Committee of Adjustment and Toronto Local Appeal Body (and similar appeal boards elsewhere)

Click here for previous posts regarding committees of adjustment >

Click here for previous posts regarding OMB Reform legislation >

As well, a relevant post of interest is entitled:

I encourage you to set up your own website about local history and land-use planning issues

Some people move out

Anecdotal evidence – on Valermo Drive, Lake Promenade, and on Twenty Third St., by way of example – indicates that long-term residents living near new lot-splits/overbuilds approved by the Committee of Adjustment and OMB in recent years, in Long Branch and Alderwood, sometimes make the choice to leave the community, in the event they have the opportunity, and the timing is right for them.

In other cases, people choose to stay.

For newcomers, it is easier to move in, given that newcomers face a clean slate.

City News coverage related to lot-splitting/overbuilding

We were pleased that City News and 680 News carried an item about Long Branch resident Dorothy’s story on Nov. 3, 2016. We are gratified that, through Dorothy’s story, local residents have been able to reach a wider audience than would otherwise have been the case:

Nov. 3, 2016 City News: Monster Home Meeting

Nov. 3, 2016 680 News: Monster Home Meeting

A Nov. 4, 2015 follow-up to the previous news item is entitled:

Nov. 4, 2016 City News – Preserve or Progress: Toronto property war

We strongly support the Long Branch Character Guidelines Project and the similar one under way in Willowdale.

Previous posts of interest

Among related items, that you can find through a search of this website, is the following post:

If you receive a Notice from the Committee of Adjustment, here’s (1) a Guide to the Notice & (2) Things to Think About (for residents nearby and elsewhere)

Three tweets (Nov. 4, 2016) from CBC reporter John Lancaster regarding committees of adjustment

‏@jlancasterCBC

1) Seems like a lot of people in Toronto are complaining about development decisions made by committees of adjustment.

2) Worth noting it’s elected officials who select members of the COAs. In other words if COAs aren’t representing the will of people

3) then perhaps pols should do a better job selecting COA members. #Toronto

[End]

Click here for additional posts highlighting work by John Lancaster, CBC investigative journalist >

Additional posts about presentations at Committee of Adjustment

Some previous posts you may find of value include:

Key considerations when preparing for a Committee of Adjustment or similar presentation

An excerpt from the above-noted post reads:

Avoidance of libel and defamation lawsuits

Based on what I have observed over the years, I strongly recommend that all communications from residents – written as well as spoken messages – be at all times strongly evidence-based, devoid of personal attacks of any kind, and expressed in language that is cordial, moderate in tone, and businesslike. Things can be stated directly, and with passion, while keeping within the parameters that I have outlined.

For residents associations or community groups, liability insurance, to address potential expenses associated with the hiring of legal counsel, in the event of defamation lawsuits that may be directed your way as a way to limit public participation, is also highly recommended.

Many online articles are available regarding the general topic of lawsuits that seek to limit public participation in matters of public interest. By way of example, a July 28, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “How an Ontario mom fended off a $120K libel lawsuit over her Facebook posts.”

As well, a June 13, 2018 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Developer sues Markham residents over ‘improper’ OMB appeals.”

Additional online articles are available if you do a browser search for a topic such as “SLAPP suits in Canada”

Also of relevance regarding this topic is a post entitled:

Media Law for Canadian Journalists (2018) is a good book – I recommend it highly

[End]

Other posts of interest

Other posts of interest, regarding relevant topics, include:

I encourage you to set up your own website about local history and planning issues in Long Branch (or anywhere else)

On Nov. 14, 2017, Etobicoke York Community Council unanimously adopted Long Branch Neighbourhood Character Guidelines; on Jan. 31, 2018, Toronto Council also unanimously adopted them

Opinion articles by Jaan Pill at Etobicoke Guardian / Toronto.com website

April 10, 2018 Etobicoke Guardian article: “Long Branch Character Guidelines seek to disrupt rampant lot-splitting: Character Guidelines document highly significant in the history Long Branch, writes Jaan Pill.”

May 2, 2018 Etobicoke Guardian article: “Culture of decision-making at OMB changed dramatically over 25 years: Bill 139 seeks to get land-use planning back on the right track, writes Jaan Pill.”

June 5, 2018 Etobicoke Guardian article: “What will Long Branch look like after OMB has gone? Culture of decision-making at the OMB has changed dramatically over the past 25 years, says Jaan Pill.”

July 19, 2018 Etobicoke Guardian article: “Long Branch residents ponder lot-splitting proposals they feel are arbitrary: ‘The culture of decision making is decidedly more coherent and robust in Mississauga than it is in Toronto,’ writes Jaan Pill.”

City of Toronto media relations policy permits recording of public meetings; I checked, after two city staffers in Etobicoke claimed otherwise

An excerpt from the above-noted, June 5, 2018 Etobicoke Guardian opinion article reads:

As part of my research, I attended an April 4, 2018 meeting organized by the Long Branch Neighbourhood Association, at which city staffers spoke about how the Character Guidelines may, or may not, affect future land-use planning decisions in Long Branch.

At that meeting, I was most interested to learn that, according to two city staffers, I was not permitted to record what city officials said at the meeting, nor was I permitted to post any direct quotations of what staff said at the meeting, based on my notes, without first getting permission from media relations at the City of Toronto.

After the meeting, I contacted media relations and asked if the above-noted prohibition was, in fact, City of Toronto policy. Among other things, I asked: “Does a person need to get permission from the city before remarks by city staff at a public meeting can be recorded?”

The answer was: “No. Information provided by city staff to the public at a public meeting is a matter of public record. As a courtesy, you may want to advise staff that you are present as a blogger or member of the media but that is not a requirement.”

The bottom line is: If a person is in doubt about a statement, by any person regarding any topic, it’s a great idea to seek verification of it.

[End of excerpt]

1 reply
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    An Etobicoke resident has personalized a letter regarding a Villa Road lot-splitting/overbuilding application by adding the following text:

    “I am opposed to the Consent and Variance Applications being proposed for 14 Villa Road and request that the Applications be denied and that EYCC direct that a study be undertaken that takes seriously the Neighbourhood Policy of the Official Plan as it affects properties in the Long Branch area. These types of site-specific alterations are undermining the wisdom and impact of the City’s OP. Please notify me of the Decision on these files.”

    The resident has noted, in an email to residents of Villa Road opposed to the 14 Villa Application:

    “I revise your template as indicated by the highlighted section. All these ‘one-off’ applications for site-specific variances together work to a major change and deterioration of the neighbourhood. I feel it is very important that the systemic issues are kept in view as these individual situations come to the fore. Thanks for your work. ”

    We much appreciate comments regarding our ongoing work, which in the long run is part of our joint efforts, across South Etobicoke, as fellow residents involved in the process of community self-organizing.

    Reply

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