Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan (By-law No. 2021-285)

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A by-law of the City of Ottawa to adopt the Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan and to repeal By-law No. 2013-293 and By-law No. 2009-41.

WHEREAS pursuant to Subsection 28(4) of the Planning Act, R.S.O.

1990. c. P.13, City Council may, where it has passed a by-law designating the whole or any part of an area covered by an Official Plan as a community improvement project area, adopt a plan as a community improvement plan for the community improvement project area;

AND WHEREAS on January 28, 2009 City Council approved the designation of the St. Joseph Boulevard Community Improvement Plan Project Area and adoption of the St. Joseph Boulevard Community Improvement Plan;

AND WHEREAS Section 5.2.5 of the City of Ottawa Official Plan contemplates the preparation of Community Improvement Plans for designated Community Improvement Project Areas;

AND WHEREAS on November 14, 2012 City Council approved the “Economic Development and Innovation Department Work Program”, which includes a strategy to develop a Orléans Community Improvement Plan as a work item;

AND WHEREAS on September 11, 2013 City Council approved the designation of the Orléans Community Improvement Project Area and adoption of the Orléans Community Improvement Plan;

AND WHEREAS on July 6, 2021 Finance and Economic Development Committee recommended the repeal of the designation and adoption of the St. Joseph Boulevard Community Improvement Project Area and Plan, the repeal of the designation and adoption of the Orléans Community Improvement Project Area and Plan, and the designation and adoption of an Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan Project Area and Plan;

AND WHEREAS on July 21, 2021 City Council carried the recommendations of the Finance and Economic Development Committee;

  1. By-law No. 2009-41 entitled, “A by-law of the City of Ottawa to adopt the St. Joseph Boulevard Community Improvement Plan” is repealed.
  2. By-law No. 2013-293 entitled, “A by-law of the City of Ottawa to adopt the Orléans Community Improvement Plan” is repealed.
  3. The attached Schedule A, being the Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan, is hereby adopted.
  4. This by-law shall come into force in accordance with the provisions of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.13, as amended.

ENACTED AND PASSED this 8th day of September, 2021.

Section 1 - Background and Legislative Context

Located near the Ottawa River in the eastern region of Ottawa, Orléans is a growing community filled with prehistoric sites, museums, art galleries, beaches, parks and gardens. Orléans is part of three municipal wards; Orléans, Innes, and Cumberland. These three wards are home to a population of approximately 145,000 people (June 2020 estimate) who enjoy a mix of rural and urban lifestyles, essential municipal services, positive population growth, natural heritage and excellent health care facilities, including a new health hub, scheduled to officially open on 24 June 2021, and much more.

During much of Orléans history, it was a predominately rural area with mainly francophone residents. Urbanization began in the 1960's when Queenswood Heights was constructed and since then, the area has grown significantly. Although some commercial development has occurred, local employment opportunities vary and many Orléans residents work downtown and use transit to commute.

Construction of Stage 2 of the Confederation Line (LRT) is well underway with the east extension from Blair Station to Trim Road scheduled for completion in 2024. The higher densities near stations and the anticipated increase in transit ridership is expected to provide new opportunities for private investment in property revitalization in Orléans with associated employment increases as envisioned in the proposed Integrated Orléans CIP.

The Municipal Act, 2001 restricts Ontario municipalities from granting bonuses or incentives to private enterprises or individuals, directly or indirectly. An exception to this general rule is provided in Part IV Section 28 of the Planning Act. Section 28 allows municipalities, where there are provisions in its Official Plan relating to community improvement, to designate through a By-law, a “Community Improvement Project Area” and subsequently provide for the preparation of a “Community Improvement Plan”. An important economic development tool, 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.

Through a Community Improvement Plan, municipalities can:

  • 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.

Section 5.2.5 of the City of Ottawa Official Plan contemplates the preparation of Community Improvement Plans for designated Community Improvement Plan Project Areas.

  • Provincial Policy Statement

The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), issued under Section 3 of the Planning Act, guides municipalities as planning decisions are made. The Planning Act requires that municipal decisions in respect of the exercise of any authority that affects a planning matter “shall be consistent with” the PPS.

The PPS supports long-term economic prosperity. For example, Section 1.7 b) of the PPS states, “long-term economic prosperity should be supported by optimizing the long- term availability and use of land, resources, infrastructure, and public service facilities.” The Integrated Orléans CIP seeks to attract private sector investment in redevelopment projects that optimize available land while promoting job creation.

