On May 30, 2017, the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 (Bill 139) received first reading. Bill 139 proposes significant changes to Ontario’s planning appeal regime, repealing the enabling Act of the Ontario Municipal Board and replacing it with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. The Bill introduces the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre, established to support the engagement of members of the public in the planning appeals process, and amends the Planning Act to introduce new limits on certain types of appeals. Likewise, the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act sets forth revised practices and procedures, including limits on calling evidence and examining witnesses in the most complex proceedings.
Many of the changes proposed by Bill 139 will be implemented by way of regulation. So while Bill 139 represents an extensive overhaul of the planning regime in Ontario, a complete understanding of the resulting impact of Bill 139 will not be known until these further regulations are released. In particular, the proposed limits on appeal rights, participation rights and hearing process will have a significant impact on all persons involved in planning in Ontario, whether they are applicants, interested residents and resident associations, or municipalities. All persons should carefully consider the complex amendments to determine how their rights have been affected.
For an analysis of the changes arising from Bill 139 with respect to matters and proceedings under the Planning Act, please read our full summary.
Please contact Signe Leisk, Christie E. Gibson or any other member of the Cassels Municipal, Planning & Environmental Group for further information.