incentive of city there seems to still be some.
Why does that — [inaudible] the proposals that come in it’s a competitive process.
Each of the sites come in and we make decisions based on what the financial request is, whether
it’s reasonable sense the term of affordable ability, depth affordable ability add unit
sizes. Also with a lot of variables going into decision
making as well it’s not like it’s a competitive proposal on one site are we mesh shiewl all
the same — measure all the same. They all have their own circumstances.
Privately owned sites, will those units, the strata remains, ownership remains with the
private developer, have we ever stride to secure ownership, therefore stratify and convey
to the city? Through the open door program, that’s not
a feature of the program. In particular, strat phiing a city only would
come at a — and chief units and transferring the ownership and looking at all of [inaudible]
open door program and affordable — [inaudible] not necessarily land value.
50 stories or 60 stores — stories and 15 floors goes to the city the developer still
has a New Hampshire maintain the ownership and there we can have affordable — affordability
and perpetuity. Is it just something that you haven’t started
that conversation or is it a push back from the industry.
Have we thought about securing more, buying more without buying the land.
It sounds to me the best way to go about it financial incentives are in.
If we go the extra distance we need to secure it.
Councillor, just in response to your question: We would estimate that if the city was to
own the units we double the cost of what the incentives were and you achieve 300 units
as opposed to 600. Then we would have them in perpetuity?
It’s a question of — through the chair it’s really a question of how we’re able to achieve
as much housing as possible if you wanted ownership then you would be looking at deeper
financial capital commitment for the city. Right now we put in approximately 60,000 to
100 you are averaging. I would say 60,000 but after 30 years it’s
gone. But you are saying if we double that cost,
say $120,000 or triple that cost 8180,000 we own it and after 99 years it’s still within.
Councillor through the chair at the current moment the city is purchasing units within
private developments and we’re paying in the range of $350,000.
Thank you, Councillor Fletcher? I just want to follow up on that where circumstances
where we are able to purchase or a couple floors within a private development where
it’s being built, are there scenarios at that would be friendly so that or scenarios that
make that easier perhaps when some type of city property might be involved?
Through the chair, there are development companies quite happy to partner with the city where
units can be included and purchased within existing — within a new development.
My way of example. A month and a half ago, 80 new resident moved
into the vista project on the waterfront where the city owns 80 units as part of a larger
condominium project. We own 80 units, the city owns them as part
of — I didn’t hear you. As part of a larger condominium project.
Who administers those? They are administered through artscape who
has a 50 year lease with the city but units owned by Toronto.
So in that circumstance just to look at these really interesting ways to do things, artscape
has a 50 year lease on 80 units but they are owned by the city?
That’s correct. How many floors is that?
My recollection is probably about 8 floors including the community space.
That’s made possible because it’s water front Toronto project.
The land was land owned by the City of Toronto. So we leveraged the value and — right.
And the city’s ownership of the land into acquiring a part of project as affordable
housing. So that was part of the development.
Through the chair, the city paid the developer to construct those units.
In addition to the Deputy Mayor, it is part of waterfront housing plan to have 20% of
units in the water front so it man manifests itself in the units over time so.
This is part of a bigger plan. Okay.
That’s an interesting model. And we have the red door model.
One floor owned by the city or a section by the city.
That’s correct. But there’s no time limit on that.
Through the chair, yes, that’s city-owned and paid for by the city as well.
And we paid for that. And that is, will be administered.
We’ll own it. The red door will have the lease on it and
that one is — they’ll be moving in shortly. And they had one extra floor — gave one extra
floor in order to achieve that city ownership for the space.
Through the chair that was correct. Through the city initiated that, right?
In order to achieve that, the city initiated the official plan amendments in order to achieve
that red door. I have to defer to the chief planner.
I believe so. There was an application but we worked with
the applicant to achieve that through a policy amendment.
That’s great. Thank you very much.
Any other questions? Councillor Perks?
On a different aspect of this, so there — here in this report, it’s proposed that we exempt
25 million dollars in fees and charges and $12 million or $13 million that is the net
present value of property tax essentially. In terms of fees and charges, that’s development
application fees and development charges. Is that what that is?
Through the chair it would be the development charges, planning application fees if they
haven’t been paid and building permit. And building permits.
Only for affordable units. Very good.
So. So we industrial to have building staff do
their work, planning staff do their work and build the infrastructure for the increase
in population. Is there a specific way that the city replenishes
the accounts or that lost revenue? Through the chair, it’s been required since
these fees were instituted by the city in 2001 that the projects essentially would not
otherwise get build. As a result there’s no mechanism to charge
back or compensate those divisions. But that’s been a long-standing practice of
the city. Councillor Perks, I’m going remind you we’re
discussing the allocation of the funds not the program.
I understand this has to do with the allocation funds.
We’re making a decision. We’ve made the decision of $250 million a
few years ago. I’m asking about there’s actual money we’re
asked to approve here. To specific projects.
I’m asking about how it works. To the chief planner, when — in your department
as I understand it. Development review is paid for completely
out of fees — development fees. Is that correct?
That’s correct. Sompleghts this takes $12 million out after
this. How do you even compensate it?
It’s absorbed which means you have less money to do planning generally when applications
come in. Councillor Perks with all the respect I gave
you a second round of questions. As a result of decision.
We’ve allocated owele $250 million to be allocated. The decision we’re making are which projects
are receiving those allocations. There’s a time that we’re reviewing the program.
Recommendation number three. If I can read it to you is that City Council
authorize the executive director housing secretary to exempt developments described in chart
8 of this report from the payment of development charges building, planning and parkland and
dedication fees. We’re making that decision in this meeting.
We made the decision — you have to move me out of order and I’ll challenge you.
I’ll rule them out of order, Councillor. I challenge your ruling.
Okay. Vote to uphold the chair.
All in favour? Thank you.
Chair is upheld. We can move — any other questions?
So I do have some questions. There was a request to have a third party
value for money valuation of this program as we’re giving to different projects I don’t
see it in front of us today. Are we going to have ait at council?
We’ll do a third party assessment so that can be made available.
Can you make it available directly to council? Do you need a motion or — it’s satisfactory.
I’ll do that. Great.
Thank you. I want to follow up on actually the presentation
that — that Mark Richardson did on the availability of the information.
Is there a possible way, and I think that Councillor Bradford is citing of putting forward
a motion. Is there a way to have this information available
where the project stands, how are we doing on the planning process.
How do people apply? I’m sure all of us get these questions in
our offices as soon as the projects become available.
Is there a possible way that we can have this as soon as possible up and running.
Yes, we’re able to do had a and data is being updated so where projects are not proceeding
they are taken off the list and not counted. Would we be able to have an easy map that
could have all that application where this stands cox we have one on the open door and
housing now sites that actually — or work with the non-profit sector to make these available
to the public? Yes, we’re committed to doing that.
Okay. Great.
Just to supplement his comment, the planning division does maintain the application information
centre. That includes virtually real-time on the status
across the city and it has been enhanced to include reference to all the materials that
are submitted to the city. It’s a row boost platform.
