The City of Cornwall is updating its Parkland Dedication By-law. This page provides an overview of the proposed changes.

What is Parkland Dedication?

Section 42 of the Planning Act allows municipalities to adopt By-laws to require the dedication of land for park purposes as a condition of the development or redevelopment of land. It is intended to provide land for new parks, as well as capital funding that can be used to improve existing parks.

In general, the parkland dedication requirement is 5% of a site for residential purposes and 2% for commercial and industrial purposes. An alternative rate of one hectare per 300 dwelling units can be used for higher density residential development

There are many cases when dedicating land would be impractical or undesirable, so there are provisions for providing cash-in-lieu of land as an alternative. It is at the same rate, except for higher-density residential developments, where the rate is one hectare per 500 dwelling units.

The value of cash-in-lieu can be determined through an appraisal or by a recent land sale record. Cash-in-lieu must be paid prior to the issuance of the first building permit for a project, or before a draft plan of subdivision is registered.

When does Parkland Dedication apply?

Parkland dedication applies when development or redevelopment requires a Planning Act approval, usually as part of a plan of subdivision or a site plan control. It applies to most cases when new residential units are created, or when new industrial or commercial buildings are constructed.

It does not apply to any renovations of existing dwellings, the creation of secondary units, or changing non-residential uses in existing buildings.

Why is the By-law being updated?

There are two main reasons why the By-law is being updated.

  1. The current Parkland Dedication By-law was adopted in 1989 and is based partially on zones instead of uses. With the adoption of the City’s new Zoning By-law in February 2022, some of these zones no longer exist, which makes applying the By-law difficult. The new By-law will be based on uses. The current By-law also does not include provisions for requiring Parkland Dedication for industrial and commercial uses, or any guidelines on what lands are suitable for conveyance as parkland.
  2. The current By-law uses the alternative rate of 1 hectare per 300 units for cash-in-lieu, but the Planning Act has been amended to introduce a lower rate of 1 hectare per 500 units when cash-in-lieu is used. Municipalities in Ontario must update their Parkland Dedication By-laws by September 18, 2022, to continue using the alternative rate.

What is changing with the new Parkland Dedication By-law?

The new Parkland Dedication By-law will introduce a number of provisions that are found in most municipalities in Ontario:

  1. It will require Parkland Dedication from commercial and industrial development or redevelopment at the rate of 2%.
  2. It will introduce clear criteria for City staff and applicants to determine what lands are suitable for parkland, as well as what lands are not suitable
  3. It will provide criteria for when the City will accept cash-in-lieu, how the value will be determined, and when cash-in-lieu must be paid.
  4. It establishes reductions for affordable housing and non-profit development.
  5. It clarifies what types of development are exempt from Parkland Dedication.

What is staying the same?

The rate for residential development is not changing, which is already the maximum permitted by the Planning Act. The only exception is the introduction of a new alternative dedication rate of one hectare per 500 dwelling units for higher density residential developments.

What happens to funds collected through cash-in-lieu?

Funds from cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication are placed in a Reserve Fund and used for capital costs related to park improvements, such as new playground structures, and towards the acquisition of new parks and recreational trails.

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