Letter to Minister Jeffrey re: OMB

The Honourable Linda Jeffrey
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

777 Bay Street, 17th Floor
Toronto ON M5G 2E4

May 15, 2013

Dear Minister Jeffrey,

The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario Inc., on behalf of its Member Associations and their affiliates, makes the following recommendations regarding the Ontario Municipal Board based upon a survey of urban resident associations:

  1. The OMB should be restricted in its powers so that it could only hear an appeal of a development decision by a municipality on the basis that the municipality has contravened federal or provincial legislation, the Provincial Planning Document and/or its Official Plan.
  2. The OMB should be restricted by taking appeals of Committee of Adjustment decisions from their mandate and requiring the municipality to establish an independent local appeal body to hear these appeals.
  3. Intervener funding should be provided to incorporated community organizations who are opposing an appeal by developers of a municipal council decision.
  4. The OMB should be restricted from hearing any application matters until the municipality has completed its decision-making process. Municipalities could be penalized for taking too much time to process applications.
  5. The OMB should be restricted when hearing appeals from hearing any new evidence that was not provided to the municipality in its decision-making unless there is agreement by all parties.
  6. The Planning Act should be amended so the OMB “shall have regard” rather than “should have regard” to municipal decisions.
  7. The OMB should have a standard for hearings and record keeping that is similar to the judiciary so that the OMB can be held accountable for its actions.

The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods is supportive of the recommendations of the Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Association (FoNTRA) as outlined in their letter to you dated April 29, 2013 as follows:

  1. The number of appeals going forward to the OMB needs to be reduced significantly.
  2. The various Provincial planning policies, plans, and review/approval processes need to be better coordinated and consolidated.
  3. The OMB needs to function strictly as an appeal body.
  4. The use of Section 37 density bonuses needs to be circumscribed.
  5. The Minor Variance process needs to be clarified.

Thank you for your consideration of these recommendations.

Yours truly,

Archie Campbell
Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario

Cc: Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations (FoNTRA)
Member Associations and their affiliates