Mayor Bonnie Crombie provided an opening statement on the background on Mayoral Directive to direct staff to prepare a report regarding the Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments to Permit Four Units on Low-Rise Residential Lots, and noted that this evenings Statutory Public meeting is an opportunity to receive resident's feedback before the matter is presented to Council on December 6, 2023 for approval. Mayor Crombie spoke to the housing crisis and federal funding through the Housing Accelerated Fund.
Kelsey Martin, Planner, provided an overview the Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments to Permit Four Units on Low-Rise Residential Lots.
Councillor Mahoney spoke to the concerns he previously raised regarding the lack of information and public consultation. Councillor Mahoney noted that Ward 8 has the highest R1 zoned properties in the City.
Staff responded to enquiries raised by Committee Members, with respect to the following:
• maintaining the character of Mississauga Road, scenic route;
• the impact on watershed capacity;
• housing options for University of Toronto, Mississauga students;
• increased of applications to the Committee of Adjustment;
• impact to Fire Department staffing resources to ensure all units are safe;
• whether the Region of Peel has confirmed they can service an increased water and sewage capacity;
• whether school boards were consulted about the potential for increase in student capacity;
• whether external agencies who provide feedback on development applications were consulted;
• plans to deal with overcapacity of vehicles parked on driveways and on-street;
• whether any levels of government have mandated the City to permit Four Units on Low-Rise Residential Lots;
• What is the definition of affordability and how would permitting four units would address;
• parking solutions for neighbourhoods that have narrow streets without sidewalks and ditches on both sides;
• will permitting four units be applicable to heritage districts; and would existing GFA’s, setback, heights and other restrictions apply to the heritage district;
• what types of guarantees has the government provided to ensure funding is paid and when payment of the funds is expected.
• tracking progress of other municipalities who have permitted four units;
• whether minor changes to existing built forms such as GFA’s, heights, and setback, would not alter existing neighbourhood character
• what residents of Ward 4 residents could potential be looking at in terms of adding fourplexes to their neighbourhood;
• when did staff receive letter from the Minister and what timelines were provided for the City to respond to the Minister in order to be eligible for funding;
• could the federal government deem the City of Mississauga’s application to permit four units be ineligible for funding;
• what formula does the federal government use to determine the amount of funding to be allocated to municipalities;
• maintaining the character of Mississauga Road, scenic route;
The following persons spoke:
1. Tonya Elmazi - President of the Orchard Heights Homeowners' Association (OHHA), identified concerns relating to the removal of inclusionary zoning and the inclusion to permit four units, and highlighted key concerns with respect to the federal and provincial governments overstepping jurisdictional boundaries. Ms. Elmazi enquired regarding what other options have been explored to achieve housing targets; how many residential units have been approved but not yet begun building; are there deadlines to start and complete building and would there be penalties imposed for failing to meet those deadlines; what studies have been conducted on the projected number of homes owned by baby boomers entering the market over the next ten years; the number of units that could be considered for development in high density areas near transit hubs.
Andrew Whittemore, Commissioner, Planning and Building advised that the City’s website contains information on active housing initiatives as well as a development tracker that provides live updates on the number of units under construction.
Chris Rouse, Director, Development and Design responded to Councillor Parrish’s enquiry regarding whether there are any provision in provincial legislation to permit a municipality to retract a development approval for developments that have not been commenced over time.
2. Mary Furlin, President, Credit Reserve Association noted that the lack of profitability in some neighbourhoods to build fourplexes would create a greater interest for builders to building luxury units rather than affordable units, and suggested a need for controls and regulations to ensure zoning changes reflect affordable units.
In response to Mayor Crombie’s enquiry regarding fractional ownership of a fourplex unit, Jason Bevan, Commissioner, City Planning Strategies, clarified that the program structure is focused on using the rental model to address neighbourhood needs.
3. Mary Simpson, President, TOPCA welcomed staff’s clarification that fourplex units would be rental and not individual unit purchases. Ms. Simpson illustrated what types of units would work in communities, and noted that the challenge of moving in the right direction would be to ensure that zoning changes are enforced and that restrictions and requirements are followed without means to apply to the Committee of Adjustment to obtain changes from the new zoning, and outlined suggested zoning restrictions and requirements.
4. Chris Mackie, representing MIRANET, suggested a cautious approach to adopt by-law amendments and noted that the City should adopt appropriate planning policy regardless of promised funding and spoke to allocation of funding for the number of municipalities that have applied. Mr. Mackie noted that policy changes to permit fourplexes would not have a significant effect to achieving housing targets. Mr. Mackie suggested staff add the word “rental” to the summary of recommendations.
5. Mike Miske, Resident, spoke to the need to provide more affordable housing and the flexibility in the approach and recognized that levels of government need to take necessary steps to move forward.
6. Jonathan Giggs, Resident directed enquiries to staff regarding the 2022 Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force recommendations, further enquired regarding whether there are areas in Mississauga where fourplexes would not be permitted.
Councillor Parrish spoke in support of the proposed Mayor’s Motion to permit four units.
In response to Councillor Butt’s enquiry, Shari Lichterman, City Manager explained the voting process under the strong Mayor’s powers that would apply to the Mayor’s Motion at Special Council on December 6, 2023.
Councillor Dasko sought clarity on what the Committee is voting on since staff’s report is entitled information/recommendation report.
Andra Maxwell, City Solicitor explained that the Committee is voting on receipt of staff’s report, and that recommendations outlined in the staff’s report would be attached to the Mayor’s Motion to be voted on at Special Council.
7. Anastasia Tolias enquired regarding fourplex ownership, division of utilities, and impact to property taxes.
Andrew Whittemore, Commissioner, Planning and Building advised should the Mayor’s Motion be approved, information regarding fourplexes will be available on the City’s website and inviting Ms. Tolias to submit her questions to planning staff for response.