The Ontario Municipal Board will be replaced by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT)

On April 3, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), the quasi-judicial body that handles development proposal appeals became the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

One of the most important changes is the introduction of a legal test the tribunal will now use to decide whether a development proposal can proceed. The LPAT will answer a simple "yes or no" legal test — ie. does the proposal follow the city's official planning rules? If not, the matter will be sent back to municipal councils to issue another decision. The tribunal will not make planning decisions itself, but under the LPAT's new guideline, community development decisions will better reflect the desires of the people within a respective community.

Before, due to lacking supports for citizens, many voiced their concern regarding the costs of participation as the OMB regulatory body was limiting. Now, with the establishment of the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre both legal and planning help for citizens and community associations will become more accessible. 

The new tribunal will offer help to community associations trying to navigate the appeals process through the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre (LPASC). The center, with a budget of $1.5 million, will offer planning and legal assistance for those who wish to participate in matters before the tribunal.

More weight is also being given to local councils. All hearings will consider only the decision made by local councils. There will be more accountability, as there will be no appeal if the city council decision adheres to its own planning rules. Thus, City councils will bear more responsibility under this model.

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published this page in Ward 18 Updates 2018-05-11 18:46:33 -0400

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