The PPS also supports Smart Growth through urban growth management. For example, Section 1.1.3.3 of the PPS states “planning authorities shall identify and promote opportunities for intensification and redevelopment where this can be accommodated taking into account existing building stock or areas, including brownfield sites, and the availability of suitable existing or planned infrastructure and public service facilities required to accommodate projected needs.”

Other policies in the PPS (Sections 1.1.1 a), 1.1.1 g), and 1.6.2) support the management of growth to achieve efficient development and land use patterns that sustain financial well-being over the long-term. The development and redevelopment of employment properties in Orléans has a role to play in supporting the economic and social health of the community. Section 1.4.3 establishes a need to provide for an appropriate range and mix of housing options and densities to meet projected market- based and affordable housing needs of current and future residents of the regional market.

  • Council Direction

On 14 November 2012, Council approved the “Economic Development Strategy Implementation Plan Update” (link to report ACS2012-CMR-OCM-0015) as presented by Economic Development and Innovation Services (EDI). This report outlined EDI’s work plan for 2013. Item 11 on the work plan – entitled “Community Improvement Plans” (CIP) – directed EDI to explore the strategic use of CIPs for economic development.

In 2013, Council approved two pilot CIPs to demonstrate how this tool could be used for economic benefit. One of these, the Orléans CIP (link to report ACS2013-CMR-OCM- 0003) aims to stimulate the creation of net new employment in Orléans. The program offers incentives in the form of Tax Increment Equivalent Grants, which enable the City to reimburse property owners a percentage of the property tax increase directly attributable to improvements to the property for a fixed period following project completion.

The City of Ottawa’s updated economic development strategy for 2015-2018, “Partnerships for Innovation” (link to report ACS2015-CMR-OCM-0006), adopted by City Council on 13 May 2015 notes:

“Financial incentives and municipal programs that support businesses, contribute to making a city an attractive place for business investment and expansion. When companies are considering expanding or relocating operations, one of their many deciding factors includes the availability of incentive programs.”

The approved strategy directs Economic Development to explore expanding the CIP program to add new urban renewal CIPs as a method of stimulating private investment in commercial neighbourhoods where commercial renewal has been sluggish.

There are two existing CIPs in the east-end of Ottawa: the Orléans CIP and the St. Joseph Boulevard CIP:

  1. The Orléans CIP was approved by Council in September 2013, as described above. On 15 July 2020, Council amended the By-law to extend the Orléans CIP from 11 September 2018 to 10 September 2023, inclusive by Motion No 37/20 (link to Motion). The principal goal of the Orléans CIP is to attract knowledge-based employers to the area and accelerate the creation of new jobs. Three applications have been approved by Council since 2013 with 10-year cumulative grants available to a maximum of $2,575,600. Two projects have been completed. Construction has not commenced on the third project.

The St. Joseph Boulevard CIP was approved by City Council on 28 January 2009, (link to staff report), with the purpose of bolstering the economic viability of the St. Joseph Boulevard area by stimulating the development and redevelopment of privately held property, encouraging land use intensification and the provision of affordable housing, supporting the establishment of mixed-use development, and improving site and built- form aesthetics to align with the 2003 St. Joseph Boulevard Corridor Study as approved by Council.

Seven applications have been approved by Council since 2009 with 10-year cumulative grants available to a maximum of $1,971,881. All seven projects have been completed.

The Orléans economy and the prosperity of its residents continues to be shaped by global economic and social trends, including the recent devastating effects of the global pandemic and associated business closures and job losses. There is a need to build, reinforce and reshape City programs to meet global and local challenges in ways that capitalize on solid programs that have proven successful but also lever the beneficial impact of an expanded Light Rail system.

Now is the time to establish a new single Orléans CIP which would combine successful elements of both existing CIPs, the Orléans CIP and the St. Joseph Blvd CIP, and build on these programs with new incentives to capitalize on fresh opportunities anticipated as a result of the soon-to-be realized LRT.

The intent of the proposed Integrated Orléans CIP is to provide key revitalization and improvement strategies for the Orléans area to stimulate and support growth in local industries, businesses, and tourism. The program would offer incentives for property owners to upgrade and enhance existing structures and encourage infill and mixed-use development. In addition, the program will leverage the opportunities anticipated as a result of the LRT extension by encouraging the rehabilitation of lands and buildings and/or stimulating new development on previously occupied sites.

