A key item currently under review is the future role of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The OMB is an un-elected body appointed by the Province that his final say over all planning decisions in our city. Ontario is the only province in Canada which has a body that takes planning approvals out of the hands of local representatives. In our community this has often led to large amounts of OMB approved residential development never considered by the City’s Official Plan.
John is a strong advocate of OMB reform and has often expressed the view that it should not be possible for applicants to appeal developments to the OMB unless there is evidence that the City isn’t following its own approved planning rules. In 2014, John also passed a motion at Council creating of a Local Appeals Body that will replace the authority of the OMB for Committee of Adjustment appeals in the City.
This review now provides residents with an opportunity to voice their concerns. The Province is considering the role of the OMB, what it deals with, how it operates and how it works in the context of Ontario’s broader land use planning system. If you have thoughts on how the OMB should operate in regard to municipal planning, John encourages you to participate. Feedback will be accepted through December 19, 2016 on the Province’s website.