Section 37 Policy Review
GPA was retained by Markham to prepare a policy framework and guidelines for the use of Section 37 of the Planning Act which allows municipalities to secure “facilities, services or matters”, commonly referred to as community benefits, in return for increases in height and density of development, commonly referred to as bonusing. The project involved the preparation of Official Plan policies based on background research, preparation of guidelines and presentations at Council committee. The policy framework establishes the relationship between in the development and the location of facilities, services or matters and that could be secured, the types of community benefits that could be negotiated in exchange for extra density and height as well as the process for securing the community benefits. The fundamental principles underpinning the policy are good planning and establishing a “nexus” between the increase in height and density and the nature of the community benefit. The guidelines focus on the protocol for negotiation, the roles of the various parties involved and the nature of agreements to be entered into. The policy framework has been incorporated into Markham’s Official Plan and the guidelines have been adopted by Council.
City of Markham