A vehicle for obtaining public input on municipal decisions will soon be closing its doors. The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has taken a lot of criticism over the years, from public and municipal law makers alike. It has been chastised for not being accessible enough and favouring developers by overruling decisions made by local municipal councils. The OMB will be replaced by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).
What the LPAT intends on doing is seeing if appeals of any plans adhere to local guidelines. Simply put, if they do, decisions will be upheld; if they don’t, they will head back to council tables for review and reconsideration. But that doesn’t sit well with some developers who have already expressed concerns over the intended overhaul.
Municipal councillors will need to be very adept at knowing what provincial policies are in respect to building and be up on their own municipalities’ official plans before making building decisions. They also need to be ready to take some flack from developers and the public when they make less than popular decisions based on those laws and plans. The roll out of the LPAT has yet to be announced.
The rules around municipal law in Ontario may need legal clarification. A lawyer may be able to offer municipalities a clearer view of how the law impacts them and their constituents. Municipalities may want to seek legal advice when they believe their constituents are affected by certain laws. A lawyer may be able to shed light on certain rules in this complex area of the law.
Source: globalnews.ca, “Ontario Municipal Board is no longer“, Jake Jeffrey and Jess Brady, April 3, 2018