Development Charge Refund Program Version 3
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.
Complete the High Performance New Construction Checklist for Tier 2, 3 or 4 projects and submit the Checklist either with your Site Plan Application or with your Application to enroll into the Development Charges Refund Program which must include the final Checklist.
All projects must complete Tier 1 and 2 levels of performance and demonstrate compliance in order to be eligible for the Development Charge Refund. Tier 1 is verified through Site Plan Approvals. Tier 2, 3 and 4 are third-party verified and certified by prequalified consultants. Tier 2 includes the completion of all Core categories plus the selection of three (3) Optional performance measures selected from any category.
Tier 3 and 4 performance measures are exchangeable and replace the same Tier 2 performance measures. Projects must select three (3) measures from Tier 3 or 4 to achieve the highest sustainable, low carbon developments in the City of Toronto.
Tier 2 Core performance measures for applications under TGS V3 include:
- Urban Heat Island Reduction: At-Grade
- Energy Systems
- Commissioning and Reporting
- Stormwater Retention and Reuse
- Water efficiency
- Light Pollution
- Construction Waste Management.
Applicants must apply to the program by completing the Development Charge Refund Application and Estimate forms and submitting the forms to Environmental Planning for review prior to the issuance of the Notice of Approval Conditions (NOAC). For a copy of the most current Development Charge Refund Application Form and Estimate Form email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Review the current Development Charges Bylaw and Tier 2 Cap (refund) rates to determine your project’s eligibility for a DC Refund. To be eligible to enroll into the Toronto Green Standard Development Charge Refund Program, applications must first meet the following criteria:
- The Site Plan Control application has been received by the City Planning Division on or after May 1, 2009.
- The Development Charge Refund Application and Development Charge Estimate forms have been submitted to and accepted by Environmental Planning prior to the issuance of the Notice of Approval Conditions (NOAC), and prior to Site Plan Approval.
- A City approved third-party project evaluator has been retained by the owner by 50 percent construction documentation stage at the sole expense of the owner.
- The third party evaluator on the project declares no conflict of interest in the development, whether direct or indirect, that could affect their ability to objectively review the project being verified.
A partial refund on Development Charges will be paid by the City in accordance with Development Charges Bylaw in effect on the date that the refund is processed, if the above eligibility criteria were met. The project is verified by one of the City’s prequalified third-party project evaluators who conduct a two-stage review at 50% constructions drawings stage and an Occupancy inspection to determine whether all TGS performance measures have been met.
The Verification Report must be submitted to Environmental Planning who administers the program no later than five (5) years from the date that Development Charges were payable to the City of Toronto. Reports received after that date, are not eligible for a refund. The report must be prepared in accordance with City requirements and to the satisfaction of the Chief Planner, Executive Director, City Planning Division.
Tier 2, 3 and 4 performance 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 percent construction documentation stage. Verification is a two-stage 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.
Registered Tier 2 Project Evaluators
The City of Toronto requires the achievement of Tier 1 of the TGS prior to enrolling projects into the Development Charges 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 higher levels of performance and the Development Charge Refund Program 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 to qualify the project to enroll into the program.
Step 2: Program Documentation
Complete the High Performance New Construction Checklist in full and submit it with the application to enroll into the incentive program. Discuss any technical or program questions with Environmental Planning.
Step 3: Apply to Enroll
Prior to the issuance of the Notice of Approval Conditions (NOAC), complete the Development Charge Refund Application and Estimate forms, 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 most current Development Charge Refund Application Form and Estimate Form email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 4: Third Party Evaluation
Select and retain a third party registered consultant/evaluator from the Project Evaluator List by 50 percent construction drawings documentation stage. The retained consultant will provide guidance to achieving certification following a two-stage verification review. 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 to the City.
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.
Step 6: Project Profile and Recognition
Environmental Planning will contact the applicant or their agent to request a Profile to post on the City’s website to showcase the project’s achievements. A brushed plaque template is available to certified projects upon request to email@example.com.