Transcript: Goodbye OMB, Hello LPAT | Apr 06, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a black suit, white shirt, and striped blue and black tie.

A caption reads “Goodbye OMB, Hello LPAT.”

Steve says AFTER YEARS OF
CRITICISM LEVELLED AT THE
ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD, THE
PROVINCE THIS WEEK REPLACED IT
WITH A NEW TRIBUNAL THAT WILL
CONSIDER MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT
PROPOSALS AND LAND MATTERS.
THE CHANGE HAS SOME PEOPLE
REJOICING AND OTHERS CONCERNED.
LET'S FIND OUT WHAT'S NEW, AND
WHETHER IT FIXES WHAT PEOPLE
DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE OLD OMB,
WITH:
MARCY BURCHFIELD, SHE'S
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NEPTIS
FOUNDATION;

Marcy is in her late thirties, with straight brown hair in a bob cut and she wears a white blouse and a black blazer.

Steve says PATRICK HARRINGTON, HE'S A
PARTNER WITH THE LAW FIRM AIRD and
BERLIS LLP;

Patrick is in his thirties, with short wavy brown hair and a stubble. He wears a gray suit, a white shirt and a black tie.

Steve says AND MARTIN REGG COHN, ONTARIO
POLITICS COLUMNIST WITH THE
TORONTO STAR.

Martin is in his fifties, clean-shaven and with short straight brown hair. He wears a gray suit, a pink shirt and a patterned purple tie.

Steve points at Marcy and Martin and says IT'S GOOD TO HAVE I'M GOING TO
SAY YOU TWO BACK HERE

Steve points at Patrick and says AND YOU
HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME BECAUSE
A LITTLE MORE THAN A YEAR AGO,
WE DID CONVENE A DISCUSSION
WHICH YOU TWO PARTICIPATED IN TO
LOOK AT WHAT ASPECTS OF THE
ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD PROCESS
OUGHT TO BE CHANGED.
WE HAD A NUMBER OF IDEAS KICKED
AROUND, INCLUDING SOME OF THESE.
SHELDON, GO.

A clip rolls with the caption “Jane Pepino. Aird and Berlis LLP.”

Jane is in her sixties, with short straight white hair and wears a gray sweater, gray blazer and gray necklace.

She says I THINK THAT IT SHOULD BE
SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER-RESOURCED
THAN IT IS AT THE MOMENT TO
ALLOW FOLKS WHO ARE -- WHO HAVE
AN EXCELLENT CAREER TO GIVE IT
UP TO BECOME A BOARD MEMBER WITH
SOME CERTAINTY OF CONTINUITY AND
SUPPORT.
I THINK THE BOARD IS VERY
DISHEARTENED AND OFF-BALANCE AT
THE MOMENT.

The caption changes to “Mike Collins-Williams. Ontario Builders Association.”

Mike is in his thirties, with short straight brown hair and a shadow of a beard. Hew ears a blue suit, pale blue shirt, patterned tie and green pin on his left lapel.

He says THE OMB CURRENTLY HAS
SOMETHING CALLED A CITIZEN
LIAISON OFFICE AND YOU MAY BE
SHOCKED OUT THAT THERE IS ONLY
ONE PERSON AT THE CITIZEN
LIAISON FOR THE ENTIRE PROVINCE.

The caption changes to “Martin Regg Cohn. Toronto Star.”

Martin says WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THE OMB
IS ROUGH JUSTICE.
IT CAN'T BE PERFECT.
IT'S BETTER TO HAVE TWO
PANELISTS INSTEAD OF ONE BECAUSE
ONE PERSON IS MORE LIKELY TO
MESS THINGS UP.

The caption changes to “Tom Mrakas. Aurora Twon Councillor.”

Tom is in his fifties, with short wavy brown hair and a gray beard. He wears glasses, a deep gray patterned suit, a white shirt, a striped golden tie and a golden pin on his left lapel.

He says IT'S TIME FOR BOLD REFORMS.

Steve says LIKE WHAT?

Tom says BRING BACK THE AUTHORITY TO
THE LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES.

The clip ends.

