03/17/2006

AMO Responds to Bill 51, the Planning and Conservation Land Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005.
AMO made submission to the Standing Committee on General Government yesterday on the proposed Bill 51, Planning and Conservation Land Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005.

Background: 

The proposed Bill 51 received first reading in December of 2005 and Second Reading on April 26, 2006.  It will provide a number of legislative and regulatory tools not currently available to municipalities including, but not limited to: 

  • Having same limitation on the appeal of employment land boundaries as with urban boundaries  
  • Providing direction to the OMB for recognition and regard to municipal decisions  
  • Improving Community Improvement Plans (CIP) to allow redevelopment in addition to rehabilitation
  • Enhance the development permit system for those municipalities wishing to use this tool
  • Expand the options for parkland dedication to encourage sustainable design such as green roofs, porous surfaces, etc.
  • Providing new authority for architectural/urban design
Additionally, the proposed Act provides for Ontario Municipal Board Reform:
  • Only Official Plans, Zoning By-laws and Subdivisions appealed to the OMB
  • Providing options for certain matters to be heard by the Local Appeal Body and establishing rules and criteria for those wishing to take advantage of this provision – regulation to spell out pre-conditions to setting up these bodies
  • Appeals to be affected by the Complete Application, Urban Boundary and Employment Boundary exemptions – limit what goes to the Board
  • Hearings to be scoped – new information cannot be submitted except on leave by the Board
  • Enhanced Board dismissal provisions and enhanced Mediation, Case Management, Pre-hearing and Timing.
At the Committee Hearing, AMO advised that the proposed changes in Bill 51 will assist in achieving the concepts of redevelopment, infill and intensification in Ontario communities;

That AMO is encouraged by the provisions of the Bill to modify the role and scope of the Ontario Municipal Board and that municipalities are ready to work within this new framework; and,

Most importantly, AMO advised the Committee that the most positive and appreciated change is the ability of municipalities to define and require a complete application.