Municipality: Town of Caledon Implementation: 2008-12-01
Policy Name: Green Development Program Contact: Jeremy Schembri
Department: Development Approvals and Planning Policy Title: Acting Manager, Energy & Environment
Focus:
Community profile:

 

 The Town of Caledon is located north of Brampton and occupies a geographic area of 687km2 in Peel Region. Caledon's current population is 58,000, with the largest demographic group between 45 to 54 years of age. The population is projected to grow to over 84,000 by 2021.

 

 Caledon's largest full-time employers include a mix of commercial and industrial enterprises. The Town is the home of eight corporate headquarters spanning manufacturing, transportation, construction supply, and food industries.

 

 Caledon saw a broad range of development in the past ten years. The total value of building permits climbed from $61 million in 2002 to $269 million in 2011. Non-residential building permits rose over the same period, peaking in 2008 at $138 million. Non-residential floor space expansion reached a height of approximately 3.14 million sqft. in 2007, declining to 76,300 sqft. in 2011. Since 2002, the great majority of floor space expansion occurred through new development. Residential housing construction activity saw new highs in 2011 at $180 million. Of the 19,416 residential units accounted for in 2012, 85.4% were detached homes.

 

 Transportation in Caledon is road based, and no local public transportation system currently exists. GO Transit operates two bus routes in Caledon, connecting to other municipalities in the area. Caledon businesses can easily team with suppliers and serve customers in Canada’s industrial heartland and the United States through an extensive and reliable network of municipal and regional roads, which connect to major provincial highways (400, 401, 407, 410, 427, and QEW). The Town is located 30 minutes north of Pearson International airport, and its proximity to both CP and CN Railway intermodal terminals provide diversified domestic and overseas containerization service, giving local corporations continent wide and international market access.

 

 The Town of Caledon prides itself on maintaining a sustainable balance of community, environmental and development initiatives in the context of an extensive urban and rural environment.  The Town is well respected for its progressive approach on “green” initiatives as recognized by being named the co-recipient of the “TVO Greenest Town in Ontario” Award.

 

Short Description:

 

 The Green Development Program provides development charge discounts for new green commercial and industrial buildings. Through the Green Development Program, the Town of Caledon enables developers to create more sustainable projects in our community.

 

 

 

Background:

 

The Green Development Program is a voluntary, flexible program that accommodates a wide range of green building strategies to fit project goals in commercial or industrial development.

 

 When a party interested in participating in the program applies for a building permit with the Town of Caledon, they fill out the “Application for Development Charge Discount – Green Development”. Applicants must include certification/stamp/signature from an architect or engineer that verifies the LEED standard or green technologies to be incorporated. Development charges are paid at the time of building permit issuance – green builders pay the discounted applicable development charge, and provide a Letter of Credit in the amount of the discount.Participants must obtain all applicable permits from the Town of Caledon during the construction process.

 

 Within three years of building completion, participants are required to provide the Town of Caledon with certification/stamp/signature from an architect or engineer that confirms the LEED standard achieved, or the green technologies implemented. The Town of Caledon will then release the Letter of Credit.

 

 The rebate will be scaled depending on the type of project (commercial or industrial), inclusion of the pre-qualified green technologies, or the level of LEED certification achieved by the project (see the accompanying brochure for eligibility requirements).

 

Step by Step Process:

 

-        Established an internal “Green Development Incentives” (GDI) Committee. The Committee included senior management representation from various municipal departments, including Economic Development, Planning and Development, Building, Legal, Communications, and Environment.

 

-        Held a stakeholder session with the development community to define green development, and to determine what type of incentive would best encourage it.

 

-        Following the session, it was determined that a development charge rebate would be the best incentive tool, as it could be used by developers to offset the premium associated with achieving LEED certification. Rebates for non-LEED certified projects would also be provided for the inclusion of what is referred to as “Green Technologies” to help offset costs (i.e. solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, low impact development features).

 

-        Completed a cost analysis to determine the rebate premiums for the various levels of LEED certification, and for buildings that incorporate the pre-qualified green technologies.

 

-        Held a Public Information Meeting to address the requirements of Section 12 of the Development Charges Act, 1997

 

-        Completed Development Charge Background Study Regarding the Provision of Development Charge Discounts to Commercial and Industrial Development in order to Provide Green Development Incentives

 

-        Enacted By-Law No. 2008-57 in order to amend By-Law No. 2004-118 so green development incentives could be offered to eligible builders and developers who incorporate pre-qualified green technologies or obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for new industrial and commercial buildings.

 

-        Created an interdepartmental review committee responsible for processing Green Development

 

Primary Drivers:

The primary driver was to encourage sustainable development within the Town of Caledon

 

Secondary Drivers:

To encourage commercial and industrial development, the Town was willing to provide an incentive.

 

Enablers:

Piloting the program and placing a cap of the value of rebates that the Town will issue in one year.

 

 

Champions:

This work was led by the vision of Council Staff located within Planning and Development and Economic Development.

Obstacles:

Getting builders to build beyond code

Opportunities:

A willingness by Council to provide a financial incentive to encourage green development in the industrial and commercial sectors

Obstacles:

Coordinating priorities among multiple municipal departments  

Opportunities:

Once priorities have been synergized the strength of the argument favouring a particular action is enhanced exponentially

Outcome:

 

The Town of Caledon continues to be recognized as a leader for having progressive environmental policy and programs. The Green Development Program will lead to the development of building stock with environmental attributes such as energy efficiency, water conservation, storm water management, etc.  The Development Charge rebate will attract “green’ builders to the Town, which should lead to ‘green’ companies locating the Town as tenants. This is in line with the Town’s objective to promote a Green Economy.

 

Lessons Learned:

-        Include all affected departments from the start

-        Complete a cost analysis to determine if DC rebates are appropriate

-        Be familiar with what is involved in amending a DC by-law

-        Ensure that the program is communicated well to Staff and Builders

-        Complete follow-up survey with stakeholders

 

Applicability Across Ontario:

This program is applicable to municipalities across Ontario. Tying the incentives to LEED certification allows for third party verification and less municipal resources to manage the program.

Similar Tools Used by Other Municipalities:

Not aware of tools.

 

Further Information:

Program and Process attached.

Policy Document: Green Development Operational Flow Chart.pdf