This broadening of commercial activity would create new opportunities for Orléans residents to work and shop within their own community. The CIP would promote the substantial revitalization of the community and foster renewed prosperity.

Section 2 - Program Rationale

A distinctive difference in character exists between the diverse office, industrial and commercial areas in Orléans. The older urban "arterial commercial” identity of St. Joseph Boulevard with its many strip malls and street/storefronts is much different than the “big box” experience along Innes Road. Other areas support industrial and/or office uses or personal services, convenience shopping and community errands. These districts represent critical employment nodes where Orléans residents can find jobs as well as locations for necessary amenities and services.

With this potential in mind and wishing to deliver new revitalization and improvement strategies for the Orléans area, the proposed CIP defines specific revitalization goals and objectives for three (3) distinct segments in Orléans to achieve objectives unique to each area. The new CIP will build on existing and previous programs to capitalize on revitalization efforts already underway.

Section 3 - Integrated Orléans CIP Development Incentive Programs

The intent of the Development Incentive Grant Program is to encourage the rehabilitation of lands and buildings and/or stimulate new development on sites previously occupied. The Development Incentive Grant Program would also encourage infill and mixed-use development, and assist in achieving improved building architecture, site design and site landscaping in the area. These benefits would be encouraged by offering a financial incentive in the form of an annual grant funded from incremental property tax assessments and the corresponding increased contribution to tax revenues.

The Development Incentive Grant Program must be for redevelopment (not greenfield development) of properties located within the defined boundaries of the Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan Project Area.

The Development Incentive Grant Program is designed to stimulate and support growth in local industries, businesses, and tourism. The program includes three distinct program elements, designed to stimulate and support growth in specific areas as follows (See Sections 3.2, 3.3, and 3.4 below):

  • St. Joseph Boulevard Main Street Program;
  • Employment Creation Incentive Program; and
  • Pedestrian Friendly Streets Program.

Each of these program elements has its own unique objectives and financial incentives.

Applicants may only apply for one (1) Integrated Orléans CIP Program element per redevelopment project. However, Integrated Orléans CIP grants may be combined with other CIP programs, including the brownfields CIP provided that the total grant and grant commitments from all CIPs shall not exceed:

  • For applications to the St. Joseph Boulevard Main Street Program (Section 3.3 below) seventy per cent (70%) of eligible construction costs, or one million dollars ($1,000,000) maximum; or eighty-five per cent (85%) of eligible construction costs or one million dollars ($1,000,000) maximum, if three or more new affordable rental housing units are constructed;
  • For applications to the Employment Creation Incentive Program (Section 3.4 below) seventy five per cent (75%) of the municipal tax increment for the property directly attributable to the redevelopment up to a combined maximum grant of the lesser of fifty per cent (50%) of eligible construction costs or five million dollars ($5,000,000) maximum;
  • For applications to the Pedestrian Friendly Streets Program (Section 3.5 below) the lesser of fifty dollars ($50) per square foot of ground floor area or two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) maximum. City Council may discontinue any of the programs at any time but applicants with approved grants will continue to receive grant payments subject to meeting the general and program specific requirements.

3.1 General Provisions

All submissions under the Integrated Orléans CIP Development Incentive Grant Program shall be subject to the following General Provisions;

