Before community groups start raising thousands to fight developers, consider these simple steps
by John Sewell for TRNTO, October 13, 2016
Community groups are rightly flummoxed when a development they are opposed to is pushed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) for a decision.
Should the group start raising $20,000 or more to retain a lawyer to fight on its behalf? Is there any chance the board will be influenced by community concerns? Does it matter what city planners say about the development? Can the group win at the OMB?
I’m often approached by groups facing these questions, and my advice is that it’s difficult to create enough sympathy to raise the money and retain a lawyer. In any case, having a lawyer at the hearing on its own rarely gives a group much chance for success.
And it seems not to matter much if the city planners happen to align with the community’s concerns: more often than not the OMB decides city planning is in such a mess that it would be unfair not to give the developer what it wants. Read more of Sewell on City Hall: Before community groups start raising thousands to fight developers, consider these simple steps
Post City Magazines’ columnist John Sewell is a former mayor of Toronto and the author of a number of urban planning books, including The Shape of the Suburbs. Rendering of the development proposed for the former Honest Ed’s site at Bloor and Bathurst streets. Source: Henriquez Partners Architects