Queen’s Park is looking to pass major changes to the Ontario Municipal Board  and have them in place by 2018.  The Ontario government says these changes will be “giving communities a stronger voice and ensuring people have access to faster, fairer and more affordable hearings”.  Hearings would be conducted by a new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

Among  some of the proposed amendments are:

  • Barring challenges to developments within 500 metres of transit stations.
  • Eliminating “de novo” nature of hearings, or in layman’s terms making hearings more of a review process, rather than working on the premise that the initial decision under review was never made.
  • Authority of the LPAT would be limited to overturning decisions if they do not follow municipal or provincial plans.
  • Through new case management processes, costs to bring cases before a tribunal will be decreased.
  • Rather than replacing decisions made by municipalities, decisions rendered by the tribunal would give municipalities 90 days to render a new decision that is in-line with municipal plans or provincial policies.  If the municipalities fail to abide, then the decision of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal would be the final word.

Any appeals made before the implementation of the proposed changes would still fall under the current OMB system.

You can read more about these changes and how they may affect Grimsby residents in Alexandra Heck’s article at:  https://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/7324875-omb-reform-may-both-aid-and-hinder-residents-planning-appeals

The Province’s news release on these changes can be found here:  https://news.ontario.ca/mma/en/2017/05/ontarios-proposed-changes-to-the-land-use-planning-appeal-system.html