It’s fantastic but I think we need to focus or emphasize.
Maybe it should be there but marked as an open door and with a bit more information
I think between planning and housing secretary we can come up with really good information
for the public. Councillor by way of clarification, the open
door projects funded are recommended and go through the process.
It’s the creation of a pipeline of projects and so the city is making a multiyear commitment
to them. They may have had a preliminary review of
what the proposal was as part of what we do. They are generally multiyear projects in terms
of execution. It’s not surprising in the environment that
we work in this Toronto the environment that will do their business that some would not
proasmed it’s to be expected. We would love to recommend more projects in
front of you and recommending more nonprofits. Great: Thank you so much.
Okay. Speakers.
Councillor Perks. I have a motion on this item.
City Council direct the executive director to include a proposal in the November 2019
housing opportunity report that guarantees that sub side I dives for not for profit providers
are at least equal to the subsidies to for profit providers.
Mr. Gadden and I have to settle our imagine but — our math but if you think about a year’s
worth of housing report in front of us we’re giving more money to the for profit applicants
than we are giving to the not for profit applicants. One thing we’ve all heard many, many times
is that not for private housing providers in the City of Toronto are struggling to find
the capacity to apply for building more affordable housing in the City of Toronto.
A large part of reason why they don’t have that capacity is because they are mission
driven. They do it on paper thin marge u.n.s aand
try to make sure every dollar they get gowz into housing.
As a result the capacity is not expanded. On the other hand the for profit guys we seem
to be guaranteeing their profit. It makes no sense we’re spending public money
in an imbalance balanced way. I want to understand how to rebalance it better.
The other consequence, of course is that the not for profit housing providers tend to be
providing housing in perpetuity. We know that when we get to the end of 99,
they roll it over. The way we’ve structured it with a 30-year
term, at the end of the term we just effect why what we’ve done is kick it down a generation
when the 30 year proposals run out we’re in another crisis.
I think if we can think about how to better rebalance so we’re not encouraging profiteering
and encouraging investment and capacity we’re providing for a more robust hying program
in perpetuity in the City of Toronto. I hope you support my motion.
Thank you. Any other speakers?
Councillor Bradford. Can I just — questions of mover.
Is the intent — do this sub sid subsidy on a per unit basis?
I want advice from city staff on what the most rational way to do it.
There’s a lot of moving pieces of there’s the length of term.
There’s whether we own the land, whether there’s additional housing subsidies provided given
the kind of tenant there. I don’t want to be script scriptive about
how that mathematics works but I want to mick sure we’re spending public money in a fair
and equitable way and a way that doesn’t privilege the for profit sector over the not for profit.
So they can come back with that. I want their advice.
Thank you. On how to achieve this.
What you just said and what your motion says is not clear to me.
And if I could jump inside Mr. Gadden’s brain, I could make it all clear to all of us.
I know I fit because it’s a big brain. But I’m not sure what mathematics you would
use to do this. I want to see it calculated out so I can understand
when we’re evaluating projects what is the right way to make sure that we’re not over
subsid dying. If I get more robust thinking on that I can
get better judgeth when we debate. You are looking for that information included
the hot plan for the other unit. Okay.
Better but also — have a motion here. Appreciate Mr. Richardson’s deputation.
I thought it was insightful. We’re in the same neck of the roads in the
east. This is meant to address the topics that come
up on social media or meetings. When we’re discussing these sites, the need
for housing, some of the larger more dense projects, there’s a lot of misinformation
out there. And finding the right information is often
challenging for residents the best thing we can do is arm ourselves with information we
can share and provide clarity so we’re all talking about the same thing.
It’s critical on the projects and appreciate the deputation and Councillor Bailão’s remark
s as well. This will place it in one place and act as
a portal for residents to get those facts. I would like to thank staff for all of their
work on. This I think that you can see in the report
we’re making good progress on open door especially as we started moving forward with the housing
now program. These two initiatives together make a lot
of sense. It feels like it’s not enough.
When we look at the targets over the next ten years we have a lot of work to do you
have the 11. — it’s important progress from five years
ago when we were consistently missing those targets.
So, I want to thank a resident in particular in our ward David brown who has been working
hard to bring the projects forward. I know it’s not an easy process but we met
back in January when he was in the early stages of working on a project and I’m grateful for
the commitment and partnership he is bringing toward 19 as well as all applications across
the city whether it’s public or private or not for profit, we all have a troll play in
this in building housing in this city. — in this city.
We can’t do it fast nusm I hope you support my motion.
Thank you. Councillor Wong-Tam?
Thank I have much I want to commend staff and thank you for the report.
I recognize that you are doing the very best that you can with the tools in front of you
and recognizing the astronomical land values that exist in the city.
Recognizing that there are tremendous development pressures and we’re in the market competing
with the for market forces we know as transnational the capital is global and how do you actually
extract the most public benefit in the market conditions and that fight financial ecosystem
is really, really difficult. It’s not without a lot of attempts from staff
to be creative and innovative when you can. The one thing I struggle is the term.
The financial incentives continue to escalate from the city whether it’s the waving waiving
of the development fees or permit fees and the fact that we have growing populations
that require what will be even more difficult under the changes of bill 108.
We’re seeing this diminishing return. It’s taking more and effort to build the community
facilities to make sure that the roads are complete and community centers are there and
parks are there when the projects are complete. On the same hand — on the same sort of hand,
those are the same tools we’re using to give way incentives.
So we’re going to build these communities and say you don’t need to pay for the growth.
So we’re really in this case almost moving shells around.
The tangible benefits our of $15 million benefit whether it’s drawing from a reserve or $38
million of foregone revenues we’re only extracting 651 units.
Out of those 651 units they come to a term end.
Some of them at 30, in some of them at 99. Hope those at 99 continue on ward.
But it’s a lot of money going out and very little tangible meaningful return coming out
of it. So the formula is making the fix.
The significant way of making the fix is a strategy coming forward from the side and
in concert with Mr. Gavin’s shop is when do we expropriate and how do we expropriate and
we need to get much more aggressive of retaining the lands that we have so we can build as
much affordable housing when we have the assets, not just a small percentage of 20 but 100%
of homeownership, affordable rentals, not necessarily homeownership , all the time.
We’re not diluting the tool box and weakening it but strengthening and only leading from
the front. The fact that the federal and provincial government
is remaining to be absent is shameful. And we know that the same program in — and
the same formula used in B.C. In Vancouver in particular, city owned assets is delivering
100% affordable, 100% rental on all their city owned cities.
The major difference there is that the provincial and federal government are at the table.
What I was told is when we start talking about housing and particularly at the highest level
we’ll get housing dollars. When we talk about transit and transit is
all we advocate for. Over the years that’s the recurring theme
we get the transit dollars even if they don’t make sense.
They come to the stable — table and say you want a subway?
Here you go? You want smart track.
