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Inclusionary Zoning Sought by Toronto's Chief Planner

Gregg Lintern, chief planner and executive director of the City Planning Division for Toronto, went before a city committee this week to press for a new inclusionary zoning scheme to ensure the construction of affordable housing.
September 22, 2020, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Toronto chief planner Gregg Lintern has proposed a sweeping inclusionary zoning proposal for Canada's largest city, presenting the idea to a recent planning and housing committee meeting, reports Victoria Gibson.

Under the proposal...any condo development above a certain size in “strong market” areas of the city — including much of the old city and North Toronto, southwest Scarborough and Scarborough Town Centre, Don Mills, York Mills and South Etobicoke — would have to set aside 10 per cent of their residential area for affordable units.

A recently approved provincial law preempts local attempts at inclusionary zoning in Ontario, so "the new proposal would only apply inclusionary zoning rules to what are known as ‘Protected Major Transit Station Areas’ within those strong and moderate markets, with exemptions for sites like student residences and some developments proposed by non-profits," according to Gibson. Before moving forward with the inclusionary zoning proposed by Lintern, the city would have to complete planning studies to create the necessary PMSAs.

In the same article, Gibson also notes that the city is considering a change to its official definition of affordable housing, adding household income to the equation.

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