  1. All submissions under the Integrated Orléans CIP Development Incentive Grant Program must be for redevelopment (not greenfield development) of properties located within the defined boundaries of the Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan Project Area;
  2. The property must be located in the Integrated Orléans CIP Project Area;
  3. The City is not responsible for any costs incurred by an applicant in relation to any of the programs, including without limitation, costs incurred in anticipation of a grant; 
  4. The proposed project work includes one or more of the following;
    1. An addition of building space to an existing building;
    2. Construction of a new building, where a previous building has been located;
    3. Interior fit-up;
    4. Significant alterations to an existing building resulting in improved marketability of the rental premises and a corresponding increase in assessed value;
    5. Addition or conversion of space related to the construction of affordable housing units;
    6. Exterior façade improvement facing a public road right-of-way; and
    7. Site works including landscaping and signage.
  5. The improvements made to buildings and/or land shall be made pursuant to a building permit where required, and/or other required permits, and be constructed in accordance with the Ontario Building Code where applicable;
  6. All proposed works approved under the incentive programs and associated improvements to buildings and/or land shall conform to all relevant codes, policies, procedures, standards and guidelines, including applicable municipal by-laws, Official Plan policies and zoning requirements and approvals;
  7. To be eligible for payment of a grant under the Integrated Orléans CIP, the amount of work undertaken on the property and/or buildings shall result in a minimum increase of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in the assessed value of the property as determined through post-construction reassessment by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC);
  8. City staff, officials, and/or agents of the City may inspect any property that is the subject of an application for any of the financial incentive programs offered by the City;
  9. Candidate properties would be reviewed in detail, based on best knowledge of current trends and history to ensure that an incentive is, in fact, required to stimulate development. The applicant is required to provide a rationale clearly demonstrating that the project would not otherwise proceed in the absence of the incentive and that the project meets a need in the community for urban renewal and/or job creation appropriate to the local labour market or goods/services provision to the local consumer or business market;
  10. The owner’s financial account with the City is in good standing (including taxes, water, fines and all other accounts due);
  11. Outstanding work orders, and/or orders or requests to comply, and/or other charges from the City (including tax arrears) must be satisfactorily addressed prior to any grant payment being issued at any time;
  12. If an applicant is in default of any of the general or program specific requirements, or any other requirements of the City, the City may delay, reduce or cancel the approved grant;
  13. Grants are provided in the form of Tax Increment Equivalent Grant (TIEG). The TIEG is a grant or rebate to property owners to offset a portion of the property tax increase the owners will face as a result of the redevelopment. The TIEG is payable in instalments, over up to a 10-year period and is based wholly upon the property assessment change due to redevelopment changes and not the regular change in the tax rate set by Council;
  14. If the post-construction assessment is appealed by any party for a property and/or buildings subject of an approved grant application and the post-appeal assessment is reduced, the City will recalculate payments made to the Applicant that were based on the higher assessment and corresponding municipal tax increment and any overpayment amount shall be repaid to the City by the Owner;
  15. The incentive programs are available to all properties within the Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan Project Area subject to fulfilment of grant program requirements. Any property owner in the CIP Project Area is eligible to apply for the incentive programs. If all or part of a property is sold within a grant eligibility period, grant payments will continue to be made to the Owner that signed the original grant agreement; property owner in the CIP Project Area is eligible to apply for the incentive programs. If all or part of a property is sold within a grant eligibility period, grant payments will continue to be made to the Owner that signed the original grant agreement;
  16. The City may however, at its discretion, transfer all or part of a grant amount to a new property owner subject to the new owner entering into an agreement (where applicable) with the City that fulfills the requirements of the original agreement, plus any new requirements. Grants awarded under any incentive program for a particular property are not transferable to another property. New agreements are subject to the approval of the General Manager, Planning Infrastructure and Economic Development and/or Council;
  17. Ineligible Uses - One of the primary purposes of the Integrated Orléans CIP is to attract new businesses to locate in Orléans and to encourage existing businesses to expand resulting in an increase in the number of jobs. Uses that would not result in an increase in quality jobs and/or do not contribute to community economic vitality would not be eligible for the incentive funding of this program. Excluded uses would include, but may not be limited to:
    1. Payday Loan establishment;
    2. Corrections facility / Corrections residence; and
    3. Body rub establishment;
    4. Adult entertainment services/products;
    5. Bingo parlour or other gaming facilities;
  18. Stand-alone internal building upgrades and maintenance costs in existing building space do not qualify for the incentive grant programs in this CIP;
  19. Where the CIP Project Area boundary does not follow a property boundary (i.e. only a portion of the property abutting the public road is included), only that portion of the property and building(s) within the CIP boundary may qualify for incentive programs. Coordinated development proposals that include abutting properties under the same or separate ownership are permitted to apply only for one grant in this CIP (i.e. more than one application for the same type of grant on abutting properties that comprise a coordinated development is not permitted);
  20. Generally, the City will provide grant payments under this CIP only after applicable permits have been issued, construction is complete and the property has received final inspection approval by the City, the property has been reassessed by MPAC demonstrating that the minimum required increase in assessment has been achieved and, following reassessment, the property owner has paid the first year property taxes in full.