We’ll leave that for another day. You can have money on that but, boy, if we
start talking about housing and don’t he’d up on the conversation — don’t ease up on
the conversation about housing and affordable crisis in the city, apparently, I’ve been
promised that’s what we’ll get. We have to amplify this urgency and make sure
everything we do is not flowing directly to council unless we get provincial and federal
dollars matching it. Thank you.
Thank you. Councillor Fletcher?
Yes. I just want to say that this say great conversation
we’re having today because we’re having to grapple with and how we’re going to build
and achieve more affordable housing over a longer period of time.
We didn’t quite have this pressure years ago when we had the Affordable Housing Committee.
Things are not at the crisis point where they are now and we’re digging deep to try to figure
out how to do these things. Regarding the non-profits, I would say that
generally they need help. We acknowledged that in the housing report.
What they do is they operate housing. They are not builders.
So how do we marry up the non-profit world, building world in order to achieve efficiencies
in building, in design and other things and having run into a number of situations where
the non-profits on their own have created designs and things that are very expensive
per square foot and we’ve had some of of our develop — some of our development partners
step in on reducing the cost. There’s synergies that need to be developed.
I’m serious about. This we said we would try to help increase
capacity. One of the projects discusses and we’re going
to improvement today is the Riverdale pull up.
They own 14 — 140 unit — 124 units. Me — they started off with a project on riverside
square. The developer partnered with them in order
to build the facility. It’s that type of expertise that not a lot
of non-profits have. When I look at this list I see WoodGreen in
there. They have that capacity.
I don’t know many others that do. I think Mark Richardson mentioned the failed
project at Coxwell and Gerrard. That may have been too ambitious, not within
a framework. We have to look at that capacity issue and
finding creative ways to do that. A number of us went from the talk from the
credit union where he inserted themselves in — where they have inserted themselves
in the housing market with financing but not just fissing but with an expert — not just
financing but with an expertise level where they are able to now build.
That should be our goal here in order to increase the number of units that non-profits are able
to take charge of and achieve and build on building — bigger sites.
I know it’s not the subject of this but I think we have to remember that when we’re
talking about this is very easy to do x or y.
It’s not so easy for many non-profits. We have to help them get to that point where
they can achieve their housing builds with not a lot of problems and crises.
There’s been so many crises here. Nobody was here — you may have been Councillor
Perks, when there was the housing project in Councillor Mammoliti’s ward that went 150%
off the rails. That was a telling moment that non-profits
and developers, we need people working together even in that idea, Councillor Wong-Tam where
there may be a non-profit partnered with a developer delivering a certain number of floors.
Let’s be as creative as we can in achieving as much housing as we can and greater affordable
— affordability over time. I would like to say a few words as well.
I wanted to thank the applicants because this can only work if we have good projects in
front of us and the non-profit sector. The profit sector that they are ready to partner
with the city. Also thank staff to put together the program
and continue to deliver on these proposals. And we’ve been learning throughout the years.
I think there’s some important things that definitely came through this report.
The first one is that it was identified we need aid — needed a much closer relationship
between planning and housing sect — secretary. That was one of things housing looked for
to bring these things together so the 80 dale or other projects we’ve seen not happening
don’t happen anymore. We also looked at what projects are close
to shovel ready. That a — that was a very important consideration
because need see enormous in the city where the feeling that we’re constantly catching
up and not even getting close is what everybody feels.
So we were really looking at what projects could we make sure — could we help to get
shovel ready. The other thing that is important as well
and that I think it will go a long way to ensure that our learning experience throughout
these years is complete is the value for money analysis that the third party is making.
I think we always constantly need be challenging ourselves is this working?
Are we getting good value for money? Are these actions taking the direction we
want to go? I’m looking forward to seeing that as well.
I do support and I think it was a great presentation that Mark Richardson do in here and I’m looking
forward 20 seeing — to seeing a much more transparent way to follow these projects through.
So I am supportive of the two motions that the members of the committee put in here.
Also because not only we need to be transparent of how it’s going, being in the planning process
and how people can have access to the units, but also one of the things is that support
for the non-profit sector. As the city ramped up efforts to build affordable
housing. The reality is we’ve never been in investing
in the building of affordable housing through funds, through land, through initiatives.
The reality is the City of Toronto has never been involved.
I wish that the other orders of government could say the same but I think that in particular
with regards to our provincial government there’s a lot of work that could be done in
there. With you thing we have as an aim so is to
strength our nonprofit sectors. Making land available, how can we make sure
our non-profit organizations are getting stronger and stronger to apply to bigger and bigger
projects. Councillor Perks way of looking — can we
look further? I think it’s important to do but it’s an important
step we take forward to support nonprofit organizations saying this wasn’t ready yet
but we understand your challenges and struggles and we’re ready to help you get to the finish
line. It’s important to come forward and get more
partnerships going. With that said, thank you to the applicants.
Thank you to our staff both in planning, housing expect secretary, everybody involved to make
sure we have 650 units approved and ready to move forward and thank you for, you know,
the people out in the communities that keep us on our toes are and ready to do better.
I want it in an open data portal and I would like to ask for your support for the report.
Can we move it as a package with those motions? All those in favour?
Recorded vote. All those in favour of the motions, amendments
by two. Motion carves — carries unanimously.
All in favour of adopting as amended. Vetting — recorded vote [Voting] that carries
unanimously. Moving on to the next item which is 8.5 feasibility
of implementing a support centre for Committee of Adjustment and Toronto and Toronto local
appeal body matters. We have deputations.
[inaudible] thank you. You have a letter from me that supplements
the earlier letter from Jeff kettell and Kathy McDonald.
I’m appearing on behalf because neither are able to appear today.
With respect to the support centre, frankly, I was surprised by the arguments in the staff
report. We believe it’s really important especially
with the t lab to try to correct the imbalance that exists between the ability of most residents
and the abilities of developers to be effective for the t lab.
At the Committee of Adjustment, this is not so much of a problem the Committee of Adjustment
is on the whole able to respond to the fact that most residents don’t understand the [inaudible]
but able to bridge that gap and does a pretty effective job on the whole.
We look forward to what I understand will be coming forth in December the report comointee
process and I talked to them and I understand it’s coming then well.
Respect to the support centre, in the t lab, the t lab is a relatively — compared to the
Committee of Adjustment, which is relatively informal the t lab is anything but informal.
It’s a legalistic process which gives huge advantages to developers able to afford expensive
lawyers and expensive planning staff. The cost of residents appearing before the
t lab is measured in tens of thousands of doll ars if they wish to be effective and
if they appear without a planner in general they are ineffective.
A support centre can help both in providing information and helping people understand
the rigid deadlines for submits, et cetera. — submissions, et cetera that exist with
the t lab procedures. Senator — support centre can be help envelope
providing vice on how to proceed effectively and in some cases goes beyond that to provide
legal and planning assistance. I frankly think that the arguments made in
the staff all right are remarkably poor. We are left with little information on how
that could work once it got going and became effective.
