Section 37: An Essential Tool for Building Healthier Neighbourhoods helps explain Section 37 of the Planning Act and its role as an essential tool for building healthy neighbourhoods.

Section 37 of the Planning Act permits the City to authorize increases in permitted height and/or density through the zoning bylaw in return for community benefits, provided that there are related Official Plan policies in place (section 5.1.1 of the Official Plan as well as certain area-specific policies).

The Section 37 Implementation Guidelines were adopted by City Council on November 20, 2007 and have been revised to consolidate Council adopted amendments up to July 2013. The Guidelines are intended to assist in the implementation of the Section 37 policies of the Official Plan (section 5.1.1). The guidelines are designed to be read in conjunction with the Official Plan policies, and address implementation principles, other implementation issues, and guidelines for securing specific types of community benefits.

A Protocol for Negotiating Section 37 Community Benefits was adopted by City Council at the meeting of December 11-13, 2007. The Protocol was requested by Planning and Growth Management Committee and is another form of guideline. The Protocol deals with the process by which community benefits are negotiated by City Planning staff, with the involvement of the Ward Councillor and with community consultation.

At its meeting of September 30th 2015, Council considered the report entitled:  Report on Sections 37 and 45(9), Community Benefits Secured in 2013 and 2014.  The report provided Council with the first annual report summarizing yearly contributions secured from the application of Sections 37 and 45 of the Planning Act with respect to community benefits/capital facilities.

At its meeting of October 29th 2019, Council considered the report entitled:  Planning Act (Section 37 and Section 45) Reserve Funds Statement, 2016-2018.  The report provided Council with a financial statement of Planning Act (Section 37 and Section 45) reserve funds for the fiscal years of 2016, 2017 and 2018. The report details the contributions received from developers; interest earned; and transfers for expenditure for the period of January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2018. In addition, the report summarizes the Section 37 community benefits secured through site-specific zoning bylaws and Section 45 community benefits secured through Committee of Adjustment decisions during this time period.