A bunch of people have asked me lately about what they should do if they want to get smarter on land use planning and on the entitlement process for development projects. It was specific to Toronto, but I don’t think my answer is specific to only this city.
I took a few planning classes in graduate school when I was in the US. But I was more focused on architecture and real estate, and so I did not leave school an expert by any means.
I learned about the failures of euclidian zoning and about things like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which always seemed like a sensible supply-side tool to get the private sector to invest in affordable housing.
But what I have found most useful is to just read planning staff reports. These are the responses to actual development proposals and they show you how staff interpret the policies that are in place and how staff apply them to real buildings.
I may be in the minority in that I actually find these reports interesting. But regardless, they are a great crash course in planning and development approvals and they can help you manage your entitlement risk.
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