Citizens' Fact Sheet 

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Click to open the 2016 Proposed Boundary Change Fact Sheet (PDF Format).

Questions

Answers

How does a municipality "change" its boundary?
Section 173 of the Municipal Act, S.O. 2001 identifies the process for a municipality to "restructure". Restructuring a municipality can include the annexation of lands from one municipality to another. Under this Act, a municipality may submit a proposal to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to change a municipal boundary. The Minister, after considering the proposal, can issue an order to change the municipal boundary, allowing one municipality to annex land from another municipality.
What areas of the County are being proposed for transfer into the City of Brantford?
There are three areas of the County that are proposed to be transfer to the City's jurisdiction in the Memorandum of Understanding.
These areas are depicted on the attached map and are described below:
1. The first area is located north of the City between Powerline Road and Governors Road East and totals 1,824 hectares. The City anticipates that the lands in the vicinity of and west of Golf Road will be for employment (industrial) uses, while the lands to the east of Golf Road are to be developed for residential, and other related uses including schools, parks and local commercial uses.
2. The second area is located east of Garden Avenue, north of Highway 403, and totals 184 hectares. This area is proposed to be developed for employment (industrial) use.
3. The third area, located on either side of Mount Pleasant Road, is known as Tutela Heights and totals 446 hectares. This area is proposed to be developed for residential use.
What are the changes in the updated version of the boundary agreement?
Changes to the boundary adjustment agreement are the direct result of feedback received during public consultations held in the City of Brantford, the County of Brant and Six Nations of the Grand River between January and April 2016. The proposed boundary expansion area that was presented for public consultation in January included the following:
- Total Gross Area of 2,444 Hectares
- Total Residential Lands Gross Area of 1732 Hectares
- Total Employment Lands Gross area of 712 Hectares
Amendments based on feedback from January Public Consultations:
As a result of public consultations held in January 2016, additional lands were added as follows:
A. Powerline Road, east of Garden Avenue. - A total of 82.6 Gross Hectares were added in this area for additional Residential lands.
B. In the area of Powerline Road and Paris Road. A total of 58.7 Gross Hectares were added in this area for additional Employment Lands.
Furthermore, Trigger Lands located outside of the current Urban Settlement Area of Tutela Heights were added totalling 167.8 Gross Hectares of Residential lands.
Amendments based on feedback from Consultation with Six Nations of the Grand River:
Consultation with Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council and staff occurred during March 2016. As a result of this consultation process additional lands have been included in the area of Tutela Heights, north of Phelps Road and east of the unopened road allowance south of Tutela Heights Road.
As a result of the Consultation process that took place between January and March 2016, the total amount of proposed land to be transferred to the City of Brantford is as follows:
- Total Gross Area of 2,720 Hectares
- Total Residential Lands Gross Area of 1,980 Hectares
- Total Employment Lands Gross Area of 740 Hectares
What was the rationale for transferring this part of the County to City jurisdiction?
In 2006, the City commissioned a Growth Management Strategy as background for a previous boundary adjustment proposal with the County. Several areas for boundary adjustment were analyzed based on the following criteria:
- Minimizing impacts to prime agricultural lands.
- Protecting mineral resources.
- Minimizing the impact on environmental features.
- Minimizing the impact on wellhead protection area.
- Availability of sanitary and water services.
- Transportation connectivity and efficiency.
- Integrating the area into the existing community.
After considering these criteria and examining all of the parts of the County that border the City, the strategy determined that the three areas included in the proposal are the least constrained and most suitable parts of the County for the City to grow into.
What is a Municipal Boundary?
A municipal boundary is a defined line that denotes the limits of a municipality's jurisdiction. Properties that fall within a municipality's boundary are subject to that municipality's bylaws, property tax levy, and services provided by that municipality.
What happens to privately owned lands that are in the transfer areas?
Private property ownership will not be affected by the proposed boundary changes. If County lands transfer to the jurisdiction of the City, the City will deliver municipal services to properties within the new City boundary. These services include curbside waste and recycling pickup, road maintenance, and winter snow clearing.
I live in one of the areas of the County proposed for transfer to the City jurisdiction. Will my taxes increase?
It is recognized that the current City tax rate is higher than the County tax rate. The Memorandum of Understanding includes a commitment that, if a boundary amendment occurs, properties that enter the City's jurisdiction will be treated fairly. Taxpayers in any portion of the County which is transferred to the City will have the municipal portion of their property taxes levied at the County’s municipal tax rate in the year after the transfer, which will be known as the “Base Tax Rate”. In subsequent years, the Base Tax Rate will be increased annually at the same percentage as the City’s annual budget increase. This tax fairness will continue until the earlier of:
a) 15 years from the date of the transfer of lands from the County to the City,
b) The property changes ownership (with the exception of spousal transfers whether to live spouses or from a deceased spouse’s estate) or
c) A property is subject to a development proposal in accordance with the provisions of the Planning Act. These development proposals can include plans of subdivision, land severances, official plan amendment and/or zoning amendment applications. Should the development proposal be approved, the property or that portion of the property which is subject to the proposal will be taxed at the current applicable City tax rate for the property’s tax class.
Is the proposed change to the City/County boundary final?
The Memorandum of Understanding represents the terms of a proposal that has been considered by both parties. The Councils of both the City of Brantford and County of Brant have stated that public consultation of the proposal is essential prior to making a final decision on whether to accept or reject the proposal. Therefore, public consultation sessions are scheduled to take place in January 2016.
Why is a change to the Brant/Brantford boundary being considered at this time?