The — the notion that that limited experience provides evidence as to the limited use of
it by residents, I just don’t think flies. The fact that effective — affected residents
could be arguing contraire where I positions that’s no argue for not providing support
to them. We pride ourselves in the city on public involvement
in the planning process. And it is — so say that it with be in some
cases contrary to the position taken by the city is not a reason to say that we should
not support and provide assistance to citizens in making their involvement more effective
. The point I want to make is that there are
many organizements in favour of trying to make citizen participation in the planning
process more effective. The staff argues, I believe do not provide
age exrelling case for not providing assistance. We recommend that you refer this matter back
to staff for reconsideration. On a final note.
There’s a rather deprecating comment in the staff report about the mediation, about the
lack of use of mediation. I would call your attention with respect to
LPAT mediation to the chart that I added on page 2 of my letter, of my supplementary letter.
You notice that the t lab — since the t lab lab regime has become effective there’s far
more cases settled through mediation and negotiated process.
Mediation can be very effective and in basically allowing residents to make their case effectively
on a 1-1 negotiation basis and that has worked very well at the t lab and OMB.
I need ask you to wrap up. Thank you.
Any questions of deputant? Seeing none.
Thanks for joining us here today, John. Thank you.
Anybody anyone else that would like to speak on this item?
Seeing none. Questions of staff.
Councillor Wong-Tam? Yes, thank you very much.
Just drawing from his deputation regarding the lack of activity in the provincial support
centre which is one thing you cite in the report, after almost a year $1.6 million there
wasn’t a lot of at this time — activity. Would you say this a year, especially a year
of flungtating changes in the planning process, big significant changes and how the OMB is
rebranded do you think a year is enough to determine that outcome?
Through the chair to the Councillor? In reviewing the report, we’ve meet with the
— met with the former executive director of local planning appeals support centre and
she provided us with the year end review report which we read end to end several times.
They conservation active ideas for growth. They outlined how it normalized after a year
and how the public was using it. The vast majority of cases involved planning
applications of major planning matters or more complex matters that are dealt with currently
at TLAB. Things such as official plans and zoning ballistic
missiles. So the forecast from the executive director
was that there just wasn’t significant uptake and she didn’t see any additional uptake,
correct? It’s a very conservative number.
It’s a minor increase. She gave two additional year projects in the
year review. Was that project based on the fact that the
entire appeal process was starting to change? I believe the focus of the — I can’t speak
on behalf former executive director, but I believe the focus of local planning appears
— appeals support centre at the province was to align in supporting the primary focus
of local planning apeel tribunal’s new legislative changes and they were normalized by the end.
I think one of reasons why the local appeal centre — support centre was set up to was
to recalibrate the balance and support within development sector and local communities and
municipalities. Therefore, even though the original changes
to sort of reform the OMB and the create TLAB and ultimately LPAT was to really try to bring
everyone together earlier on. Therefore you were going front load — as
much of your consultation to get proactive and informing the public of what the intended
bill form changes were going be you were supposed to bring everyone together.
There was one additional tool given the wide range of changes in the planning act at the
time to sort of bring everyone together. So I think that that particular inaugural
year was a year of changes and changes to actually to reduce the conflict that constant
strife where we’re butting up once again — one another.
The reason being is because now with changes through bill 108, everything has how tohow
thisthousand been turned upside down on its head again and that means municipalities have
less power than they did under the previous reforms chrk is to reform the OMB and commune
— communities have less power than pre-OMB because the OMB is back badder and worse.
Wouldn’t now be the time introduce the local support centre?
With we interviewed the — we got a clear message back from the province
that a small proportion, no more than 20% of all the inquiries or work that they assisted
people on related to c of a matters. We have to remember, we have 40 plus people
in c of a and 120 community planning staff that routinely, daily assist neighbours and
others in helping them understand the planning process, what the process is about and even
providing guidance. We didn’t feel, based on what we got in terms
of feedback for that it was warranted, recreating such a system to assist.
I’m self monitoring my time. Thank four the answer.
So recognizing there’s a team of save person there’s to review the applications that go
through the litmus test but their primary job is not to go out and education and provide
technical support. That’s not what they do.
They do that off the side of desk answering the phones on top of everything else they
are doing can which includes application reviews stlsm no value in creating an additional unit
or create age tool kit of some sort that would actually support the public when they need
that support. I don’t believe for a minute that every single
planner is on their phone waiting for the public call so they can get down to the weeds
to explain the process. They answer questions and then they put down
the phone. So the public is left scrambling to understand
the process, where they can provide meaningful sort of interventions.
So I think the public is still at a big disadvantage. Madam Chair, in terms of did the support centre
or province provide value? Yes, it provided some value.
What we’re saying in that report when you put it all together that is already provided
by city of Toronto staff. We don’t think the cost is warranted nor is
the support centre need needed. In terms of your tool box question, the department
has actively pursued a number of improvements, some which will be referenced or are references
in the end to end review report that say later item where we tried to increase transparency
and improve dialogue with residents, upgrade the web site so we think it’s an important
objective of the department to deepth the availability of options for us to intertate
with the — we’re going be — we can include in that report an update on
our education piece because I agree with the comment that it is part of responsibility
of division to provide that education support and that man tests itself in various ways.
We look to include an update on that in our report.
Thank you. That is helpful.
Thank you. Any other questions?
Seeing none, speakers? Councillor Wong-Tam.
Thank you very much I struggle with this particular report just simply because I know how difficult
it is for residents to actually break through the system.
And the perception of it being rigged against local communities is out.
There I think there was some good moves under the liberal government try to equalize some
of the playing power that communities have, miewn miss this — I recognize they are upended
not just once and twice and continuously. The planning department son the bowls — on
the heels of their feet reeling backwards trying to figure out what the iewn laterally
changes mean. This is why I think that this particular support
centre represented something to the local communities across Ontario that needed that
additional support. Whatever we can do to offset the fact that
the report says we should not proceed, and I’m going to encourage by what he has said.
If there’s a way to create additional support make it trans35r7b9 but extremely accessible
and comprehensive and usable for the general public, I think it’s going be a very valuable
tool for the general public I know communities not as sophisticated development is happening
to them. Changes are happening to them because of owe
language or work schedules there’s a lot of people that don’t participate in the planning
process. No matter how we try so the tools we bring
forward so they can advocate for themselves it’s an eke wit tool.
That’s what I think the support centre could have done if they particularly put that frame
around how they were to carry out their work and in the absence after this provincial tool
and asset coming forward, it would be great for the city to step up.
We’re the most diverse city in the world and speak over 200 languages.
I know there’s communities that never walk through the door here nor will they walk through
the vilment meeting. They won’t participate in the transit discussions
because the language and way we conduct ourselves business is not accessible for them.
When we’re planning we’re doing it without them thank you very much for your answers.
Do find themselves helpful even if I don’t agree with them.
Any other speakers. Seeing none, okay.
On the report on the report all in favour? That carries.
Appeals of city wide zoning by-law 569, 2013. Request for direction.
Councillor Perks you held the item. I’m not sure if I have to go in camera.
