Grey County sends province list of concerns over 'more homes' act

Like many municipalities, Grey County is expressing its concerns about Bill 23 to the provincial government.

At its meeting on Nov. 10, county council considered a staff report about Bill 23 - More Homes Built Faster Act. The report outlined concerns county administration have about changes proposed in the bill. Council voted to sent the report to the province for consideration and will request a delegation in front of the standing committee on heritage, infrastructure and cultural policy.

Director of Planning Scott Taylor reviewed the report with county council at the meeting and said while the county has concerns about Bill 23, there are beneficial aspects to the legislation.

“There are lots of positive changes in Bill 23, there is some good stuff in here,” said Taylor. “There are some unintended consequences that could be problematic to the county and its municipalities.”

Taylor outlined a number of concerns the county plans to convey to the province about the bill including (the full report can be found here):

Members of county council were supportive of the report and the recommendations from staff to communicate Grey’s concerns about the bill to the province.

“This bill puts the burden of attainable housing on the local municipality’s taxpayer,” said The Blue Mountains Mayor Alar Soever. “This is not making anything more affordable.”

Grey Highlands Mayor Paul McQueen said it is obvious the province is planning some significant changes. McQueen said he shared concerns about the proposed changes to development charges in the bill.

“There are a lot of concerns around the development charges changes and the concept that growth pays for growth. The development charges studies can’t be a wish list,” said McQueen. “From a financial point of view, we’re going to have to sharpen our pencils. If there are efficiencies there, we’ll have to look for them.”

Chris Fell Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,