THE STORY ABOUT CASH-IN-LIEU OF PARKLAND FUNDS (CIL)
One of the main sources for funding parks in Ottawa is the Cash-in-lieu of Parkland Funds (CIL). The province and the City mandates parkland requirements and one of the reasons the CIL of parkland policies were enacted is to enable underprivileged communities an opportunity to meet these parkland goals.
Across the City, these CIL fees are collected from developers when they do not or can not provide parkland in their proposed developments. This usually occurs when a property is severed for an infill and one or two new houses are built. Sixty per cent of these funds are designed for use in the ward, and forty per cent are allocated for citywide purposes, to develop parkland.
But Cash-in-lieu is usually not collected here in City View.
City View is unique in that many of the homes north of Epworth Avenue are constructed on large lots. In 1913, City View was divided into 25’X100’ garden plots through Registered Plan 375. When construction started in the 1950’s, 3 to 4 of these ‘lots of record’ were purchased for each house to accommodate a septic system and a well – City View became a community of modest homes on reasonably large lots!
Now, with new infill development, many of these original lots with 100 foot frontages are being allowed to be divided into two separate 50 ft lots. Based on Plan 375, the City considers these lots to be already severed, and therefore no CIL is collected.
City View has one of, if not the lowest, park ratios in this City. Yet most of the infill development in City View is not providing any CIL funds for our much needed parkland. In fact, our records show that out of some 78 infills in City View since 2013, only 17 have contributed to the ‘parkland’ fund, 42 have not, and we are unsure about 19 early infills.
These concerns were brought to the City in January 2018 but nothing has yet been changed. Other cities base their collection of CIL when building permits are issued but Ottawa chose to base it on ‘severances’.
The City View Community Association (CVCA) continues to remind the Mayor and Councillors and the Committee of Adjustments that our CIL issues need to be addressed. Also, we again recently provided these comments as part of the current draft Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan public engagement that discusses these funds.
The CVCA maintains that Ward 8 should be reimbursed for the parkland funds that the City has failed to collect. Some of the city-wide CIL Reserve Funds could and should be used in our community. Or, to reimburse our area, City View should be designated as a ‘special district’ such has been done for the ‘Preston-Carling District’ to allow additional funding for parks.
Development in City View continues to grow exponentially but ‘cash in lieu of parkland funds’ are STILL not being collected consistently or fairly here when compared to the rest of the City of Ottawa. The CVCA maintains that it is imperative that this must be corrected.