Maybe we can put it off to the end. Okay.
That sounds good. And PH8.7 end to end review of development
review process. We have deputations on this item .
Then we’ll have a presentation from staff. Deal with a deputation and then the presentation.
John, president of residents association. John?
Thank you for hearing me again. There’s a lot to be said in favour of an enhanced
case management system. There’s a lot of good proposals in the end
to end review property. I want to start off saying that.
There’s no question it could be more efficient especially by — and there’s a number of good
proposals to that effect in this report. We are concerned about — you must say that
the one thing that gave us a little bit of a chuckle was the notion of extensive stakeholder
participation and review without involving the public.
It’s one thing to say the stakeholders are in the development industry, et cetera, etsz,
but a very important stakeholder in the public process is the residents of the city of Toronto.
And — Toronto. And — we were disappointed with the stakeholder
consultations did not go through a process of public review auto part — apart from this
meeting this morning. City planning is a difficult process.
And I think, you know, on the whole, the City of Toronto has done an exemplary job.
The problem here is community planning and building is not a mechanical pros process.
It’s not something easily made efficient. The important thing is that there’s a conflict
potentially between making the development review process efficient in the sense of speeding
up the processing of applications and on the other hand making it effective that’s the
concept that concerns us. We believe the public has a role to play in
improving our applications fit into the city and plans.
We also believe that it’s critically important that the city devote more resources to planning
as oppose opposed to the review of individual applications.
I give two examples of potential conflicts provided by figure 11 of the consultants report
like opportunities for dedicated staff teams. I agree that things like public participation,
the administrative aspects of that, are far better handled by a separate unit handling
that by the planners having to take the time to do.
That however, in create age separate staff to handle LPAT appeals.
If that means that we’re trying to keep the planners dealing with an application before
it goes to the LPAT out of process and creating a specialized staff dealing with this then
there’s a lot of information. The planners that will be appearing at the
lpa t will not have the knowledge gained by the planners.
Ditto with site plan agreements. I’m not saying that these are easy matters
to handle. I’m not saying that efficiencies cannot be
realized. I’m just saying that it’s important to do
this in an area, in a way that does not result in a loss — a reduction in good planning.
The essential point is that community planning is most effective when the community is involved
and when community planners are involved throughout the process.
A further concern. We’re really concerned about the fact that
in the strive for e efficiency may reduce the city’s commitment to planning.
This is emphasized in the first pages of consultant report.
The number of applications the city is dealing with is right now is greater — is actually
eight times average number of residential units approved in each of the last ten years.
It’s been a huge explosion in the number of applications before the city thanks to the
way in which bill 139 was handles and with the transition traditions.
We can’t undo the mistakes made. I have to ask you to wrap.
It’s important to recognize it’s a real problem. The key thing here is that efficiency is not
going to be able to undo the fact that the city is not providing enough budgetary resources
for city planning. Thank you, John.
Any questions of the deputant. Seeing none, thank you.
Think you, again. — thank you.
If the presentation can be prepared. Thank you madam Deputy Mayor.
Joined by my associate from city planning and just prepared a short over view presentation
of the report just to give you some flavor. It’s obviously a complex topic and we’re — at
the end of the beginning, if I may in terms of process of change which, as you can imagine,
— is both, take my cue from his comments, we’re dealing with something both an art and
science. The focus of this review has been on the sciences
side of house understanding that there is the
former committee requested a review of end to end process.
I think in the context and spirit of continuous improvement it’s something that all of us
include if how we operate and what we think about the business processes here at the city.
It fit ass well to the city manager’s emphasis on customer service, and I would say customer
experience and staff experience is something we’re hear more and more about at the city
and focus of the work. How those experiences can be delivered and
improved. It also represents a focus and it’s effectiveness.
I know many Councillors are familiar with the basic model of develop review where we
had pre-application, application, circulation, cycle of comments.
The legal process that involves the public that that process informs and supports and
ultimately an outcome which comes before various committees of council.
Council being the final decision making body and appeal rights under the planning act.
That basic system is not affected by this. This is about making that system work better
and effectively as much as possible. Take you through it a little bit.
It’s about the operating model and a focus, many people call it the planning process.
But really it’s an interdivisional planning process.
We have a lot of people involved in it. I’ll explain that in a minute.
We note his comment about the focus on the outcomes were quite driven by the outcomes
and dough see conversation about efficiency in anyway taking away from the ultimate outcome
which is good city building. That has to remain squarely in the effective
any review. We’re not putting that aside in anyway shape
or form. But the city does believe in continuous improvement,
certainly as — in my leadership with the division it’s something I emphasized throughout
my career. The design, I think to provide clarity to
all the players, trans transparency and it’s very porn.
Again, continuing to get good outcomes. I want to emphasize as well, because we are
shall deaf within discussing at council this year changes in legislation.
We often change poll sains guidelines, all kinds of things get changed in the environment
of the process. So we kind of put that aside.
This is focus on machinery come what may with the various environment planning that we work
in. The next slide highlights the fact that it’s
complex. It’s interdivisional.
I think it’s gotten more complex in the interest based planning process we deal with in the
city, 25 city divisions sometimes touch this. 30 external commenting partners.
This really underscores the need to look at our operating model to support the most effective
way we can interact with each other. Not all 25 and 30 parties touch everything
but it gives you a sense of scale and scope and complexity and the fact that this is much
more than the city planning division itself. The process of stakeholder engagement, the
focus on the machine machinery of this system did focus on the stakeholders that are affected
by it directly. The comment about public consultation, I would
simply say that a good development review process supports and informs good consultation.
It is — it was not focus of this review. The division has undertaken work.
We continue to emphasize the practices. I see these two things as mutually supportive
and certainly any time that we have got consultation process be it a light one or a heavy one,
a good development review process is a backstop to the quality of that consultation.
The consultation with various stakeholders involved in the machinery of the work revealed
this list, quite a robust list of issues to focus on.
The — this is kind of what we heard from that range of stake stakeholder including
city staff. I emphasize a few of them here but obviously
the interaction of clients, customers, whatever you want to call them, but also the experience
of — the experience that they are having, the experience of city staff is crucial area
of focus and feedback that we got. Value added work.
I have heard a lot from staff over the years why am I inputting this data?
I would rather we working on x. We hear that a lot.
The focus on interesting better systems that allows staff to do what we went to school
for what they frankly enjoy more than punching data into a machine.
The whole idea of the way we support the process of technology.
The top frustrations around things that get stuck and people not knowing what to do about
it. The extra circulation that can gum the process.
The length of time it results. It inconsistent experiences and I think we
have to be honest that we have good processes, very good processes sometimes and less than
average processes sometimes. Owe — so it’s raising the level of consistency
in that and addressing the frustration that all players have wit.
The next — wit. The — with it.
The next two slides I won’t go into detail but they show the overarching things including
entrenching the collaborative approach we take in a structure of and supported by good
project management and in a structure of interdivisional governance so when things are stuck people
are accountable for issues getting stuck and they know where to turn when it’s stuck.
