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Jun 11, 2024
Services: Municipal Law

From First Reading to Royal Assent: Tracking Bill 185’s Developments

On June 6, 2024, Cutting Red Tape to Build More Homes Act, 2024 (“Bill 185”) received royal assent.[1] After its first reading at Queen’s Park, SV Law wrote an initial article on Bill 185 (as it was then drafted) titled: Going through (Further) Changes: Implications of Bill 185 on Municipal & Planning Law. Check out this initial article for a broad overview of Bill 185 after its first reading.

This article covers the amendments and insertions made to Bill 185 between its first reading and Royal Assent. Key changes in the final version include:

Development Charges Act, 1997 

The calculation of development charges was additionally amended to include a specific transition rule for the City of Ottawa.[2]

Planning Act

Bill 185 limits third party appeal rights relating to the adoption of an official plan, official plan amendments, and zoning by-law amendments. In its first reading, Bill 185 proposed to restrict third party appeals to a “specified person” and “public body” (as defined in the Planning Act) so long as they made oral submissions at a public meeting or written submissions to the council.[3] In the final version, the provincial government revised Bill 185 to preserve landowner appeal rights by including one additional eligible category for third party-appeals. Now, a “registered owner of any land” to which the Official Plan (“OP”) would apply may appeal an official plan or any amendment thereto where, prior to the OP’s adoption, they made oral submissions at a public meeting or written submissions to the council.[4]

In addition, Bill 185 permits a registered owner of any land to which a zoning by-law would apply to commence an appeal where, prior to the zoning by-law’s passage, they made oral or written submissions.[5] Bill 185’s inclusion of this category is notable because it continues to permit any property owner whose lands are impacted to appeal a municipally-initiated Official Plan or Zoning By-law amendment. This “registered owner of affected land(s)” category still restricts true “third-party” landowners or other individuals or groups from commencing an eligible appeal where they are unaffected. For example, the Planning Act now precludes appeals from the colloquial “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) neighbouring landowners or any ratepayer associations.

On royal assent, Bill 185 included expanded definitions of “public body” and “specified person”. For example, a public body encompasses a hospital (as defined in the Public Hospitals Act) and a specified person includes NAV Canada.[6]

Finally, under Bill 185, the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council may make regulations for additional purposes, but same cannot apply to Greenbelt designated areas.[7]

Concluding Remarks

Municipalities, developers, business owners, and landowners should turn their attention to understanding how Bill 185 will have implications for your municipal and planning needs going forward. Contact the experienced team at SV Law today for individual advice on how Bill 185 may impact your municipal and development projects.

[1] Ontario, Bill 185, Cutting Red Tape to Build More Homes Act, 2024, Royal Assent, online: Legislative Assembly of Ontario <>.

[2] Ibid, Sched 6, s 3.

[3] See e.g. Ibid, Sched 12, s 3(1), (4), s 5(7).

[4] Ibid, Sched 12, s 3(1).

[5] Ibid, Sched 12, s 5(7).

[6] Ibid, Sched 12, s 1(1)-(2).

[7] Ibid, Sched 12, s 12(4).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not legal advice. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstance.