TORONTO – A new report from the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) reveals the process of taking greenfield lands to the housing development stage can take up to 18 years in parts of the GTA, presenting a major barrier to expedited homebuilding.
The paper by Frank Clayton and Graeme Paton, two Toronto Metropolitan University researchers, provides the results of analyses of the various steps in the planning process for two case studies examined in the Halton Region: north Oakville and the Boyne Survey in the Town of Milton.
Key findings are that the time to prepare designated lands for housing production works out to 12 years for north Oakville and 18 years for the Boyne Survey, and that each primary phase of the planning process contributed to the lengthy approval process.
“It is common to take 10 years or more for new housing development to start once greenfield lands are designated for residential use. This protracted planning process delays bringing serviced sites to the marketplace, leading to a lack of supply and higher prices for ground-related housing,” the report states.
The authors recommend municipalities target timelines of five years after the designation of greenfield lands in their Official Plans until the lands become part of the short-term land supply as defined in the Provincial Policy Statement.
They also urge an emphasis on a better collection of timeline data on each phase of the land use planning process.
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