Brantford is one of eight cities located outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) identified under Provincial policy as an Urban Growth Centre, which is where future population growth is projected to occur in the next 30 years. The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe 2006, which is a provincial document that contains a long-term plan for population growth outside of the GTA, projects that the population of the City of Brantford will grow to 163,000 people and 79,000 jobs by the year 2041. To accommodate this projected growth, the City of Brantford will require additional lands to provide places for existing and new residents to live and work.
Doesn't the City have more than enough land within its existing boundary to meet its future growth needs?
The City does have undeveloped land within its existing boundary. However, the City has conducted an analysis to determine whether it has enough land to accommodate the future population growth projected by the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe 2006. Based on this analysis, the City has concluded that it will need an additional 1,500 hectares of land, of which approximately 1,000 hectares are for residential use and approximately 500 hectares for employment.
How do I provide my thoughts on the proposed boundary change?
There are a number of ways that a member of the public can make their thoughts known to both Councils:
1. Public Information Centres are being held to provide information and to hear comments regarding the boundary change at the following times and locations:
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Lion’s Park Arena - Auditorium, 20 Edge Street, Brantford
Open Houses from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Public Meeting at 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Grand Valley Christian Centre, 379 Golf Road, Brantford
Open Houses from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Public Meeting at 6:00 p.m.
2. Any individual can submit written comments by contacting the individuals below for additional instructions:
Heather Boyd, Clerk, County of Brant
26 Park Avenue, Burford, Ontario 519-449-2451
Email heather.boyd@brant.ca
Lori Wolfe, Clerk, City of Brantford
100 Wellington Square, Brantford, Ontario 519-759-4150 ext. 5713
Email lwolfe@brantford.ca
3. Email addresses have been set up to receive comments specifically related to the proposed change to the City/County boundary. Emails received at these addresses will be provided to the Mayors and the Members of both Councils. The email addresses are:
Email County of Brant: boundaries@brant.ca
Email City of Brantford: boundaries@brantford.ca
Has the Province approved the agreement?
Upon final approval by both Councils of the City of Brantford and the County of Brant of the Municipal Boundary Restructuring Agreement, the agreement and supporting documentation will be forwarded to the Province for the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s consideration for approval.
How can I find more information on this proposed change to the City / County boundary?
There is additional information on the County of Brant Website at www.brant.ca and the City of Brantford Website at www.brantford.ca/boundaries.
I live in one of the areas of the County proposed for transfer to City jurisdiction. What will happen to my property?
Private property ownership will not be affected if the boundary changes. If County lands transfer to the jurisdiction of the City, municipal services will be delivered to your property by the City. These services would include such items as curbside waste and recycling pickup, road maintenance, and winter snow clearing.
Why does the 2,454 hectares proposed for transfer exceed the identified land need of 1,500 hectares?
Information from the City's 2006 Growth Management Strategy and the recently completed County Official Plan has shown that at least 919 hectares of the 2,454 hectares in the area proposed to be transferred includes wooded areas, creeks, wetlands, steep slopes, valley lands, and associated buffer areas. These natural areas cannot be developed and must be protected by establishing "buffers” that provide additional space between the natural area and the developable lands. These natural areas and their buffers will reduce the area to be developed to between 1,500 and 1,600 hectares, which is consistent with the land need of 1,500 hectares.
What was the process that was used to develop the original proposal to change the County/City boundary?
The Councils of the City of Brantford and the County of Brant agreed in 2015 to have the Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) and other staff meet to discuss a possible amendment to the City/County boundary. The two staff teams met a number of times over the later part of 2015 and eventually arrived at a Memorandum of Understanding that represents the current proposal to amend the City/County boundary. This Memorandum of Understanding was considered by the Councils of the City of Brantford and County of Brant at separate Special Council meetings held on January 5, 2016.
Will County taxes increase if the proposed change to the City/County boundary occurs?
As part of the Memorandum of Understanding, the City will provide compensation to the County in a number of forms to ensure that County taxpayers do not see property tax increases as a result of a boundary adjustment.
The Memorandum of Understanding includes Joint Ventures between the City and County affecting the lands around the Brantford Municipal Airport and in Cainsville. What does this include?
Both the Airport and Cainsville will remain in the County of Brant. The City and County will work together to investigate the extension of municipal services (sanitary sewers and possibly water) from the City to these areas. The investigation would include sharing in the servicing costs as well as sharing in the tax revenues resulting from the employment (industrial) development that would occur in these areas.
If these areas of the County are transferred to the City's jurisdiction, will these lands be developed?
Development will take place within the transfer area, but a number of steps will need to occur prior to any development in the area. A secondary planning exercise will need to be undertaken by the City to determine future land use, transportation requirements, servicing, and protection of natural areas. If lands within the area are identified as "developable" under this process, then Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw Amendments will be required for lands to be developed. All of these activities will involve public consultation.
If the areas of the County are transferred to the City’s jurisdiction, when is development anticipated to take place?
It is anticipated that the secondary planning exercise should take two to three years to complete. The development of the lands could occur in another two to three years after the completion of the secondary planning exercise, making the total time frame four to six years before development occurs.