Learn About Burlington’s Proposed New Official Plan

Interested in learning more about Burlington’s proposed New Official Plan?

The City of Burlington will be holding a series of public meetings to cover various aspects of its proposed new Plan.

The meetings will be held through January and February, and members of the public are welcome to attend in person or watch a live webcast.

The first meeting was held on January 8 and covered the sections of the proposed new Official Plan that related to the rural area, agriculture, natural heritage, greenspace and mineral aggregates.

 

The other meetings and topics are:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

City Hall, Room 247, Level 2

Topics of discussion:

Employment policies, employment conversions and the mixed-use intensification area policies.

This meeting serves as a continuation of the Nov. 30, 2017 Planning and Development Committee meeting.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting or watch a live webcast. The meeting will not include further delegations.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

City Hall, Room 247, Level 2

Topic of discussion:

A recommendation report related to the downtown will be presented.

The report will contain the supplementary information requested by the council (e.g. background information regarding the Urban Growth Centre boundary; proposed heights compared to the existing in-effect Official Plan; and potential redevelopment sites).

This meeting will consider a new staff report.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting or watch a live webcast.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

City Hall, Room 247, Level 2

Topics of discussion:

Growth management, implementation and any remaining topic areas identified by City Council.

This meeting serves as a continuation of the Nov. 30, 2017 Planning and Development Committee meeting.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting or watch a live webcast. The meeting will not include further delegations.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

City Hall, Room 247, Level 2

A second statutory public meeting to present any revisions to the proposed new Official Plan.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting or watch a live webcast. Delegations are not required to register in advance to speak.

 

Links and Resources

REALTORS® at Queen’s Park!

RAHB delegates to the Ontario Real Estate Association’s  Ontario REALTOR® Party Conference met with local MPPs to discuss two important issues that affect home ownership and real estate registrants: the pending Home Energy Rating and Disclosure (HER&D) legislation and the importance of modernizing the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act 2002 (REBBA 2002).

The meetings took place during OREA’s annual Ontario REALTOR® Party Conference (formerly known as the Political Action Conference) from November 19-21, 2017 in Toronto. RAHB delegates were President Lou Piriano, RAHB CEO George O’Neill, Government Relations Committee Chair Kathy Della-Nebbia and Vice-chair Nicholas von Bredow and GR staff Valerie Webster.

 

What’s the Home Energy Rating and Disclosure (HER&D)?

The province has proposed a mandatory Home Energy Rating and Disclosure (HER&D) program that would require a seller to do an energy audit before they listed their home, then post the results of the audit on the listing. The audits would be paid for by the program. The goal is to reduce green house gases (GHG).

There are a number of reasons OREA and REALTORS® oppose HER&D:

1. Requiring the audit will not ensure that homeowners will follow through with retrofits; therefore, it does nothing to actually reduce green house gases.

2. The government is allotting $250 million for free energy audits. The same amount could be put toward voluntary audits by all home owners (not just those listing their properties) as well as paying for a portion of the retrofits.

3. The HER&D program targets every home that would be for sale, while a study by the Conference Board of Canada determined that retrofits are most needed for the 76 per cent of homes built in 1995 or earlier.

4. Energy auditors are not licensed by a provincial regulator, not subject to an enforced code of ethics or conduct and are not required to carry errors and omissions insurance.

5. Requiring an energy audit could delay the sale of a home – there may not be enough auditors or auditors may not be able to perform audits in a timely manner.

A poll by Nanos Research indicates that Ontario homeowners overwhelmingly support a government program that would give them a tax break to improve their property’s energy efficiency. Consumers who are staying in their homes are more interested in improving energy efficiency than those who are selling their homes.

The Ontario Real Estate Association is proposing a better solution to reduce green house gases: the Green Home Assistance Program.

This program would use the $250 million allotted to the HER&D program to provide incentives to existing home owners to do an energy audit and then green retrofits. This program would target the 76 per cent of Ontario homes built in 1995 or earlier.

What can you do?