3.2 Application and Approval Process

All applications to the Integrated Orléans CIP shall be subject to the following application and approval requirements:

Applications:
  1. Applicants are required to complete the application form. Applicants are strongly encouraged to pre-consult with City staff prior to submitting;
  2. Applicants are required to submit supporting documentation such as specifications of the proposed project including plans, drawings, photographs of the existing building, past photos or drawings;
  3. The applicant shall be required to include as part of any Integrated Orléans Road CIP TIEG grant application an independent tax study by a qualified consultant, having an AACI designation (Accredited Appraiser Canadian Institute) or an AIMA (Associate) or MIMA (Accredited) designation from the Institute of Municipal Assessors, which provides an estimate of the property assessment increment following redevelopment;
  4. Applicants are required to obtain all necessary building, road cut, encroachment or other work permits;
  5. Applications may be circulated to any internal municipal departments for review and comment;
  6. Staff will also consider the following criteria when reviewing applications:
    1. The property must be wholly within the CIP Project Area;
    2. Total project value;
    3. Anticipated uplift in assessed value of the property and expected increase in the municipal portion of Property Taxes;
    4. Does the property require repair, rehabilitation, redevelopment, restoration and/or adaptive reuse of existing buildings;
    5. Will the project improve site and builtform aesthetics;
    6. Will the project improve the look of the street and neighbourhood;
    7. Will the project provide an attractive, safe and pedestrian friendly environment;
    8. Does the project provide affordable housing units;
    9. Will the project increase the number of quality jobs and boost the local economy;
    10. Does the development progress the property towards its highest and best use; and
  7. The Orléans Integrated CIP grant programs do not support projects on a retroactive basis. To clarify, funding is only available for projects where no work has commenced, and no expenses have been incurred in connection with the project.
  8. Approval - If the application meets all relevant criteria, staff will recommend approval of the application to:
    • For applications to the St. Joseph Boulevard Main Street Program (Section 3.3 below), applications for grants that exceed a total grant amount of twohundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) will be considered at the Finance and Economic Development Committee and are subject to approval by City Council. Applications for grants equal to or less than a total grant amount of two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) are subject to approval by the General Manager, Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development.
    • For applications to the Employment Creation Incentive Program (Section 3.4 below), grants will be considered at the Finance and Economic Development Committee and are subject to approval by City Council.
    • In the case of applications to the Pedestrian Friendly Streets Program (Section 3.5 below), grants will be considered at the Finance and Economic Development Committee and are subject to approval by City Council; and
  9. A staff report will be prepared to the relevant approving authority detailing the specifics of all applications and containing the staff analysis and recommendation.

Integrated Orléans CIP Development Incentive Programs

The Orléans Integrated CIP Development Incentive Grant Program consists of three distinct and separate programs:

3.3 St. Joseph Boulevard Main Street Program

  1. The goal of the St. Joseph Boulevard Main Street Program is to stimulate private investment in property renewal and redevelopment and to attract new employment to the area. The program encourages buildings to be constructed adjacent to the street and supports a more vibrant “main street” experience. The program also promotes land use intensification, supports the establishment of mixed-use development, and improves site and built-form aesthetics. Other goals include:
    1. To reinforce the St. Joseph Boulevard area as a central focus for the community;
    2. To strengthen the St. Joseph Boulevard area as a live / work / play destination;
    3. To encourage a range of higher-density housing types including affordable housing units;
    4. To provide employment opportunities through intensification of commercial and office uses;
    5. To encourage infill and mixed-use development;
    6. To assist in achieving improved building architecture, site design and site landscaping;
    7. To provide for an attractive, safe and pedestrian friendly environment; and
    8. To encourage and assist in environmentally friendly design including energy efficiency.
  2. Program Eligibility
    1. The project must be a redevelopment or replacement of an existing building and is not a greenfield development;
    2. The amount of redevelopment work undertaken on the property and/or buildings shall result in a minimum increase of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in the assessed value of the property as determined through post-construction reassessment by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC); and
    3. The property is located in the Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan Project Area, in the portion of St. Joseph Boulevard between Youville Drive and Prestone Drive, indicated as the “St. Joseph Boulevard Main Street Program”.
  3. Other City Housing Programs - Applicants are encouraged to work with the City’s Housing Services Branch to learn about the City’s Housing policies and programs at Family and Social Services – Housing to explore any available affordable housing incentives. Any cost or expense covered or reimbursed by Housing Services is not eligible for an Integrated Orléans CIP grant.
  4. Planning Fee Grant - The City will reimburse successful applicants in the form of a grant equivalent to twenty-five per cent (25%) of the City fees for initial applications made under the Planning Act (after applicable multi-application reductions) including for example, Official Plan amendments, Zoning By-law amendments, Site Plan approval, Plans of Condominium and Committee of Adjustment applications.
  5. Development Incentive Grant - The annual grant available under the Development Incentive Grant Program is based on the municipal tax increment amount. The applicant will initially pay for the entire cost of development. After the City receives payment of the incremental property taxes that result from the project, the City will reimburse the applicant. The City will reimburse successful applicants in the form of an annual Tax Increment Equivalent Grant (TIEG) equal to seventy per cent (70%) of the municipal tax increment for the property resulting from the project up to a combined maximum grant of seventy per cent (70%) of eligible construction costs or one million dollars ($1,000,000) maximum, whichever is lower. The grant is paid annually following post-construction property reassessment by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and payment of property taxes in the new amount. This benefit would increase to eighty-five per cent (85%) of eligible costs and a maximum grant total percentage eighty-five per cent (85%) or one million dollars ($1,000,000) maximum, whichever is lower, if three or more additional (new construction or repurposed) affordable rental housing units are constructed. Affordable: means
    1. In the case of ownership housing, the least expensive of:
      1. Housing for which the purchase price results in annual accommodation costs which do not exceed 30 per cent of gross annual household income for low and moderate income households; or
      2. Housing for which the purchase price is at least 10 per cent below the average purchase price of a resale unit in the regional market area;
    2. In the case of rental housing, the least expensive of:
      1. A unit for which the rent does not exceed 30 per cent of gross annual household income for low and moderate income households; or
      2. A unit for which the rent is at or below the average market rent of a unit in the regional market area.
  6. Building Permit Fee Grant - The City will reimburse the successful applicants in the form of a grant equivalent to thirty per cent (30%) of the building permit fee or forty per cent (40%) of the building permit fee if the project includes 3 or more affordable rental housing units.
  7. Maximum Total Cumulative Grant - The incentive grants contained in the St. Joseph Boulevard Main Street Program are a framework of programs that will assist in achieving the goals outlined in Section 3.2. The incentive programs can be used individually or together by an applicant, but the total of all grants provided in respect of the subject lands and buildings of an applicant under the programs contained in this CIP, combined with any Brownfields CIP programs, shall not exceed 70% of the eligible costs of on / off site development of said lands and buildings, excluding all taxes (85% if three or more new affordable rental housing units are constructed) to a total maximum combined grant per property owner / property of one million dollars ($1,000,000), whichever is lower. 
  8.  

3.4 Employment Creation Incentive Program

The goal of the Employment Creation Incentive Program is to stimulate private investment in property renewal and redevelopment and to attract new employment to the area. The program also promotes land use intensification and supports the establishment of mixed-use development.

The CIP will provide financial incentives for eligible commercial property owners within the designated CIP Project Area.

  1. Program Eligibility
    1. The project must be a redevelopment or replacement of an existing building and is not a greenfield development;
    2. The amount of redevelopment work undertaken on the property and/or buildings shall result in a minimum increase of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in the assessed value of the property as determined through post-construction reassessment by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC);
    3. The property is located in the Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan Project Area; and
    4. Eligible renewal and redevelopment projects must generate a minimum of twenty (20) new permanent full- time jobs. Added jobs must be the result of new companies to the area and/or expansions of existing companies. A relocation of existing employment will not satisfy program criteria.
  2. Development Incentive Grant - An annual grant available under the Development Incentive Grant Program will be based on the municipal tax increment amount. The applicant will initially pay for the entire cost of development. After the City receives payment of the incremental property taxes that result from the project, the City will reimburse the applicant. The City will reimburse successful applicants for properties located in the Integrated Orléans CIP Program Area in the form of an annual Tax Increment Equivalent Grant (TIEG). The grant will be equal to seventy-five per cent (75%) of the municipal tax increment for the property directly attributable to the redevelopment up to a combined maximum grant of fifty per cent (50%) of eligible construction costs or five million dollars ($5,000,000) maximum, whichever is lower. The grant is paid annually following post-construction property reassessment by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and payment of property taxes in the new amount.

3.5 Pedestrian Friendly Streets Program

A key objective of the Integrated Orléans CIP Pedestrian Friendly Streets Program is to foster vibrant activity and breathe new life along the area’s main streets and pedestrian/cyclist thoroughfares including those streets that provide access to the four new LRT stations.

