What's in a Name? The OMB to Become the LPAT

Municipal, Planning & Environmental

05/16/2017       By Signe Leisk, Raivo Uukkivi, Christie E. Gibson

This morning the Minister of Municipal Affairs and the Attorney General announced legislation to be introduced later this month that proposes an overhaul to the Planning Act appeals process in Ontario. The proposal is to replace the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) with a new body, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). The LPAT will be required to give greater weight to decisions of local councils. Highlights of the proposed legislation include:

  • Prohibiting appeals of policy instruments that support development around protected major transit station areas, such as GO Train stations and subway stops.
  • Replacing the “de novo” hearing structure with a new test: whether the municipal decision is consistent/conforms with provincial/local plans.
  • If the LPAT finds that a matter does not conform or is inconsistent with provincial or local plans, it will send the matter back to the municipality for reconsideration. The LPAT will retain the authority to make a final decision on matters where, on a second appeal, the municipality's second decision fails to follow provincial policies or municipal plans.
  • There will be no examinations or cross examinations of witnesses at a hearing event before the LPAT.
  • A support centre will be created and available to provide free and independent advice and representation to Ontarians on land use planning appeals.

The News Release setting out the changes may be found here, while an accompanying background piece may be found here. A diagram showing the proposed hearing process may be found here.

We will continue to monitor the introduction of the proposed legislation. Please contact any member of Cassels Brock & Blackwell’s Municipal, Planning & Environmental Group for further information.