Important message: Action urgently needed by Nov. 17, 2022 @ 7:00 pm: Bill 23 – Policy changes removing your right to appeal changes next door to you or nearby

The following message is from the Long Branch Neighbourhood Association; I live in Stratford, Ontario; I am an associate (non-voting) of the LBNA; I share this message because it is urgent and important; it is strongly of relevance no matter where a person lives in Ontario. [1]

It takes about 10 minutes to send a letter (please see template below: Attachment 1).

Attachments (You can access PDFs of the attachments here; you can also access the texts of the two attachments below at the end of the current post):

letter template

Bill 23 Facts

Wed, Nov 16, 8:00 pm.

Dear Members,

We are writing to you as an active LBNA member who has been able to use the Appeal Process to TLAB. This process has permitted you to access your right to oppose bad development that has directly affected you! Bill 23, as written, is revoking your rights of Appeal! Worse yet, Applicants are still able to Appeal.

Simply put, if you lose at COA, the Application is approved with no Appeal. If you win at COA, the Applicant can still Appeal!

This is a call to action requiring your immediate attention. Please review the points below to understand the urgency and then take a few minutes to:

· Use the attached template to send a letter immediately voicing your concern. Addresses are supplied.

· Share this message with your entire circle of contacts as it impacts all of us living in Ontario.

· Contact your local MPPs office by phone or email as these changes are driven at the Provincial as well as the Municipal level. Ask them to hear your concern stand up for neighbourhoods.

Bill 23 does nothing to build affordable housing. Are you going to allow Bill 23 to permit bad planning and protected tree removal without making a difference in affordability?

The Province is rushing this Bill through hoping you won’t notice. The Bill has gone through 2nd reading within two weeks and will be going for public deputations November 16 and 17th and is taking written comments until Nov 17th at 7pm. If you don’t speak up, the Bill will be in place before the end of the year and retroactive to October 25th, 2022.

The Long Branch Neighbourhood Association and other Residents groups have fought this battle on your behalf to enforce policy, preserve trees in your yard and neighbouring yards as well as green spaces. The building industry is now trying to change that policy by removing your rights.

We need you to be outraged and take action NOW!

Read on, here is what you need to do!

Christine Mercado

Chair
Long Branch Neighbourhood Association (LBNA)

Attachment 1: Letter template

Date:

From:

Addressed to:

RE: Objection to Bill 23 in content and process

I am writing to express my concern regarding the proposed changes in Bill 23:

There is no evidence that Bill 23 will provide a comprehensive solution to affordable housing as it purports to do.

There is no evidence that studies of solutions implemented in other urban centres were factored into this proposal.

Bill 23 appears to be a reversal of earlier (and recent) urban and environment policy and investments of tax payer dollars demonstrating poor long-term planning and waste.

The rapid pressing of these changes through with little consultation is suspect further reducing trust in elected officials and coordination between provincial and municipal parties.

Allowing neighbouring parties to construct units on their lots that will potentially harm the trees and gardens on my property demonstrates a lack of sensitivity to the issues expressed by residents.

The push to infill housing anywhere in neighbourhoods conflicts with environmental, forestry, land use and other policies demonstrating a lack of coordinated policy.

Bill 23 flagrantly disregards the importance of trees and protected lands to our health and future generations.

Bill 23 takes away the rights of impacted residents to appeal while still allowing developers and builders to appeal. This is absolutely wrong.

In addition, I wish to express my concern with the lack of consultation, time for reflection, and inclusion of residents and experts at an appropriate pace for careful consideration and to include all in what should be a democratic process.

I ask that you pause on this course of action, revise the approach to create a sustainable long-term solution making use of the expertise and experience available as we rely on our elected representatives to do looking out for the long-term health of the province.

Signature:
Address:

Attachment 2: Bill 23 Facts

Who to send your letter to:

Send a letter or call your MPP for Etobicoke South: Conservative MPP –
Christine Hogarth
Unit 21
195 Norseman St.
Etobicoke, ON M8Z 0E9
Christine.Hogarthco@pc.ola.org
Tel: 416-259-2249

All other MPs: https://www.ola.org/en/members/current

Send a letter to the Standing Committee by November 17th before 7pm at https://www.ola.org/en/apply-committees

There are 5 easy steps to upload your letter as material only, selecting Bill 23 as your concern as an individual.

