Major changes to city development appeals
The province has announced major changes to how disputes between developers, residents, and governments over planning and development issues are adjudicated in Ontario.
New legislation will eliminate the Ontario Municipal Board and replace it with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, which will have less power.
Under the reforms, the tribunal will only make decisions on whether or not a municipality has followed its planning process and land use plans.
If it hasn't, the issue will be sent back to the municipality for reconsideration.
That will mean fewer municipal decisions can be overturned than under the current process, in which each dispute is treated as if it were new, disregarding the decision the local government has made.
Urban governments, including Ottawa City Council, have expressed their frustrations with the current system, arguing it takes away their power to decide how development will occur in their towns and cities.