Recent Posts

Friday, September 3, 2010

City to Assert Zoning Rights; Will Not Seek Leave to Appeal OMB Decision

Hi everyone,

Based on incorrect information provided to us, we reported earlier that the City would seek leave to appeal the OMB's recent decision. Apparently, this is not the case, as the City is unable to argue there was an error in law made in the OMB decision. The city will be writing to the OMB, we are told, to restate its ability under the Planning Act to initiate planning changes such as zoning. Please read below for a note from Councillor Brian Ashton.

Dear Residents:

Very recently I informed you that the City of Toronto was intending to seek Leave to Appeal the Decision of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in favour of the Rezoning Application for the GCD lands within the larger "Quarry Lands" precinct.
I was premature in stating that we would be proceeding by way of the Courts. My statement was based on an understanding flowing from a preliminary meeting with City Planning and Legal. I assumed that the legal opinion given originated from the City Solicitor and her Litigation Division. This was not the case.
This was my fault for not being absolutely sure of the Staff's position before informing the community.
Following further discussions and consultation with the City Solicitor, it was felt that seeking Leave to Appeal would in all likelihood fail and leave the City's long-term position exposed and vulnerable. It was agreed that the City would not proceed through the Courts but would write to the OMB asking it to clarify and rectify the wording in the Decision that suggests that City Council could not pass a new zoning bylaw following the conclusion of the Quarry Lands Study that might rezone lands including the lands owned by GCD.
It is an important to reinforce the City's position by advising the Board that under the Planning Act, municipalities, as well as individuals, can initiate planning changes such as a zoning, subject to proper notice and rights of appeal. And that the ability to do so is not fettered by the Board's Decision.
Strategically this would serve to give notice of the City's position and protect the integrity of City Planning's mandated responsibilities and authorities.
I hope this clarifies the City's actions and corrects my previous miscue.


Councillor Brian Ashton