What is a Community Improvement Plan?

    Community improvement planning provides a means of planning and financing activities that relate to the effective use, reuse or restoration of lands, buildings and infrastructure.

    Municipalities can use Community Improvement Plans for a variety of public goods, including:

    • to focus public attention on local priorities and specific municipal initiatives;
    • target areas in transition or in need of repair, rehabilitation and redevelopment;
    • facilitate and encourage community change in a coordinated manner; and,
    • stimulate private sector investment through municipal incentive-based programs.

    Why is the City offering this Green Standard CIP?

    The Green Standard CIP goes beyond what is legally required for new buildings under the current Ontario Building Code. In order to encourage new developments to voluntarily reach higher building performance levels, incentives are required. The benefits of this program include: reduced GHG emissions, improved building performance, reduced impact on energy infrastructure, more energy savings and stimulation of economic opportunities associated with the products and services required to construct high performance buildings. These benefits are associated with the City’s Climate Leadership and Economic Development priorities.

    Can individuals (outside the developer, builder community) take advantage of incentives?

    The Green Standard CIP incentives are designed to be most suited for large developments, such as multi-residential buildings, commercial buildings and industrial buildings.

    What type of incentives will be offered?

    Proposed Incentives could be offered through a Tax Increment Rebate Grant Program, ­which would provide future property tax rebates to approved projects to allow builders to recover eligible costs associated with high standards for energy and water performance.  It aims to stimulate the construction of buildings that achieve improved energy and emissions performance through third-party certification programs such as Net-Zero (by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association) or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) created and administered by the Canadian Green Building Council and Green Business Certification Inc.

    Will the incentives ever be expanded to cover more areas, like green roofs?

    The CIP is proposed to include annual reporting on its results as well as an evaluation and review period following its first 3-5 years. Future program amendments will be considered by City Council.

    Will there be an audit to ensure buildings are indeed built to be low-impact?

    Verification of energy performance levels will be made through a requirement of certification from an approved third-party energy or carbon performance standard.

    What kinds of expenses does the Green Standard CIP cover?

    It is expected that the Green Standard CIP incentives will help the owner recoup some of a building project’s upfront investment costs through the reduced costs realized by the building’s design features that reduce its need for energy   – including high-efficiency and low-carbon mechanical equipment and energy systems that serve heating, cooling and power needs.