Sept. 1, 2017 deadline for comments regarding proposed OMB Reform legislation

Click here for previous posts regarding OMB >

Among the posts in the above-noted list is one entitled:

Proposed legislation brings “fundamental reform” to OMB: Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Peter Milczyn

Sept. 1, 2017 deadline for final comments

Please refer to the Environmental Registry regarding the Sept. 1, 2017 deadline for comments regrading the province’s OMB Reform legislation.

In the following text, I have omitted the hot links that are included in the text at the Ministry website. If you wish to find the links, please go to the Ministry link.

I have omitted the links in the text below because, in my role as a volunteer blogger, there is only so much volunteer work that I feel like doing.

The text at the above-noted link reads:

Act Proposal Notice:

Title: Bill 139 – (Schedule 3) – the proposed Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017: Amendments to the Planning Act

EBR Registry Number: 013-0590
Ministry: Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Date Proposal loaded to the Registry: May 31, 2017

This notice was originally published on May 31, 2017 for a 75-day comment period ending August 14, 2017. The notice was republished on August 11, 2017 to extend the deadline to submit comments to September 1, 2017.

Keyword(s): Land use planning
Related Act(s): Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990
Comment Period: 93 days: submissions may be made between May 31, 2017 and September 01, 2017.

Description of Act:

Bill 139 – the proposed Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 proposes to introduce new legislation to replace the Ontario Municipal Board with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, and make amendments to existing legislation, including the Planning Act, to give communities a stronger voice in land use planning.

If passed, the proposed changes to statutes dealing with land use planning would:

  • Give more weight to local and provincial decisions by changing the standard of review – the grounds for appeal on major matters would be limited to their failure to conform or be consistent with provincial and local policies
  • Give municipal elected officials greater control over local planning by exempting a broader range of municipal land use decisions from appeal.
  • Support clearer and more timely decision making
  • Support government priorities on climate change
    OMB Reform Initiative:

The Planning Act sets out the ground rules for land use planning in Ontario. It defines the approach to planning and assigns or provides roles and responsibilities for decision-makers, applicants and the public. It also sets out opportunities for dispute resolution. Generally, matters may be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

Currently, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) serves as an independent tribunal that makes decisions at arm’s length from government, and hears matters under a large number of public statutes. The Board is the main adjudicator of disputes between land owners, neighbours and municipalities. The government believes it is important that Ontario continue to have an independent appeal tribunal that can resolve some land use disputes.

Since 2004, the government has implemented a series of land use planning reforms to make Ontario’s planning system more inclusive and transparent. However, the government continued to hear concerns about the role of the OMB in the land use planning system from municipalities, stakeholders and the general public.

The Premier’s 2016 mandate letters to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and the Attorney General directed them to undertake a comprehensive review of the scope and effectiveness of the OMB.

The review was launched in June 2016 and continued in the fall with the release of a consultation document which proposed possible changes. There was extensive consultation which included 12 regional town hall workshops, stakeholder meetings, an online consultation featuring a web-enabled consultation document, posting on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR Registry Number: 012-7196) and engagement with Indigenous communities and organizations.

The review resulted in over 1,100 submissions and more than 700 people attended the regional town halls.

The proposed amendments are primarily based on the suggested changes presented in a consultation paper and on the feedback received during the OMB review.

Proposed Planning Act Amendments:

Schedule 3 of the Bill proposes amendments to the Planning Act. Related amendments are also proposed to the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and the Ontario Planning and Development Act, 1994.

