McMaster's proposed student residence as shown to the Design Review Panel in February 2018. Credit: HANDOUT

McMaster University successfully lobbied the Ontario Progressive Conservative government for legislative changes to facilitate its new for-profit private partnership student residence.

As part of COVID pandemic omnibus legislation, the government’s Bill 213 exempted land intended to be used by McMaster University from development charges.

Last week, City Council met in closed session following this and offered a settlement to McMaster. The details are not public.

This does not resolve the most important issue regarding McMaster licensing its brand to for profit student housing – can McMaster extend its property tax exemption to this for-profit initiatives?

With the change in legislation, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal proceedings regarding McMaster’s appeal of development charges is paused.

The LPAT will hear from the City, McMaster, and Mohawk College on March 5th.