The Facts You Should Know About Bill 23:

Bill 23 “More Homes Built Faster Act” proposes to build more non-single (multi family buildings) homes near transit. The benefit is projected at 50,000 new residential units of a needed 1.5 million. Bill 23 will only benefit developers and builders and has alarming multiple long-term harmful implications including:

The Council approval of the Long Branch Neighbourhood Character Guidelines will be overturned.

The province is unilaterally imposing mandates that will overturn decisions recently made by democratic municipal processes after deliberation, citizen, and expert consultation. This includes the Long Branch Neighborhood Character Guidelines which have clarified Official Plan Policy and allowed us to win 29 of 30 TLAB Appeals by proving they failed the 4 Tests of the Planning Act! None of these Appeals stopped affordable housing!

Unbalanced right to Appeal. No Appeals to TLAB by Neighbours or the LBNA. But Applicants can still Appeal.

Bill 23 removes third party appeals. This means a decision made at Committee of Adjustment (COA) will no longer allow any of us private residents or the residents associations to appeal harmful decisions. But of we win a decision at COA, the builder can still appeal. All current TLAB appeals without scheduled dates as of Oct. 25 2022 will be dismissed.

Less affordable housing than required to make an impactful difference; in multi unit development only 5% of needs to be affordable housing.

Zoning permitting up to 3 residential units per lot with no minimum unit sizes (two in the main building and one in an additional building) without spaces in schools, parking, transit etc… for new residents within the neighbourhood.

Loss of privacy, your private tree safety, and enjoyment of property where infill housing (laneway houses, garden suite, reduced variances and set backs etc…) looms over existing yards.

Escalating costs born by municipalities and taxpayers.

‘As of right’ removal of private trees by developers/owners reducing the very tree canopy that attracts people to our neighborhoods and reduces air and noise pollution, provides shade as well as beautifying your yard and the neighborhood at large.

Decisions re: zoning and sales of protected conservation lands will be handed to government without effective oversight of Conservation Authorities.

Further escalation of land speculation which reduces housing affordability and through overbuilding on residential lots decreases the tree canopy and green spaces.

Parkland dedication and community benefits. A gift to the Developers, no money for new parks, community centres, infrastructure or services.

The definition of the verb ‘railroad’: press (someone) into doing something by rushing or coercing them. Bill 23 is being rushed through readings with time frames that are so tight that it undermines opportunities for the public and experts to scrutinize and provide input oversight including your newly elected Municipal councils have no time to respond. We are being ‘railroaded’ into accepting the consequences of poorly designed policy.

The bill acts on the chronic but unproved complaint that zoning appeals have stood in the way of development. That is not true.

The population of Long Branch has increased by 13.3% vs the City wide overall more modest growth of 2.3% and 540 new homes have been built in our neighbourhood (2016 – 2021). That is because Long Branch has a Neighbourhood Specific Growth Plan that is supported by the Community.

Between 2016 and 2020, 140,848 residential units were approved but only 76,513 built—a completion rate of 54%. Are developers banking permissions, playing the market for better gains?

Without your voice, we believe irreversible harm will be done. Signing and sending a letter should take you no more than 10 minutes. What is your tree canopy and privacy worth?

“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
Lyrics – Joni Mitchel

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1 reply
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Note 1

    The story here concerns how things are set up in Ontario. In the history of Ontario, it came to pass that municipalities in this province are the creatures of the province.

    That is to say, whichever provincial government is in power can take unilateral action at any time, regarding any matter in any city, town, or region in Ontario. We have seen this in the past, in the amalgamation that gave rise to the amalgamation of Toronto in 1997. We have seen it a few years ago when the provincial government reduced the number of councillors in Toronto. The current state of affairs, which I have outlined in recent posts, underlines that municipalities are essentially powerless in the face of the provincial government.

    The other aspect of the current state of affairs is that relatively few people voted in the last provincial election. Of those who voted, a majority did not vote for the party currently in power.

    Reply

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