The proposed amendments, if passed, would among other matters:

o Give more weight to local and provincial decisions. It is proposed that major land use planning matters could only be appealed on the grounds that they don’t conform or aren’t consistent with provincial/municipal plans/policies.

o Bring fewer municipal and provincial decisions before the Tribunal, eliminating appeals of provincially approved municipal official plans and major updates. Municipal interim control by-laws, when first put in place would not be appealable, and applications to change new secondary (neighbourhood) plans would only be allowed within the first two years if the municipality supported them.

o Support transit by giving municipalities the ability to remove appeals (except by the province) of official plans and zoning by-laws that support appropriate development around higher-order transit such as trains, subways and buses.

o Make it clear that the Tribunal can only deal with official plan policies that are part of the municipal council’s decision.

o Remove the ability for anyone to require the Minister of Municipal Affairs to refer a minister’s zoning order to the Tribunal.

o Expand the authority of local appeal bodies to hear matters related to site plan control, which deals with disputes on individual properties such as things like landscaping, driveways or lighting.

o Give planning authorities more time to assess planning applications by extending the decision timelines by 30 days in relation to official plans and zoning by-laws.

o Require the Tribunal to send new material back to the municipality for re-evaluation when adjudicating subdivision appeals if the municipality requests the material be returned.

o Clarify that policy statements, like the Provincial Policy Statement, may identify matters that require specific provincial approvals for any of the matters provided for in the policy statement.

o Require that all municipalities include climate change policies in their official plans.

The proposed legislation provides more information and detail on all the proposed reforms and can be reviewed on the website identified below.

Purpose of Act:

The purposes of this Notice are:

    • to advise the public that the province has proposed changes to the Planning Act, the City of Toronto Act, 2006, and the Ontario Planning and Development Act, 1994;
    • to provide the basic outline of the proposed legislation (Schedule 3 of Bill 139 – the proposed Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017); and
    • to provide 75 days for the public to comment on the proposed legislation by directing their written comments to the contact person noted below.

Public Consultation:

This proposal has been posted for a 93 day public review and comment period starting May 31, 2017. If you have any questions, or would like to submit your comments, please do so by September 01, 2017 to the individual listed under “Contact”. Additionally, you may submit your comments on-line.

All comments received prior to September 01, 2017 will be considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry if they are submitted in writing or electronically using the form provided in this notice and reference EBR Registry number 013-0590.

Please Note: All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record. Comments received as part of the public participation process for this proposal will be considered by the decision maker for this proposal.

Your personal information may be used in the decision making process on this proposal and it may be used to contact you if clarification of your comment is required. It may be shared (along with your comment) with other Ontario Ministries for use in the decision making process. Questions about this collection should be directed to the contact mentioned on the Proposal Notice page.

Other Public Consultation Opportunities:

A copy of the proposed legislation is available on the website identified at the bottom of this Notice.

Comments should be directed to the following Contact Person:

Ken Petersen, Manager
Provincial Planning Policy Branch
777 Bay Street, 13th floor
Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2E5
Phone: 1 (855) 776-8011

The government welcomes your input on this initiative. Comments can be provided electronically via this EBR posting, by email to, or by mail to the Contact Person identified above.

A sidebar to the above-noted text reads:


All comments on this proposal must be directed to:

Ken Petersen
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Local Government and Planning Policy Division
Provincial Planning Policy Branch
777 Bay Street
Floor 13
Toronto ON
M5G 2E5
Phone: (855) 776-8011

To submit a comment online, click the submit button below:

(opens in new window)

Additional Information:

The following government offices have additional information regarding this Proposal. To arrange a viewing of these documents please call the Ministry Contact or the Office listed below.

Provincial Planning Policy Branch
777 Bay Street
Floor 13
Toronto ON
M5G 2E5
Phone: (855) 776-8011

The documents linked below are provided for the purposes of enhancing public consultation.

All links will open in a new window

1. Bill 139 – The Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017

2. Ontario Municipal Board Review

3. Planning Act

4. City of Toronto Act, 2006

5. Ontario Planning and Development Act, 1994

6. EBR Registry Number: 012-7196 Consultation on role of Ontario Municipal Board in Ontario’s land use planning system

7. EBR Registry number for MNRF Bill 139 (Schedule 5) – the proposed Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017


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