You can write to your local MPP and the Minister of Energy to ask the government to cancel HER&D and support more retrofit incentives for Ontario home owners. The Minister of Energy’s office address is listed below.

The Minister of Energy, Hon. Glenn Thibeault
Ministry of Energy
4th Floor, Hearst Block, 900 Bay Street, Toronto, ON, M7A 2E1

 

What about modernizing REBBA 2002?

OREA and REALTORS® are advocating to strengthen REBBA by:

1. Having stronger deterrents for unethical behaviour and a regulator that would use the legislation to impose appropriate penalties.

2. Improve continuing education by giving registrants the ability to take the program online or in class, and requiring registrants to take a test to demonstrate their understanding of the material.

3. Requiring a more rigorous licensing education program to better prepare new salespeople for the challenges of a modern real estate market.

4. Updating the code of ethics to reflect items such as social media, new business models and other best practices in the industry.

What can you do?

Write to your MPP and the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, the Hon. Tracy MacCharles to support the review of REBBA to strengthen the legislation. The address for the Minister of Government and Consumer Services is listed below.

The Hon. Tracy MacCharles
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
6th Floor, Mowat Block, 900 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M7A 1L2

OREA News: Provincial Development Approval Roundtable Action Plan

OREA has been taking part in a provincial roundtable convened as a result of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan. The roundtable’s goal is to produce an action plan to address the artificial barriers holding back housing supply.

OREA’s specific recommendations around

  • tying infrastructure investment to better zoning by municipalities for more housing;
  • cutting red tape for a more streamlined development approvals process; and
  • a commitment for home development intensification along transportation corridors

were all incorporated into the Province’s action plan, which will streamline the residential development approval process and bring needed housing to market more quickly and efficiently.

Learn more about the Development Approval Roundtable Action Plan at http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page16623.aspx%23Action%20items.

REALTORS® on The Hill: RAHB Government Relations

What do you get with you mix REALTORS® from across Canada and Members of Parliament? CREA PAC Days, of course!

The annual political action conference was held in Ottawa from October 15-17, 2017. RAHB representatives – President Lou Piriano, President-elect Jack Loft and Government Relations Committee members Stephanie Pinet and Margaret Reid – met with MPs Philomena Tassi, David Sweet, Bob Bratina and Karina Gould to discuss recommendations to:

  • extend the Home Buyers Plan to help Canadians through significant life changes such as death of a spouse, marital breakdown or accommodation of an elderly family member
  • allow parents to loan RRSP funds to their adult children for the purchase of a home

Next stop for RAHB PAC representatives? OREA will be holding it’s annual PAC conference November 19-21, and REALTORS® will be speaking with local MPPs at Queen’s Park.

Philomena Tassi

Have Your Say: Modernizing REBBA 2002

OREA REBBA Reform

Did you know that OREA is leading the charge to modernize REBBA 2002, and they want to hear from you?

The first phase of the review of REBBA 2002 addressed the Province’s interest in banning double-ending real estate transaction. The Ontario Real Estate Association sent the message to Queen’s Park that REALTORS® are interested in higher standards in the real estate profession and that a complete ban on double-ending would not be productive. OREA’s submission was prepared after consultation with real estate boards and associations across Ontario (RAHB was part of the consultation). Watch for updates on how this plays out legislatively this fall.

In Phase 2, the emphasis will be on re-writing REBBA, and OREA is asking you for your input. This is going to be a complete overhaul of REBBA 2001, and everything is on the table. This is the best chance for you, RAHB and OREA to play a significant role in writing the next, better version of REBBA.

How? Over the next few months, OREA will be posting on its website, REBBAReform.ca, a series of white papers with a number of proposals for what changes should be made to REBBA. You can download the complete white paper, or just read the proposals from it, then provide your feedback directly to OREA. It’s simple, it’s fast, and you’ll keep informed about what is happening.

OREA’s white papers will cover:

August – Enforcement (already posted and ready for your comments!)

September – Continuing Education

October – Entrance Education

November – Code of Ethics

 

Check out the website today, and have your say in the future of real estate!

