An Alternative to the OMB

An Alternative to the OMB

As residents become increasingly frustrated that Planning decisions are made by the provincially-appointed, un-elected Ontario Municipal Board(OMB), the City is strongly considering its own appeals body for smaller local planning issues.

Provincial legislation allows us to appoint our own body to hear appeals of decisions of the Committee of Adjustment, a body which deals mostly with proposals to split lots and vary the city’s bylaws related to new homes. If a new “local appeals body” is set up by the city, it would replace the OMB for appeals …

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Fighting Bad Development

Fighting Bad Development

The excessive amount of development allowed by the City’s planning rules is already jamming Willowdale roads, crowding subways and straining the capacity of local schools. With some developers and land speculators pushing to break the rules it could be even worse. In the first part of January alone, I held community meetings on three such applications which I will be opposing.

The largest project, the Sheppard Centre at Yonge and Sheppard, the developer wants to build a 39-storey condo out of density created with smoke and mirrors. The …

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From City Hall: Development Charges Bylaw Updated

From City Hall: Development Charges Bylaw Updated

Should developers be paying a larger share of the City’s costs to create new facilities and infrastructure needed to meet the needs of the growing population? I believe the answer is a clear “Yes,” and the new development charges by-law approved by council in October provides for a 75% increase in the amount developers contribute to projects required to support the population growth they create.

I am also pushing aggressively to make sure our area, which is experiencing extreme growth, receives its fair share of the development charges that are …

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From City Hall: Community Based Planning

From City Hall: Community Based Planning

City Planners will be spending more time in the community so that they are better able to view applications from a resident’s perspective, if a recent proposal I made at the City’s Planning and Growth Management Committee comes to fruition. The motion, which passed unanimously, asks Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmat to report back to the December 4 meeting of the committee on a process for developing a community-based planning model. The process will, of course, involve community consultation on how staff can work more closely with communities. More to come …

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From City Hall: Protecting Neighbourhoods from Tall Buildings

City Council recently adopted a set of Tall Building guidelines.  On the positive side, the guidelines should do a better job of requiring developers to think more about how their buildings relate to sidewalks, open spaces and other tall buildings.  But what about how they affect people living in the much smaller homes nearby?

My motion to ask Planning staff to strengthen the protection for residents passed. Unanimously.  Certainly a rarity at Council meetings in recent years.

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