The automatic escalation can come in and support them, understanding how we can equip ourselves
with a can we bring to bear to make it a front desk as opposed to side of desk.
This is significant enough interdivisionally that we want an implementation team with a
business lead to take it forward . I want to emphasize that, you know, we often
have complaints may be about the fact that I don’t agree with the height after this building.
I don’t dahl a complaint. I call that a difference of opinion.
This is not about that. This is about making system work better so
when we have differences of opinion we can have a good high quality debate about what
that height should be. I think it’s important to emphasize this because
I don’t want people to come away with the impression that this is going to fix all of
our differences of opinion. We’re still going to have them.
And you can see why with the list is in the no column.
Under pinning the no column it is important to focus on continuous improvement.
I can recall a prek best practices review done around amalgamation.
We ran around talking about what everybody did in seven municipalities.
It was a need ’em, got ’em exercise. This is the first fully comprehensive review
since that time. Notwithstanding that we immediate a lot of
continuous improvement initiatives. I think it was time to recast our eyes on
the whole fair. Last side.
This say culture journey. A shift building on a lot of good things that
people in this organization do but system izing and modernizing those good things.
You can all think of very good outcomes and practices that you enjoyed over the years.
Honestly this is about making it work better for everything.
I’d be happy to take questions here. Questions of staff, Councillor Perks?
Going to slide five, there’s a piece of this you didn’t talk about which frankly seems
to be about half the problem which is application quality.
I can’t think of the number of times I’ve had an applicant come in and show me a block
mation diagram and no unit count, no nothing and said I showed this to the planner and
I couldn’t get an answer. How do we deal with that problem?
Well, I would, you know, not to not be to short in the answer about garbage in and garbage
out. What do you think?
People run things up the flag pole. S that nothing that can form the basis of
a — of an application where people have to hunker down and understand what is proposed.
Especially part of it is something we have in place right now which is application submission
requirements which have very, very detailed. They are backed up by official plan policy.
So the test for staff is to ensure what comes in mets in a specific way, the qualitative
way, the application submission require. S.
Okay. That is a test for staff honestly and a test
for applicants to make sure that we’ve got something that we can rely on to evaluate.
We test, for example — we get an applicant shadow study dwoasm our own studies to test
that. Things like that.
So we have to be diligent even though we may feel the requirements have been met.
We have to be diligent and do our due diligence and follow up when we discover that that scale
is not working or that’s a mistake. There’s a human element to that this has to
be monitored and relied upon. A relate and possibly more serious question,
one of the places where my experience has been that all the difficulties arise or most
difficulties arise ask that the application makes an application element x is a problem.
Sit there and sit there. And somewhere towards, as we’re getting closer
to a deadline they say we’ll change element x but we have to adjust y, z a, b and ac as
well. It has to be recirculated because what they’ve
done affects the transportation and service s and so on and so forth.
How do we deal with that? It’s a rubik’s cube.
I don’t think what you are describing is that unusual actually.
It’s pretty common. That is the art and science of what we do.
There are options in that puzzle that you just described that reveal, you know, an outcome
we can live with. It meets policy or that is a supportable policy
amendment but that has to be revealed through an analysis of options and, you know, a sifting
of preference and priorities. I’m asking — I don’t want to run out of time.
I’m asking something a little bill bit different. We have a disagreement about something and
then close to the end of the process the developer makes a change but it’s — the community sees
it. The planner sees, maybe the Councillor sees
it but I find a problem happens when the other departments have to on a dime review all that
stuff. I’m wondering if there’s a way to be more
up front with applicants saying listen it’s a rubik’s cube and there are ten things that
have to be thought about. You can’t just change that and have one of
the professionals understand it. It has to meet all the tests?
Is there a way to work that better? Well, the system that we’re proposing here
has a governance structure wit. Decisions can be made either by an empowered
planner with experience or someone with less experience but they are backed up by that
escalation procedure so a decision could be made about what is the extent of the circulation
that needs to take place? What departments are affected by that change?
Can we scope the resolution of it? Does it need a full circulation?
We have to assess, if you get so many scenarios. If they move a driveway and affected tree
we have to talk to urban forestry and transportation. Is there another way to do the driveway.
It can happen quickly and turn on a dime. Sometimes there another full circulation and
applicants have to be well aware of the ram ramifications of that.
Councillor Wong-Tam. Thank you very much.
I see a lot of it is being change changing how you review and working together more collaboratively.
What I tonight see are numbers. So by example, the amount of time and circulation
process should take — where does that document this?
A complete application comes in. Clock starts you circulate to 25 division
and 30 partners what is the deadline for them to reply and what happens when it’s not met
with comments? That’s a good question.
This report do d- not go to that level of detail.
We have existing procedures on first circulate. It’s a seven week turn around for commenting
from commenting division and we monitor that and report internally on per our termance
on that. Part of new system a governance structure
that triggers automatic reflexes when the deadlines are not met so that the planner
who is at the centre after this is not left to their own devices struggle for a missing
comment that that team involved — and being able to better measure our performance
on that in a way that is more transparent. I think what happened is you know what the
consequence of what you’ve asked is that the applicant will start phoning on a lottery.
— Toronto water. Council phoning Toronto water.
We want to work back from that kind of activity to more of a system approach that everybody
can rely on. And is there a progressive lead time that
says okay five weeks in we’re not seeing your comments.
This is under the existing system. Two weeks to go.
Is there a reminder that goes on the engineers desk.
Who is managing the amount of work that is sitting on the individual’s desk and what
deadlines are not met? My understanding is that we don’t often times
get these comments circumstance lated bark to us within the seven week turn around.
Those are the system layers that have to be — we’ve got both overall time lines to meet
and individual divisions of their own procedures. Those are the next layers down below this
report that as we roll out this we create a new system and we’ll be pursuing those project
management shall many of them likely have these procedures, maybe some don’t.
We get into a phased rollout of these things. — changes.
If a department does not comment, dead silence, you consider that as no comment?
No New York City. That would be pursued to find out what is
missing or if it is a no comment. Under the new system, when the first circulation
deadline is not met. The team comes together and huddles.
They hold each other responsible for what should be the evaluation feedback group.
Do they have to recirculate or draw conclusions. I think again the question is getting into
the next players of how the process will operate and we have not taken it to that level of
the functionally of it. And the business trans transformation lead
and implementation is addressing the issues you’ve raised in your question.
So my final question is a little bit on top of what Councillor Perks commented about is
the quality applications. Often times developers will think that the
clock has started simply because they’ve shown you a vague image even if they haven’t submitted
anything and even if the submission is not complete, they start citing, I looked the
a parcel of land three years ago. I’ve been working on this application three
years ago, I how is it taking so long to give me comments and why is the city holding up
the process? What is the decision doing to make sure that
they themselves are held accountable that they are not wasting our time by showing us
vague drawings? Blocks on a piece of paip yes and having us
to meet with them? To account because we’re working professionally
and together. So we want to review quality applications
after they go through the planning and only when they are ready to actually show us something
viable that we meet with them? Just to reflect on the question, there could
be a benefit in a pre-application process. We think there’s bifts in putting rules around
that pre-application conversation. So that it doesn’t go on four years that there
is quality information that we can re rely on in a pre-application conversation.