Steve says ALL RIGHT.
LET'S REVIEW WHAT IN FACT HAS
HAPPENED.
PATRICK, IS THE NEW SYSTEM THAT
IS IN PLACE THE BOLD REFORM THAT
WAS SUGGESTED IN THAT LAST CLIP?

The caption changes to “Goodbye OMB, Hello LPAT. Suggestion Box.”

The caption changes to “Patrick Harrington. Aird and Berlis LPP.”

Patrick says I
WOULDN'T GO AS FAR AS SAYING
IT'S BOLD REFORM.
I THINK IT WAS A LOT OF
TINKERING WITH THE TESTS BY
WHICH YOU GET TO THE OMB FOR A
FULL APPEAL.
WE'VE RECENTLY HAD THE RULES FOR
THE NEW LPAT TRIBUNAL, AND
MUCH --

Steve says WHAT'S THAT STANDING
FOR?
WE HATE ACRONYMS HERE.

Patrick says THE LOCAL PLANNING APPEALS
TRIBUNAL, AND WE'RE NOW TO REFER
TO IT AS THE TRIBUNAL AS OPPOSED
TO THE BOARD.
THE TRIBUNAL HAS ITS OWN NEW SET
OF RULES.
AND FOR MANY OF THE HEARINGS
THAT THE AVERAGE CITIZEN WILL BE
PARTICIPATING IN, MINOR
VARIANCES AND THINGS LIKE THAT,
NOTHING HAS CHANGED.
THE SAME TESTS, THE SAME
PROCESSES, THE SAME BOARD
MEMBERS.

Steve says SAME BOARD MEMBERS?

Patrick says SAME BOARD MEMBERS.

Steve says SO THE PEOPLE WHO
WERE ON THE OMB ARE NOW ON THE
LPAT?

Patrick says IT'S A BIT OF A MISNOMER.
THE ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD ACT,
WHICH HAS BEEN AROUND SINCE
1932, IS NO MORE.
BUT THE ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD
HAS ACTUALLY BEEN TRANSFORMED
INTO THE LOCAL PLANNING APPEALS
TRIBUNAL, AND IT REMAINS
ONTARIO'S OLDEST ADMINISTRATIVE
TRIBUNAL.
BUT ALL OF THE MEMBERS, AND THIS
SAYS THIS IN THE LEGISLATION,
ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE OMB
REMAIN MEMBERS OF LPAT.
SO THERE ARE CERTAINLY
PROCEDURAL CHANGES BUT YOU ARE
STILL STANDING IN FRONT OF THE
SAME MEMBERS AT THE SAME
LOCATION IN TORONTO FOR MORE OR
LESS THE SAME PURPOSES.

Steve says LET'S FIND OUT HOW
MANY MEMBERS.
YOU SAID IN YOUR RECOMMENDATION
YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE JUST ONE
PERSON HEARING THINGS, TOO MUCH
HOUR IN ONE PLACE.
YOU SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST TWO.
IS THAT THE CASE?

The caption changes to “Martin Regg Cohn. Toronto Star.”

Martin says WHETHER
IT'S ONE OR TWO OR THE SAME
NUMBER OF MEMBERS OF THE BOARD,
THE POINT IS THEY ARE NOT THE
SAME PEOPLE WITH THE SAME
POWERS.
THE BOARD HAS BEEN REINCARNATED
RATED.
SO IF IT'S BEING REBORN, AT
LEAST IT DOESN'T HAVE THE SAME
OUTDATED AND ARCHAIC POWERS IT
HAD 100 YEARS AGO.
IT WAS THE OLDEST TRIBUNAL OR
BOARD AND IT WAS CREATED IN THE
ERA OF RAILWAY, RAILWAY BARONS,
AND THAT WAS THEIR JOB.
THIS IS A HUGE CHANGE, EVEN IF
IT'S THE SAME GANG AT THE TOP,
BECAUSE THEY CAN NO LONGER JUST
TAKE OVER THE PLANNING PROCESSES
THEY USED TO, AND I IMAGINE YOU
WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT LATER,
BUT IT IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
BALL GAME, AND THANKFULLY WE
HAVE GOTTEN RID OF THE NAME,
EVEN IF IT IS THE SAME ANT SEE
SCENTS.
IT WAS A REMOTE BODY AND LPAT IS
NOT GOING TO BECOME EXACTLY AS
WELL-KNOWN AS KFC.
I HAVE TO WRITE THIS DOWN.
THE LOCAL PLANNING APPEALS
TRIBUNAL, IT'S --

Steve says LET'S SEE HOW IT IS.
YOU HEARD THE CITY COUNCILLOR
FROM AURORA SAYING HE WANTED
GREATER POWER BACK TO LOCAL
MUNICIPALITIES.
IS THAT HAPPENING NOW?

