Policy #470.0, Education Development Charges: Alternative Accommodation


Policy #470.0, Education Development Charges: Alternative Accommodation ensures that the York Region District School Board considers alternative arrangements for the accommodation of elementary and secondary school pupils to the usual arrangement under which a school site is acquired, and a standalone school is built.

On this page:


What has changed?

Major changes to the document: Updated the policy to reflect changes to O.Reg 20/98,  Education Development Charges - General, including a new section regarding alternative projects and Localized Education Development Agreements (LEDA), which was introduced as part of Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019, where the guidelines state that there be inclusion in Board policy specific to how alternative projects are to be considered. Updated the policy name to Alternative Accommodation so that it includes both alternative projects and LEDA. Included the Definitions and Responsibilities sections.

Reason for review: Regular review cycle.

Who is affected by these changes and what is the impact on current practice? All stakeholder groups with responsibilities.

Implementation timelines: Immediate upon Board approval.        

Lead Superintendent(s)/Subject Matter Expert(s): Property Development and Planning Services


Stakeholder Groups with Responsibilities under this Policy

  • Board of Trustees

  • Director of Education

  • Associate Directors of Education

  • Superintendents

  • Finance Services

  • Planning Services

  • Plant Services


Relationship to Board Priorities

This policy supports the priority of stewardship of Board resources in the Multi-Year Strategic Plan by “demonstrating professionalism and accountability for high standards of practice in all Board operations” and “enhancing confidence in public education by increasing civic engagement”.

This policy supports the priority of enhancing relationships with staff, students, parents, and our communities as per the Director’s Annual Plan by “enhancing job-embedded professional exchange and development in alignment with student and staff needs and the Board’s renewed goals.”


Timelines and Next Steps

This policy is scheduled for first review at the March 5, 2024 Policy and By-Law Standing Committee meeting.


Providing Feedback

Questions about this policy and/or procedure should be raised with your principal, manager or supervisor. If additional clarification is required, principals, managers and supervisors may contact the lead superintendent and/or subject matter expert and Trustee Services.

In accordance with Board Policy 285.0, Board Policies, Procedures and Supporting Documents, the Board welcomes all comments and suggestions on Board policy.

Input is an important component of the review process. If you feel a policy and/or procedure needs to be revised, feedback may be submitted through the school council or by submitting the online form. In your response please:

  • outline clearly the specific section(s) of the policy and/or procedure in which you are not comfortable,

  • suggest specific alternate wording to reflect your position, and

  • identify the reason(s) for your concern(s).

Specific recommendations or questions about the review process should be submitted using the online form or sent to the Policy Officers via email at policy.committee@yrdsb.ca, or via telephone at 905-727-0022 extension 2570 or in hard copy at The Education Centre – Aurora.


It is the expectation of the York Region District School Board that all employees, students and persons invited to or visiting Board property, or partaking/volunteering in Board or school-sponsored events and activities, will respect the policies and procedures of the Board.



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Board Policy #470.0 Education Development Charges: Alternative Arrangements


1. Policy Statement

Several legislative provisions encourage school boards to consider alternative arrangements for the accommodation of elementary and secondary schools. Such facilities may include a school on a reduced site in high density communities and the school may be free standing or integrated with compatible uses, as an alternative to the usual arrangement under which a school site is acquired and a stand-alone school and related facilities are built on it.

Section 257.53.1 of the Education Act permits a school board to use education development charges for alternative projects with prior approval from the Ministry of Education.

Section 257.53.2 of the Education Act permits a school board, with Ministry approval, to enter into a localized education development agreement (LEDA) with an owner of land for the provision of a lease, real property or other prescribed benefit to be used for pupil accommodation in exchange for not paying education development charges.

Ontario Regulation 20/98, Education Development Charges - General outlines the parameters under Section 7 (1) that should be considered in determining the education development charges.  

