Halton Region Prepared to Fight Province on New Developments

 

Earlier this week (July 10, 2019), Halton Regional Council unanimousely supported a motion to eliminate the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). The motion was moved by both Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, and Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette.

The motion, according to a recent blog post on Meed Ward’s website, was brought forward following the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 (Bill 108) being passed on June 6, 2019.

The motion is outlined below.

The blog post notes that the changes to the LPAT outlined in Bill 108 give the tribunal the power to make final planning decisions based on a subjective ‘best planning outcome approach as opposed to in accordance with municipal and provincial official plans.

Bill 108 also restricts third party appeals of plans of subdivisions to the applicant, municipality, minister, public body or prescribed list of people.

However, as noted in the blog post, that’s not all.

Bill 108 takes local planning decision-making out of the hands of democratically elected municipal councils and puts it into the hands of a non-elected, unaccountable tribunal,” reads the blog post.

In addition, according to Meed Ward the LPAT adds costs and delays when it comes to delivering affordable housing, contrary to Bill 108.

As a result, it has been requested that the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing restore the changes made to the Planning Act that required the evaluation of appeals to be in accordance with provincial policies and plans.

It has also been requested for the Ontario government, in the long term, to eliminate the LPAT entirely.

This motion, as mentioned, is supported by the towns of Oakville, Milton, and Halton Hills.

Members of the Halton community have also expressed their support of the resolution of eliminate the LPAT.

Our previous efforts to reform the OMB that brought a measure of improvement have now been completely undone by this provincial government,” Meed Ward noted in another recent blog post. “It has now become clear that if the LPAT exists in any form, it is at risk of reverting back to an antiquated system and, as such, it needs to be eliminated completely.”

Meed Ward is also asking for other municipalities to pass similar resolutions.

When it comes to what the city of Burlington would like to see in place of the LPAT, Meed Ward provided the following statement.

There is always a judicial review of a decision available, but the grounds of those are scoped under due process - there needs to be some subversion of law,” Meed Ward said. “That’s what other provinces have.”

Do you think the LPAT should be eliminated?

Photo is courtesy of Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward’s website.

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