Healthy streets should be conducive to walking, cycling, browsing, and lingering and represent an efficient way to explore the goods and services available in the area. These streets must be highly walkable and present a wide variety of sidewalk-oriented uses. Newly constructed streets built under the City’s “Complete Streets” policy offer safe paths for biking or walking, but to ensure healthy vibrant streets, it will be necessary to enhance the experience along the route.

There are examples of underused and/or vacant properties located in many of Orléans traditional business areas. Staff completed a study this year of approximately 525 commercially zoned properties in Orléans to explore possible opportunities for redevelopment. Of the properties in the study group, approximately 177 were thought to represent good prospects for redevelopment. This list does not represent the only opportunities for redevelopment in Orléans, but it raises a concern that developers could take advantage of this under-utilized urban space by building housing on former retail sites, an acceleration of an existing trend. Such conversions could materially dilute a desirable mix of vibrant businesses and community assets along the street.

Main streets in Orléans would be greatly enhanced if redevelopment projects feature sidewalk-oriented ground floor active uses, accessible via pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and cycle tracks.

Ideally, storefronts would have large windows to display merchandise and forward-facing entrances that welcome shoppers into the store. Currently in Orléans many properties consist of smaller strip shopping centres with extensive parking lots between the sidewalk and businesses.

Similarly, developers of the many new high-rise residential properties that are anticipated in Transit Oriented Development zones, near LRT stations might prefer to construct buildings where the principal use extends from the top floor to the ground floor with nothing of interest to non-residents on the ground floor.

With a view to creating healthier main streets with friendly pedestrian/cyclist thoroughfares and to encourage an eclectic mix of businesses in Orléans, the Orléans CIP Pedestrian Friendly Streets Program will provide an incentive for property owners, when redeveloping, to consider orienting their buildings to face the street and include only active uses on the ground floor along the sidewalk.

The objective is to achieve a continuity of active uses along the sidewalks and cyclist tracks.

  1. Program Eligibility 
    1. The project must be a redevelopment or replacement of an existing building and is not a greenfield development;
    2. The amount of redevelopment work undertaken on the property and/or buildings shall result in a minimum increase of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) in the assessed value of the property as determined through post-construction reassessment by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC);
    3. The property is located in the Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan Project Area;
    4. Eligible redevelopment projects will be for properties having four (4) or more floors; and
    5. All ground floor rental space in the redeveloped property must be exclusively comprised of sidewalk-oriented ground floor active uses. Active uses shall promote a vibrant pedestrian environment on the ground floor and may include, but not be limited to shops, small businesses, markets, cafes, arts workshops, retail establishments, restaurants, catering establishments, bars and brewpubs, art and craft studios, performance space, wineries, and personal service establishments.
  2. Development Incentive Grant

The annual grant available under the Development Incentive Grant Program is based on the municipal tax increment amount. The applicant will initially pay for the entire cost of development. After the City receives payment of the incremental property taxes that result from the project, the City will reimburse the applicant

The City will reimburse successful applicants for properties located in the Integrated Orléans Program area in the form of an annual Tax Increment Equivalent Grant (TIEG) where all ground floor rental space is exclusively comprised of active uses. The grant will be equal to equal to fifteen per cent (15%) of the municipal tax increment for the entire building directly attributable to the redevelopment, to a maximum of:

  • The lesser of fifty dollars ($50) per square foot of ground floor area; or
  • Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

The grant is paid annually for up to 10 years, or until the maximum amount is achieved following post-construction property reassessment by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and payment of property taxes in the new amount.

Section 4 - Program Duration and Limits

The amount of time required from concept to completion for a typical redevelopment project is anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on factors such as the area of the development project, the complexity of the project, and the availability of resources to complete the work. Projects may take three to five years to be ready to make an application for a CIP grant.

The Ontario Planning Act sets no legal time limit for completing a Community Improvement Plan. Accordingly, it is proposed that the Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan program be open for 10 years following Council approval and adoption of the required by-laws, subject to an annual Integrated Orléans CIP grant monitoring report to Council.

Section 5 - Integrated Orléans CIP Monitoring Plan

Staff will conduct an annual review of the program, monitoring: number of applications, the number of completed developments, the number of affordable housing units, the number of new jobs anticipated, and the overall impact to Municipal taxes created as a result of the CIP.