Message for your interest from David Godley of Long Branch: OMB issues and how to fix them internally

The following text (and forwarded email from the City of Toronto) is from Long Branch resident David Godley, which I share for your interest:

This letter and attached has been sent to the Premier, Municipal Affairs and Attorney General.

Feel free to circulate, post or comment.

To support send emails to to premier@ontario.ca; attorneygeneral@ontario.ca; minister.mah@ontario.ca; ontario.municipal.board@ontario.ca

DG

I realise you are all run off your feet but I have a serious issue to raise about the Ontario Municipal Board.

I attach a review of the 8 severances/variances that have been dealt with by the OMB in South Long Branch in the last 10 years.

A majority of severances were recent and the last 4 approved.

This review shows that the OMB Chairs who approved development, erred by:
1) making decisions which are wildly inconsistent.
2) making decisions that are dependent on the prejudices of the hearing officers.
3) making decisions that ignore the current legal basis from Divisional Court on De Gasperis.
4) making decisions which do not follow the Planning Act.
5) making decisions without understanding the relationship between the Official Plan and Provincial Policies.
6) making decisions without understanding the Official Plan policies.
7) making decisions without basic knowledge of urban design, neighbourhood character or how to measure it.

The 7 “deadly sins” lead to unfair decisions, undermine the Official Plan and are destroying neighbourhood character.

I have offered ways to remedy the situation but my official complaints stemming from a hearing on 31st July 2013 have received no reply.

Replies are well overdue according to the OMB’s own protocol. You have already received background information but I can easily resend it.

Please could you ensure constructive responses.

Yours truly

David Godley

Notice of Meeting FYI

Subject: Made-for-Toronto Local Appeal Body Public Consultations

The Province of Ontario granted the City of Toronto the power to establish a Local Appeal Body (LAB) to hear appeals of Committee of Adjustment decisions (both minor variances and consents).

At its December 4th, 2013, meeting, the Planning and Growth Management Committee requested the Chief Planner and Executive Director of City Planning to initiate a public consultation process on the implementation of a Local Appeal Body for the City of Toronto and to report back on April 10th, 2014, on the results of the public consultation and with recommendations on implementation.

The City Planning division is launching “Made-for-Toronto Local Appeal Body” public consultations around the city with the express purpose of initiating and facilitating public dialogue around this matter.

Locations and Dates are as follows:
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at the Etobicoke Civic Centre, Meeting Rooms 1 & 2
Monday, February 24, 2014 at the York Civic Centre, Council Chambers
Monday, March 3, 2014 at the North York Civic Centre, Council Chambers
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at the Scarborough Civic Centre Rotunda
Monday, March 17, 2014 at Metro Hall, Rooms 308 & 309

Meeting times are 6:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Staff presentations commence at 7 p.m.
Notices are being sent out to ratepayer groups (and other interested organizations and parties) around the city. In order to ensure that your constituents have adequate advance notice regarding these consultations, I would kindly ask that you include a reference to the above noted meetings in your upcoming newsletters or e-mail blasts to your constituents.

If you and/or your staff are able to attend any of the meetings, and join in the conversation, or if you have any further questions with regard to the meetings, please contact Helen Bulat or Mario Giambattista of our LAB Consultation Team by calling 392-7863 or e-mailing them at labconsultation@toronto.ca

Please click on our web link for meeting details. Our web site also contains links to additional resources and staff reports/presentations with regard to this topic – www.toronto.ca/localappealbody.

Thank you,

Jennifer Keesmaat
Chief Planner & Executive Director
City Planning

[End of text]

Because of time constraints, I haven’t uploaded the supporting document from David Godley’s message. Anyway, below is a comment from Geoff Kettel:

Hi David

Thanks for this analysis of south Etobicoke OMB cases (CofA appeals) and your valiant efforts to try and make the OMB accountable for its decisions.

Seems to me that it also drives us to support the City of Toronto move to set up the Local Appeal Board to adjudicate on Cof A appeals. At a policy level I am also inclined to support further investigation of the Development Permit System as an area based approach to planning, and at a community level to establish heritage conservation areas where there is merit and support.

regards

Geoff Kettel

 

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