Ontario Regulation 193/10, Restricted Purposes Revenues permits a school board to utilize proceeds of sales, capital leases, and other dispositions of real property, in certain circumstances, for the acquisition of school sites and school buildings, among other things.

Section 110 of the Municipal Act, 2001 authorizes municipalities and school boards to enter arrangements under which they can provide for exemptions from taxation for municipal and school purposes of land or a portion of it that is "entirely occupied and used or intended for use for a service or function that may be provided by a "school board" or municipality". It also authorizes an exemption to be given from municipal and education development charges in certain circumstances.


2. Application

The Board recognizes that alternative accommodation can provide an opportunity to improve service delivery and peak enrolment capacity, reduce duplication of public facilities, maximize the effective use of available dollars, and reduce site size requirements. These include a variety of site acquisition strategies such as forward buying, options, purchases, lease buy back site exchanges and joint venture partnerships. 

Alternative projects could also achieve a land cost savings through the delivery of a school on a reduced site size by incorporating one or more of the following:

  1. alternative parking arrangements such as underground parking garages or off-site parking;

  2. additional construction costs attributed to vertical construction;

  3. purpose built space within a larger development;

  4. alternative play area enhancements; and

  5. pedestrian access improvements.

The Board will consider arrangements with municipalities, school boards or other persons or bodies in the public or private sector, including agreements of a long term or cooperative nature, which would provide accommodation for the new elementary school pupils and new secondary school pupils who are resident pupils of the Board, subject to the requirements set out below:

  1. the arrangement must result in reduced land acquisition costs for the Board compared to other arrangements including an acquisition of a school site of the Board’s standard site size and the construction of a freestanding building;

  2. the arrangement shall ensure the school site will be able to include all the components of a typical school on the Board’s standard site size;

  3. the arrangement shall comply with any guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education;

  4. the Board may enter lease agreements respecting school facilities intended to be used to accommodate peak enrolment, but shall not enter such agreements respecting school facilities that are necessary to accommodate long-term enrolment unless the agreements could result in ownership at the Board's discretion;

  5. the Board shall retain sufficient governance authority over the facility to ensure that it is able to deliver the appropriate educational program to its pupils, and to ensure that its identity, ambience, and integrity are preserved; and

  6. the facility shall have a separate entrance with the school's name on the exterior of the school easily visible from the street.

As part of the development of education development charge by-laws, the Board will consider, where appropriate, alternative projects in respect of those sites identified for possible acquisition in the term of any proposed by-law.

A LEDA is an agreement between the Board and an owner, such as a developer, in which the owner provides a means for pupil accommodation or other benefit to be used to provide pupil accommodation. In exchange, the geographical area that the LEDA will service will be exempt from the collection of education development charges.

The Board will consult with co-terminus boards when developing a LEDA to determine if a joint project is feasible.


3. Responsibilities


3.1 The Board of Trustees is responsible for:

  1. reviewing the Education Development Charges: Alternative Accommodation policy in accordance with the priorities in the Trustees’ Multi-Year Strategic Plan and the approved policy review cycle; and

  2. understanding and communicating with members of the community about the Education Development Charges: Alternative Accommodation policy, as required.


3.2 The Director of Education is responsible for:

  1. implementing the Education Development Charges: Alternative Accommodation policy; and

  2. allocating staff and resources to support the Education Development Charges: Alternative Accommodation policy.


4. Definitions


4.1 Alternative Projects

Alternative projects can achieve a land cost savings through the delivery of a school on a reduced site size though the implementation of more intensive development on a school site.


4.2 High Density Community

Are generally in an in-fill area where majority of the residential dwelling units are in multi-storey buildings and density is in excess of 100 residents and jobs per hectare.


4.3 Localized Education Development Agreements (LEDA)

Localized education development agreements can achieve land cost savings through the provision of land or other property in exchange for exemption from education development charges.


5. Contact

Planning and Property Development Services


6. History

Approved: 1999

Revised: 2004, 2010, April 2015

Working Document: June 2014, April 2024