Multiple representation consultation paper

Recently the Ministry of Government & Consumer Services (MGCS) issued a consultation paper proposing three major changes to the Real Estate & Business Brokers Act:

  1. Establishing a new mandatory designated representation requirement with limited exceptions;
  2. Requiring that mandatory standardized disclosure clauses be used; and
  3. Increasing the maximum fine for Code of Ethics violations from $25,000 to $50,000 for individual salespersons and brokers and $100,000 for brokerages.

The potential measures being considered in this first phase of the review of REBBA 2002 are intended to:

  • Increase consumer confidence by minimizing the conflict of interest involved in multiple representation situations;
  • Make it easier for consumers to better understand the nature of the agreements they are entering; and
  • Strengthen consumer protection by modernizing the penalties for unethical behavior for contraventions of the Code of Ethics.

The consultation is the first phase of the government commitment to review REBBA 2002. The second phase will review all other aspects of the Act and extend into 2018. The focus on multiple representation is in response to negative media coverage (CBC Marketplace) which occurred late in 2016.

RAHB has submitted comments to OREA which is in the process of formulating a response on behalf of Ontario REALTORS®.  This response will be made available to members.


Thank You To Our Sponsor:

Bay Area leaders connect to push the region forward

Bay Area Economic Summit

The Bay Area Economic Summit held Tuesday, June 27, 2017, created in cooperation with a regional advisory committee, focused on four interrelated topics.

1. Innovation Corridor: benefits for Bay Area companies, start-ups, entrepreneurs, institutions1. Innovation Corridor: benefits for Bay Area companies, start-ups, entrepreneurs, institutions and not for profits

2. Regional Goods Movement: the Bay Area play  for improved connectivity

3. Climate Action: economic advantages for the  Bay Area community 4. Smart Intensification: compact development  of employment and residential lands in the Bay Area

4. Smart Intensification: compact development 4. Smart Intensification: compact development  of employment and residential lands in the  Bay Area

 

Marquee speakers included Premier Kathleen Wynne; Tom Jenkins, board chair of OpenText Corporation and a key champion of global competitiveness; and Birgit Matthiesen, a highly respected commentator on Canada-U.S. trade.

The day also included a conversation between McMaster’s Marvin Ryder and David Cheney, Managing Partner of Bedrock Industries and new owner of Stelco as of July 1, 2017.

RAHB President Lou Piriano participated in a panel entitled Effective Intensification of Residential and Industrial Lands in the Bay Area, where he discussed intensification from the REALTOR® perspective.

Presentations will soon be posted at www.bayareasummit.ca.

Services Spotlight: From RAHB Government Relations…

RAHB Government Relations

Did you know that RAHB has its fingers on the pulse of what’s going on municipally, provincially and federally through its Government Relations Committee? And that RAHB has built relationships with business organizations to become an influential member of the community?

Your association is very much part of the local and wider communities so that your interests – and those of home buyers and sellers – are considered and protected when decisions are being made.Your association is very much part of the local and wider communities so that your interests – and those of home buyers and sellers – are considered and protected when decisions are being made.

 

Here are just a few of the ways RAHB has been involved in local, provincial and national issues:
  • RAHB’s leadership and Government Relations Committee representatives participate in annual CREA and OREA Political Action Conferences,  where the big event is meeting with local MPs and MPPs to discuss real estate-related issues. These relationships are built further at local visits with  the same representatives.
  • RAHB worked to dissuade Hamilton City Council from adopting landlord licensing and to encourage the city to develop and present a program to encourage landlords to safely create secondary suites through simple, legal means. As this conversation continues at City Hall, RAHB has  a voice at the table to ensure affordable housing is maintained in a safe way.
  • In 2015, RAHB’s Government Relations Committee successfully lobbied City Councillors to discourage them from considering asking for powers to impose  a municipal land transfer tax.
  • RAHB partnered with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Hamilton-Halton Home Builders Association in the 2014 civic election. Together, as the Hamilton Business Leaders, the group hosted a Q&A with the mayoralty candidates.
  • Representatives from RAHB are consistently invited to participate on committees, as part  of focus groups and in other forms of stakeholder engagement in Hamilton, Burlington and beyond, allowing members voices to be heard as well and information to flow both ways.
  • RAHB holds membership in all Chambers of Commerce of communities within its boundaries,  and actively participates in Chamber activities in Hamilton and Burlington through sponsorship of events, including most recently, the Bay Area Economic Summit.