The caption changes to “Marcy Burchfield. Neptis Foundation.”

Marcy says I WOULD
SAY THE TRANSITION FROM OMB TO
LPAT HAS BROUGHT ABOUT THE
CHANGE THAT TOM AND OTHER
COUNCILLORS HAVE PUBLICLY ASKED
FOR FOR A VERY LONG TIME, AND
THAT IS BRINGING THE POWERS BACK
TO THE MUNICIPALITY TO MAKE THE
LOCAL DECISIONS ON LOCAL LAND
USE PLANNING MATTERS, BUT I
WOULD SAY AT THE SAME TIME TWO
CAVEATS, THAT THEY STILL NEED TO
HAVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAKING
THEIR LOCAL OFFICIAL PLANS AND
THEIR DECISIONS THAT ARE COMING
OUT OF COUNCIL ALIGN WITH
PROVINCIAL POLICY, AND WE CAN
GET INTO WHAT THAT MEANS.

Steve says WHO IS THE THEY
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT?

Marcy says MUNICIPALITIES,
MUNICIPALITIES, MUNICIPAL
COUNCILS, THEIR PLANS AND THEIR
DECISIONS HAVE TO CONFORM TO
PROVINCIAL PLANS AND PROVINCIAL
POLICY.

Steve says AND IF THEY
DON'T ...

Marcy says AND IF THEY DON'T, SO ONE MAY
HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT
PARTICULAR ASPECT, AND THEN,
TWO, THEY HAVE TO BE
ACCOUNTABLE.
AND IF THEY'RE NOT ACCOUNTABLE
FOR THAT DECISION, THEN IT
DOES -- THERE IS THE OPPORTUNITY
FOR THESE APPEALS TO GO BACK TO
LPAT.

Steve says WE ALSO HEARD,
PATRICK, THE SUGGESTION THAT THE
CITIZEN LIAISON OFFICE NEEDED TO
BE EXPANDED.
IS THAT HAPPENING?

Patrick says YES.
THERE IS NOW A SERVICE CENTRE
ASSOCIATED WITH THE LPAT.
IT'S IN ITS INFANT STAGES AND
THEY'RE STILL IN THE PROCESS
DECIDING WHAT IS THE DELIVERY
SYSTEM FOR THIS, BUT THE VISION
BEHIND IT IS AKIN TO A LEGAL AID
OFFICE WITH SPECIALTY IN THE
PRACTICE OF LAND USE DEVELOPMENT
PLANNING AND LAW.

Steve says I'M HEARING THEY'VE
GOT A BUDGET OF A MILLION AND A
HALF BUCKS AND THEY'RE GOING TO
HAVE HELP LOCAL PEOPLE WHO ARE
NOT EXPERTS IN THIS FIELD
NAVIGATE THEIR WAY THROUGH IT
ALL.
IS THAT TRUE?

Patrick says THAT IS THE IDEA.
I PRACTICE IN FRONT OF THE
LANDLORD AND TENANT BOARD AND
SOMETIMES THE HUMAN RIGHTS
TRIBUNAL AND OFTENTIMES
UNREPRESENTED APPELLANTS COME
BEFORE THEM.
THE IDEA IS TO PUT THEM INTO THE
LPAT STREAM TO HELP THOSE
OBJECTIVES UNDERSTAND WHAT IS
THE ZONING BY-LAW ALREADY
PROVIDE FOR, WHAT ARE THEY
ASKING FOR, HOW DO I GET THROUGH
THIS NEW PROCESS?
AND THE FACT THAT THE PROVINCE
IS PUTTING THE RESOURCES BEHIND
THAT IS A GOOD THING.
HOW THE DELIVERY SYSTEM WILL
WORK IS YET TO BE DETERMINED.
WE'RE LIVING IN THE INFORMATION
AGE AND A LOT OF THIS CAN BE
ACCESSED THROUGH WEB SITES AND
ONLINE DELIVERY.
WHETHER OR NOT YOU'RE GOING TO
HAVE SOMEBODY SITTING IN AN
OFFICE AND WAITING FOR SOMEONE
TO COME THROUGH OR A CALL-IN
HELP LINE OR A WEBSITE, THE
PROVINCE STILL HAS TO MAKE THAT
DECISION.

