On Monday, March 21st, I will be bringing forward a motion to put the province on notice that municipalities want to see significant and substantial reform of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Many municipalities across Ontario are passing similar motions.
The City of Guelph and the Province approved our Official Plan in 2012 after a lengthy and inclusive public engagement process. Four years later we still cannot implement our community’s vision and aspirations because of appeals to the OMB. Residents have a very difficult time participating in the OMB process due to the costs and complexity of procedures. Staff time and resources spent defending local planning decisions at the OMB significantly impact the City’s budget. We are seeing a trend in Councils being completely bypassed with developers going straight to the OMB as was recently the case if the Solstice 3 application on the corner of Kortright and Edinburgh. Locally inspired land use planning policies and zoning bylaws can no longer create predictable and stable development for our communities.
We have an opportunity to advocate for bold OMB reform in the Province’s upcoming review. We need to send the message that tweaking here and there will not be acceptable to municipalities.
Here is my motion
That the City of Guelph requests the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s (MMAH) upcoming review of the OMB be viewed as an opportunity for significant and substantial reform, including the limiting of its jurisdiction
And that the review also consider the issue of lack of accessibility for interested residents into the OMB’s processes as it relates to costs and knowledge
And that the City of Guelph develop an education and communication plan to encourage participation into MMAH’s OMB Review
And that the City of Guelph request the MMAH to host a public meeting in Guelph during the consultation process of the OMB review
And that a copy of this motion be sent to the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario; the Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and the Honourable Liz Sandals, MPP, Guelph
And that a copy of this Motion be sent to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and all Ontario municipalities for their consideration
Let’s make our collective voice be heard!