Thank you to our sponsor:

Ross and McBride

Call for Public Requests: Urban Hamilton Official Plan Employment Land Conversion Analysis

City of Hamilton Logo

The City of Hamilton is undertaking a Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) to fulfill the requirements of the provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Through this process, the City is reviewing Employment Land designations within the Urban Hamilton Official Plan. The purpose of this exercise is to identify if there are any Employment Lands that may warrant conversion to a non-employment use. The Growth Plan permits the conversion of Employment Land to non employment uses only through the MCR process.

The City is inviting members of the public to submit requests for sites currently designated “Employment Area” to be considered for possible conversion. This review excludes any lands that fall within the Airport Employment Growth District, which was recently approved in 2015. Only sites in areas that are mixed-use and located along the edges of Employment Areas may be considered for conversion. Additional evaluation criteria will also be applied to each conversion request.

Please include the following information with your submission:

  • Property description (include address and past/current uses); and,
  • Rationale for conversion request (i.e. How does the conversion request satisfy the evaluation criteria?What is the proposed use of the site, if not employment?)

Additional studies/information may be required by City staff. The costs of these studies will be the responsibility of the applicant. There is no guarantee that the submission of a request, or the preparation of the additional studies, will result in staff’s recommendation and /or Council’s decision to convert lands to non-employment uses.

The deadline for submissions is September 15th, 2017.

For more information about submission requirements, evaluation criteria, employment areas, and other questions you may have, please review our project website at: www.hamilton.ca/employmentlandreview

To speak to project staff, or to submit a request, please contact:

Heather Travis, Senior Project Manager, Growth Management Strategy
Policy Planning and Zoning By-law Reform Section,
Planning Division
Planning and Economic Development Department
City of Hamilton, 71 Main St. W, 4th floor, L8R 2K3
Phone: 905.546.2424 x4168
Email: Heather.Travis@hamilton.ca

Catherine Parsons, Planner
Policy Planning and Zoning By-law Reform Section,
Planning Division
Planning and Economic Development Department
City of Hamilton, 71 Main St. W, 4th floor, L8R 2K3
Phone: 905.546.2424 x2634
Email: Catherine.Parsons@hamilton.ca

Government Relations

Call to Action:
Lawyers can… Accountants can… Mortgage brokers can… REALTORS® CAN’T.

It’s time to treat REALTORS® fairly. It’s time to permit Personal Real Estate Corporations in Ontario.

Call to Action
ISSUE
Currently, Ontario real estate salespeople are prevented by the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA), 2002 from incorporating their businesses through a personal real estate corporation (PREC).


ONTARIO LEGISLATION IS DISCRIMINATORY
Other regulated professions, including chartered accountants, lawyers, health professionals, social workers, mortgage brokers, insurance agents, architects and engineers, can all form personal corporations.


OTHER PROVINCES
Since 2008, British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Nova Scotia have all moved to allow real estate salespeople to incorporate.


NO COMPROMISE TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
Real estate salespeople who form personal corporations will continue to be subject to all professional and ethical obligations under REBBA, 2002.


SOLUTION
OREA calls on the Ontario government to amend REBBA, 2002 to permit real estate salespeople to incorporate. Allowing personal real estate corporations will help REALTORS® with their small businesses, level the playing field with other regulated professions and harmonize the practice with other provinces.

MPP Todd Smith has reintroduced Bill 104, the Tax Fairness for Realtors Act, 2017, which is being co-sponsored by MPP Mike Colle and MPP Catherine Fife. The bill, if passed, would allow Ontario REALTORS® to form personal real estate corporations (PRECs).


Tell your MPP to support the Tax Fairness for Realtors Act, 2017.
Take action now: http://www.realtortaxfairness.ca/