Martin says IF I
COULD GET IN ON THAT, IF I MAY?
THAT'S AN IMPORTANT POINT AND
I'M GLAD YOU RAISED THAT.
THAT'S GOING TO BE THE REAL TEST
FOR THE LPAT.
CAN I CALL IT KFC FOR THE REST
OF THE SHOW?
IN PRACTICE, HOW DOES IT WORK?
THERE'S NEVER ENOUGH MONEY.
THAT'S GOING TO BE ONE TO WATCH.
BUT IT ANSWERS ONE OF THE
BIGGEST CONCERNS ABOUT THE OLD
OMB IN THAT IT WAS KIND OF
ASYMMETRICAL WARFARE.
YOU HAD WELL-FINANCED DEVELOPERS
WHO COULD AFFORD TOP EXPERTS
LIKE PATRICK OR JANE PEPINO WHO
UNDERSTOOD ALL THE NUANCES OF
THE LEGISLATION AND HOW THE OMB
OPERATED IN THIS KIND OF BLACK
BOX UNPREDICTABLE WAY.
AND SO AT LEAST THEY HAVE TRIED
TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD AND
GIVEN PEOPLE ACCESS TO A LITTLE
MORE HELP SO THEY'RE NOT
COMPLETELY OUTSPENT AND
OUTMUSCLED.

Steve says THESE WERE
SHEPHERDED THROUGH BY THE
MINISTER.
I WANT TO READ THIS QUOTE AND
WE'LL GET EVERYBODY TO COMMENT.

A quote on screen reads “Weighing consistency. The LPAT will stick to the role of straightforward appeals tribunal. It will simply review the decision city council made, said Naqvi, and won’t be able to make planning decisions of its own. The test is whether or not you were consistent with your local planning documents. Yasir Naqvi, as quoted on cbc.ca (April 2, 2018).”

Steve says NOW, DOES THAT MAKE,
MARCY, HELP US OUT, DOES THAT
MAKE CHALLENGES OVER SPECIFIC
DEVELOPMENTS BY COMMUNITY GROUPS
EASIER OR HARDER, OR DO WE KNOW?

The caption changes to “Goodbye OMB, Hello LPAT. Challenging process.”

Marcy says I'M NOT
SURE THAT WE KNOW.
I THINK -- I THINK ONE THING TO
KEEP IN MIND HERE IS THAT
BECAUSE THE POWER, THE BALANCE
OF POWER HAS NOW SHIFTED TO THE
MUNICIPAL COUNCILS, I THINK THE
OUTCOME IS THAT WE DON'T REALLY
WANT TO GET TO THAT POINT WHERE
IT'S AN APPEAL, A SITE-SPECIFIC
APPEAL, RIGHT?
PARTLY WHAT THE MUNICIPAL
COUNCILS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR IS
TO HAVE OFFICIAL PLANS THAT
CONFORM TO PROVINCIAL POLICY.
IN ONTARIO THAT MEANS THE
PROVINCIAL POLICY STATEMENT, BUT
IN THE GREATER GOLDEN HORSESHOE
WHERE THE VAST MAJORITY OF THOSE
OMB HEARINGS TOOK PLACE, THE
APPEALS WERE IN THE GREATER
GOLDEN HORSESHOE, THIS LARGE
GEOGRAPHY THAT SURROUNDS THE
CITY OF TORONTO.
AND THERE IS A PROCESS NOW BY
WHICH THOSE -- THAT PROVINCIAL
POLICY IS BEING TRANSFORMED AND
BEING INCORPORATED INTO THE
LOCAL OFFICIAL PLANS, AND THAT
PROCESS IS THE MUNICIPAL
COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW.
AND THERE'S A LOT OF WORK THAT
MUNICIPALITIES ARE DOING TO GET
TO THE STAGE OF A FINAL OFFICIAL
PLAN.
AND SO I THINK THE IDEA HERE IS
TO GET THE PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
HAPPENING BEFORE THE APPEALS
PROCESS HAPPENS.