I can’t judge the motivation of a proponent until they file with the city and make it
official. That’s when the clock really starts and that’s
what we’re hoping to be improving at least on our side of the ledger.
We looked at a sample size 40-50 publics in 2017.
We saw that average process time around 18 months because they have a complex application
runs beyond a year. Nine months on the city and nine months on
the application. So I’m focused here on making our nine months
— whether a applicant decides to sut on something,
change, sell, change your business model, change the direction, I can’t rely on that.
When observations are made by the industry, recently about 11 years, you may recall, I
mean, I don’t understand that comment because really what I feel we should be judged on
is what we’re responsible for on our side of ledger and making that work.
You know the best we can understanding that this say complex process.
Whether someone decides to conceive up a project. It’s complete his their business what they
do on their side of the line. You’ve taken simplified language.
The signs are different. A change is coming to this site rather than
the very efficient looking by-law that wouldn’t attract anybody’s attention.
This is the next step really. That’s right.
Modernization. There’s a whole modernization any of active
— we’ve gone from 20 paper plan circulations to zero in the next couple of months we get
to zero. So there’s a lot of things that we do anyway
because we love continuous improvement. Your interface with the public is far more
sophisticated. What we have what we call growing conversations
which is an effort to do that differently and better and we’ll continue to do that.
I think if there’s one place in development where it ends up being developing frustrating
for me and residents it’s the transportation planning aspects of the development application.
And there are — I don’t know if it’s because of lack of staff or — there’s a tendency
to simply rely on the traffic sturdy that the developer has submitted.
I think it’s fair to say that that is always in their favour that everything could work.
Because of traffic concern, vision zero many other things do you think there’s a potential
of having a far more robust review from our own staff of the transportation studies that
includes a different lens other than just, yes, technically you can build that?
Because that places it in a neighbour cod context, division zero context?
Would you think that that we’re actually operating at that level now or it could get better?
I would comment that we currently in our application submission requirements I believe have go
transportation related reports. One is a more narrow examination of functionality
and one is a broader lens. So there’s room in the platform we have now
to can canvas the issues you are describing. What is really important and I noted that
Ashley is here from transportation, but what is really important to at the beginning of
an application is to identify the scope of issue many of our neighbourhoods
have different dynamics to be take noon consideration when it comes to transportation and traffic
planning. And I mean maybe turn the floor to Ashley,
but I think you are identifying the importance of scoping and focusing ourselves at the beginning
and to capture the issues that need be reviewed through that process.
And sometimes we and we know this happens especially where we have a concentration of
applications where we have to kind of take a time out and do traffic work because we
don’t have that data or understanding of what is needed and come back to the application
and be clearer about the solution. I don’t know if Ashley you want to add to
thank you, yes. Through the chair, the simple answer to your
question, Councillor is yes, we could do better. The focus previously from transportation has
been narrow as you know a number of sections within the division of what is one.
As an example currently doing develop. Planning and traffic planning.
So we’ve removed the traffic planning exoanent and formed them to enable them to focus solely
on the development planning function. Building in increased training for staff to
look from a multimodal and multilevel perspective at each of the applications.
Yes, we fully recognize we’ve got work to do.
We’re committed to doing that work and working with Greg ands his team to do the best service
we can in response to these applications. So you are reviewing how to basically breadth
or scope of how you are reviewing the traffic and situations.
Through the chair, yes, that’s correct, Councillor. And not re relying solely on the applicants
traffic study. Absolutely not.
Good, thank you very much. Any further questions.
I do have a few. So when do we have expect to have the business
transportation leave in the place? In response the — competition is underway
currently. For the snow flies and how do are we doing
with our hiring. I remember a few months ago we asked about
the number of vacancies in the department. It was quite high.
How are we able to catch up on that. How are we doing on that.
Our vacancy right right now is 8% and 9%. We have 41 vacancies.
Everyone one is involved in a current process or competition.
I’m list pgen to a Councillor Perks. 8 and — say that again.
8% and 9%. We have 41 vacancies right now.
Everyone one is involved in an open process or competition.
I checked those numbers just this morning thinking I might get asked.
Great, there’s obviously a technology comoanent needed in here if you want to — are you going
to try to have something in the budget process? How with can we make sure things are moving
and questions are coming through? It’s very machine an enablable we can take
this only so for. It’s an important part for the way we do our
business and building division who both rely on the same platform the ibms platform.
Even though MLS using it it’s less of a depend as soon as issue for.
They we’re working with information technology now if a review of what technology options
we’ve got going forward. They’ve been made aware of the dependency
that we have with this project and technology that we can again only take it so far we’re
actually, I believe partnering with buildings on pie pilots or private types of technology
options very, very soon, I believe. Okay.
With regards to the other — circulations and timings you said you have internal reports.
I don’t think this committee is ever made aware of how we’re doing on that.
Does that — am I correct? I don’t believe you have.
I — something that we monitor interdivisionally. My goal would be to make it as transparent
as possible. We want to be obviously able to give you good
information and met terrorism we can rely on.
Part of end to end review is building the system of met terrorism so we have — metrics
so we have an understanding of how we’re performing on the city side and applicant side so it’s
part of work. Ahead.
So what you are saying is in a future update we’ll have access to those?
That would be my goal is to include. Otherwise I’ll put a motion forward.
I would love to see that. That is my goal be more transparent but I
would hesitant to give you numbers I couldn’t necessarily rely on.
When — how often will you be reporting on this project I haven’t and tis pace the errorring
on the project back to committee again. If you design an update can I give you an
annual update of where we are. I think it’s too much of an important project.
I think the committee would like to — and the public most importantly would like to
have this. So within the next two years if we could have
another couple updates especially for with us these numbers as well.
I think time next year would be a good time do that.
Speakers? Thank have you me and thank you for bringing
this report. The planning process is extremely complicated.
Required different divisions to work together. We have to communicate with stakeholder and
partners to make sure everyone is on the same page and we’re looking at the applications
at the same time in order for them to have dynamic feedback to feed off one another because
we know that sometimes when you are looking at height and massing and that’s your final
focus everyone is saying the same thing. You get a dynamic conversation where you are
going to have a bit more of the back and forth. I think that’s often times when is necessarily
to be my option is missing. Bringing those together to work to out out
come and time to measure. S of when we can anticipate responses in a
timely fashion all after this makes it better. What I really appreciate is that it’s entirely
transparent which is different from the development sector.
When they come forward, it is not transparent. I will say this many for all the finger pointing
what they are not doing, I think there’s been more opportunities for their input to improve
the planning process and very seldon do I hear even a word of thing that you that you
have this done better. That our planning staff have worked hard with
policy staff with cif visional partners to make the system work.
