Development Charge Refund Program Version 3
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The Toronto Green Standard Version 3 Development Charge Refund program offers a partial development charge refund to projects that have demonstrated higher levels of sustainable design beyond Tier 1 required level to Tier 2, 3 or 4 near zero emissions levels of environmental performance in accordance with the Development Charge Bylaw. Certified development projects are profiled by the City of Toronto for their high achievements. The program is administered by Environmental Planning in the City Planning Division.
All eligible applications must demonstrate the achievement of all required Tier 1 performance measures through Site Plan Control application documentation. In addition, projects pursuing Tier 2 must meet all of the performance measures found in the following five “Core” development features/categories listed below for all development types and by selecting three optional performance measures from any category:
Tier 2 Core performance measures for applications under TGS V3
- Urban Heat Island Reduction: At-Grade
- Energy Systems
- Commissioning & Reporting
- Stormwater Retention & Reuse
- Water efficiency
- Light Pollution
- Construction Waste Management
Tier 3 or 4 projects follow the low carbon pathway option which includes higher energy performance targets, higher stormwater management and potable water reduction requirements and higher construction waste diversion. For details on selecting a performance level and requirements, contact the Environmental Planning Office.
All Tier 2 performance measures must be verified post-construction by a registered third party evaluator. Use the appropriate TGS Checkist to identify and document your TGS performance package.
To be eligible for the TGS DC Refund Program, applications must meet the following criteria:
- Site Plan Control application has been received on or after May 1, 2009;
- Site Plan Approval has been issued and includes demonstrated achievement of Tier 1 requirements of the Toronto Green Standard V3 on approved plans and drawings and in reports;
- TGS DC Refund Application and Development Charge Estimate have been submitted to and accepted by Environmental Planning by the time of the issuance of the Notice of Approval Conditions (NOAC), prior to Site Plan Approval;
- Verification by a registered third party project evaluator that all TGS performance measures have been met;
- The third party evaluator on the project must have no conflict of interest in the development, whether direct or indirect, that could affect their ability to objectively review the project being verified;
- Third party project evaluators must be hired and retained by the owner at the sole expense of the owner by 50 per cent construction documentation stage;
- The Verification Report submitted no later than five (5) years from the date that DCs were payable to the City of Toronto. Reports received after that date are not eligible for a refund; and
- Submission of the Verification Report to the satisfaction of the Chief Planner, Executive Director, City Planning
The City of Toronto requires the achievement of Tier 1 of the TGS prior to enrolling projects into the Tier 2, DC Refund program. Demonstration of Tier 1 compliance and confirmation by Environmental Planning is required prior to enrolment in the program.
Step 1: Pre-Application Consultation
Discuss your intent to pursue the TGS DC Refund program during pre-application consultation with the community planner on the file; Contact email@example.com to discuss the project. The Planner informs Environmental Planning (EP) of the project’s intent to apply the program and circulates planning application documentation to EP for review and comments on Tier 1 compliance.
Step 2: TGS Documentation
Complete the TGS Checklist in full and submit it with the “complete” planning application indicating the intention to pursue Tier 2 and the DC Refund. Include details on the Tier 1 and 2 performance measures your project is targeting. Complete the TGS Statistics Template. Submit these documents with each planning submission, updating them as required. The Checklist is required as part of complete application. Ensure that plans, drawings and reports clearly demonstrate compliance with Tier 1. Discuss any technical interpretations with the Environmental Planning Office.
Note: If at any time during the Site Plan Control approvals process and prior to making an application to enroll in the DC refund program, the applicant decides not to pursue the refund, notification must be made in writing to Environmental Planning at; firstname.lastname@example.org requesting that the project (SPA # and address) be withdrawn from the enrolment process.
Step 3: Apply to Enroll
Prior to the issuance of the Notice of Approval Conditions (NOAC), complete the Development Charge Refund Application Form and Estimate Form, and submit the forms to Environmental Planning for review and qualification to enroll in the program. Environmental Planning will issue written correspondence advising the applicant of enrolment. For a copy of the Development Charge Refund Application Form and Estimate Form email email@example.com
Step 4: Third Party Evaluation
Select and retain a third party registered consultant/evaluator from the Project Evaluator List by 50 per cent construction drawings documentation stage. The Evaluator must have no conflict of interest in the development, whether direct or indirect, that could affect their ability to objectively review the project being verified. They will provide guidance to achieving certification following a two-stage verification review at the construction drawing stage and at Occupancy. They complete the City’s Verification Report Template and submit the completed report to Environmental Planning within five (5) years of the date that DCs were payable to the City. The Tier 2 Verification report includes the third party reviewer’s supplementary photos, plans, reports and declaration forms in support of Tier 2 compliance and recommends certification.
Step 5: Issuance of a Refund
Environmental Planning reviews the Verification Report submission. Once all proof of compliance documentation is determined to be satisfactory and in good order, a request for refund is issued and processed and a refund cheque is awarded to the applicant for the successful achievement of Tier 2 to 4.
TGS Tier 2 to 4 verification is the role of third party project evaluators, registered with the City of Toronto. Evaluators must declare no conflict of interest, whether direct or indirect, that could affect their ability to objectively review the project being verified.
The project evaluator must be retained on the project by 50 per cent construction documentation stage. Verification is a two staged process that includes: a review of the construction drawings and specifications and a site inspection at occupancy stage. The Verification Report is submitted to the satisfaction of City Planning, preferably with 3 to 6 months of occupancy and within 5 years from the date that DCs were payable to the City. If the report is deemed satisfactory, the applicable development charge refund will be issued.