Bill 23 – 2018: Local Government Statutes (Residential Rental Tenure Zoning) Amendment Act is subject to change. We will update these changes as they develop. For the latest updates, you can track Bill 23 here.
In light of record low vacancy rates and escalating rents, the provincial government has sought an amendment to the Local Government Act to provide local municipalities with the ability to re-zone areas within their city to restrict any future development of those lands to multi-family residential rental buildings.
It is anticipated that this change to the legislation will put greater power in the hands of the municipalities and enable them to govern the placement and quantities of the rental stock within their cities.
If the municipalities exercise their option to rezone certain lands for rental use, the current and future owners of these lands will be restricted from developing their property in a manner that is inconsistent with the new rental changes. For example, undeveloped land that is zoned for rental purposes would need to be developed with rental projects. The amount of rental housing that needs to be developed on that land will be at the discretion of the local government. The amendments to the legislation will also provide local governments with the ability to ensure existing rental buildings cannot be redeveloped for another use.
Notwithstanding these proposed amendments, it is important to note that the proposed legislation will not restrict or affect any current owners’ use of their property. Rather, current owners, and any future owners, of lands that have been rezoned for rental purposes will still be entitled to continue using their property in the same manner as they have done before; their use will now, simply, be considered a non-compliant form of tenure.
The provincial government has proclaimed that this legislation will provide greater certainty for developers; as it will enable advanced notice of the permitted tenure for the rezoned lands and state the percentage of residential rental units that will be required for the approval of any future development of these affected lands.