When you are asking us to review and application. I don’t do the technical review.
When you are asking for comments on an 80 story structure coming down hard at the corner
of intersections across the downtown core and you expect the response in eight weeks,
you’ve got to be kidding and then every single, everybody else is asking for the same thing
because you are not the only game in town. So I think that by the way our planning staff
carry themselves and conduct their business this a professional minner should be commended
because it’s not necessarily the same level respect that I see the development industry
give the planning staff. They never make their process as traz parent
as we make our process. I would like to see them you go go through
a review to streamline their process rather than point out what the city didn’t do for
them as if we need to surf their needs when we come together to proactively better build,
sustainable inclusive neighbourhoods that are livable.
This is actually what we are doing. I would like to see them now pony up from
their side. What are they going to do to eliminate that
nine month gap out of an 18 month review this sits on their end.
We’re doing our job. What are they doing?
Thank you. I want to add to what Councillor Wong-Tam
says. I recall the sis of this report.
It was some members taking as goss sell complaints from the development industry that the city
was simply too slow and impossible to get something approved in Toronto.
I point to the fact that name somewhere elsewhere we approve more stuff.
Somehow we manage in incredible circumstances to move a phenomenal number of projects through
the development review process and the fact that we’re trying to make it better is remarkable.
So hats off to you, Mr. Chief planner and to all of our staffful.
You do a fantastic job and I hope anyone listening to this realizes that you are trying to go
from a plus to a double plus. Just very quickly big congratulations and
thank you to staff for the work on this. In my time in city plans this is just being
ink baited and glad to see it coming back. I recognize that improving business practices
and project management is not in our operations is not necessarily the most glamorous work
but I think it is really important and there’s a lot of great recommendations here.
Something we haven’t talked a lot about today but I think is in there is just the fact that
when we make operational improvements that really enhances our ability to deliver the
policy side as well. Whether that’s shall yeah, with the better
data and information that is coming out of that and enabling us to make better decisions
on the policy side, that’s huge. And it’s quite timely that this is coming
back right here and we’re able to leverage that information and better processes in light
of, you know, the province shifting the goal post on bill 108 and changes being handed
down towards us right now from the provincial context the best thing we can do is arm ourselves
with that information and get we get better information that comes out of this and highlights
the great work going on this. Lastly I he had advocare we were at the Toronto
urban design awards last week or a week or two ago.
Those sort of projects, you know to Councillor Perks and Councillor Wong-Tam’s point, you
can really see the tangible benefit that city planning makes and our team makes.
This division is add active ayou go through the agency and development and review process
we end up with better outcomes. I think with the enhance.
Sen improvements to operations that’s strengthened. But it does need to a better Toronto and city
outcomes. This is going to strengthen that work.
I’m grateful. Thank you very much.
Councillor Fletcher. I want to agree with everything that my colleagues
have said. While this report might have been asked for
the wrong reasons this is the right reasons why things are going very well.
Sometimes bad things create good things. This is one of those times.
I think this is good if it becomes yearly to look at the best practice and continuous
improvement that our chief planner said he is overseeing and engenterring.
I acknowledge the shifting stands that exist and bill 108 and transportation planning no
longer looking after relief line or anything else.
Things are shifting inside. I know it’s hard.
It’s hard for us. I can imagine how hard it is for staff.
We understand the developer believes their project is the number one project that should
be looked at. Not everyone but when they get panicky that’s
what happens. I want to say when thing goes off the rails
planning steps up to assist because it’s possible. Think it’s interesting to also look at forecasting
types of trends within the city that that could be layered on here.
The changes in rental and aren’t evikses. Propond rans of restaurants with a nice mix
business businesses. I no he they are not all things you can reach
in and fix. All of divisions that have big picture that
it’s planning that has that picture to look and say here is what trends we’re noticing
that are positive and here what trends we’re noticing that are difficult trends in the
City of Toronto. How it’s important thing around jobs maintaining
neighbourhoods and not just employment areas but approaches to applications et cetera.
To me it’s something I would like to see perhaps a little bit more focus on.
I’ll just harkeyen back to the first gulf site which is purchased by Cadillac fairview
but the difficulties in understanding why a site like that wouldn’t be a big mixed use
site or have a lot of housing and a little bit of employment.
It and a certain number of jobs. The more we can marry up and focus on those
two things together I think is very helpful. And with that I just want to thank you for
the report and all the work that you do through you Mr. Chief planner through all staff — pardon
and all the divisions correct. Thank you.
I just want to say a thank to you staff. I actually this is quite glamorous work.
[Laughter] there’s a lot of said she said out there in this world.
Especially that’s when I asked about the technology. If we can put out there, call them out where
the public stands when we waiting for application from the applicant.
Be public about it. We need a layer of project management in how
we deal with the publics I think it’s really important for everybody.
For all the departments, something that has that accountable and responsibility as well.
I think it’s — it is important. And at the end of the day for us to check
in to see, you know how are we doing and staff. Do we need more staff, not more staff.
What kind of technology. How do we improve our systems?
I think this is extremely important what we’re doing.
I understand you are dealing with a lot of things.
I’m looking forward to the next updates so I think it’s important work you are doing
here. To allow to focus and have staff focused on
bourque that the city is doing and the reality is that we have an unprecedented amount of
growth and we have to focus on managing that growth and we need a planning focused on doing
that and for that question need be well organized and managed.
Looking forward for future updates. [inaudible] okay.
And next item 8.8 response — sorry. Motion to adopt the item?
Councillor Perks? All in favour?
That carries. Item 8.8 response to auditor general’s outstanding
recommendation regarding section 37 and 45 funds not received in 2008 and 2017 approvals.
Councillor Perks you held the item. I intended to spend more time but I can simply
ask, you’ve lead the auditor’s report and you can meet all the auditor’s recommendations?
Through the chair, with the reporting out to council we have addressed all the auditor
generals 2018 recommendations. We’re satisfied we have a good robust system
moving forward and diminish and vanish over time?
Through the chair as a result of the auditor general’s recommendations we implemented more
robust systems and we haven’t seen any non-payments since that time.
Thank you so much. Questions?
Speakers? No speakers motion to adopt?
Councillor Perks. All in favour, that carves.
Last item we need go back to 8.6 appeals of city-wide zoning by-law 569, 2013 request
for direction. Do we need go in came remark Councillor or?
Okay. Can I get a motion to extend?
Councillor Bradford to the finish the agenda and motion to go in camera?
Councillor? So extended was moved by Councillor Bradford
and then Councillor Perks is moving, too. That the planning and housing committee meet
in closed session to consider item PH8.6 as it is about litigation or potential litigation
that affects the city or agencies on contains advice or communications subject to solicitor
client priviledge. All in favour?
That carries. Clear the room. Any speakers on the appeal — 8.6 appeals
of zoning wide bylaw. Can I say the staff satisfied my questions
and I’ll move the report. All those in favour.
That carries. That concludes our meeting.
We’ll see you back in a month.

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