October 14, 2016

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario welcomes the upcoming OMB review. Municipalities across Ontario have passed resolutions calling for substantial reform of the OMB. Ontario’s land use planning system has evolved dramatically over the past thirty years, and municipalities have matured substantially to keep pace with the regulatory regime. However, the OMB retains significant power to overturn the decisions of elected officials. Now is the opportunity to transform the OMB to align its role and its powers with the capacity and maturity that Ontario’s municipalities have developed.

The OMB Reform: Maturing Roles Discussion paper serves as a discussion paper and provides brief history of the OMB, a brief description of its present-day form, a decision review of 195 OMB appeals between 2013-2015, and a jurisdictional scan of land use appellate bodies in Oregon, England and Wales, and New Zealand. The paper then provides some recommendations informed by the decision review, the jurisdictional scan, and municipal resolutions received by AMO to improve and reform the OMB.

The OMB Reform: AMO Recommendations outlines recommendations below for the five different provincial themes:
  • The OMB’s Jurisdiction and Powers
  • Citizen Participation and Local Perspective
  • Clear and Predictable Decision Making
  • Modern Procedures and Faster Decisions
  • Alternative Dispute Resolutions and Fewer Hearings
AMO recommends that the OMB also review these and consult back with AMO for more information. We hope these recommendations will lead to more efficient and improved municipal management and planning, and thriving municipal cities, towns and communities.

AMO has also developed a OMB Review Quick Guide for responding to the Provincial Review of the Ontario Municipal Board for download.