Steve says FOR SURE.

Marcy says THAT'S REALLY WHAT THIS IS
ABOUT.

Steve says I NEED A BETTER
UNDERSTANDING OF THIS, MARTIN.
IN THE PAST IF A NEIGHBOURHOOD
GROUP DIDN'T LIKE A PARTICULAR
DECISION MADE BY CITY COUNCIL
BECAUSE COUNCIL IS GOING TO
ALLOW THE ERECTION OF A
50-STOREY BUILDING AND THE
NEIGHBOURS THINK THAT'S WAY TOO
MUCH, THEY CAN MARSHALL THEIR
RESOURCES AND GO TO THE OMB AND
FIGHT IT AND AS YOU POINT OUT
GET ROUGH JUSTICE.
UNDER THE NEW SYSTEM, IF THAT
50-STOREY BUILDING IS CONSISTENT
WITH WHAT THE MUNICIPALITY WANTS
AND WHAT THE, YOU KNOW, OFFICIAL
PLAN PROVIDES FOR, GAME OVER?

The caption changes to “Martin Regg Cohn. @reggcohn.”

The caption changes to “Connect with us: tvo.org, @theagenda, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope and Instagram.”

Martin says
ESSENTIALLY, YES.
AND THAT'S NOT AS BAD AS IT
SOUNDS OR AS GOOD AS IT SOUNDS
BECAUSE, IN THE FIRST CASE, IN
THE FIRST INSTANCE, IT FORCES
CITY COUNCIL NOW TO GRAPPLE WITH
THE GUTS OF THE CASE IN A MORE
REALISTIC AND GROWN-UP WAY.
IN THE OLD DAYS, CITY COUNCIL
COULD JUST PASS THE BUCK TO THE
OMB AND RALLY TO THE SIDE OF
NIMBY OR LOCAL COUNCIL OR LOCAL
RATE PAYERS OR ELSE RISK LOSING
IN THE NEXT ELECTION, AS HAS
HAPPENED, AND KNOW THAT THE OMB,
NUDGE NUDGE WINK WINK WOULD
EVENTUALLY SET THINGS STRAIGHT.
THERE'S NOW GOING TO BE A NEW
DISCIPLINE FOR LOCAL COUNCILLORS
TO NOT JUST PLAY POLITICS BUT
ALSO UNDERSTAND THEY HAVE TO
MAKE A WISE DECISION, THEY HAVE
TO BE FAITHFUL TO THAT PLAN, AND
THEY CAN'T JUST INDULGE
NIMBYISM.
I ACTUALLY DON'T LIKE NIMBYISM.
I DO AGREE IN THE GREATER GOOD,
EXPROPRIATION, IF NECESSARY, FOR
THE PUBLIC INTEREST.
IN MANY WAYS I THINK THAT THIS
NEW PROCESS WILL CREATE A MORE
COHERENT SYSTEM.

Steve says CAN YOU SEE OR ARE
YOU SEEING YET POLITICIANS BEING
MORE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN
DECISIONS AS OPPOSED TO SAYING,
I'D LOVE TO HELP YOU,
NEIGHBOURHOOD GROUPS, BUT IT'S
OUT OF MY HANDS AND IT'S WITH
THE OMB NOW?

The caption changes to “Patrick Harrington. @ABMunicipal.”

The caption change to “Subscribe to The Agenda podcasts: TVO.org/theagenda.”

Patrick says THAT
WAS DEFINITELY THE ATTITUDE THAT
HELD WHEN THE BOARD HAD THE
POWER TO MAKE THE DECISION.
RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A SYSTEM
WHEREBY AN APPEAL WILL GO UP TO
THE NEW TRIBUNAL.
THEY WILL DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT
THE DECISION EXHIBITS AN ISSUE
OF CONFORMITY WITH THE LOCAL
OFFICIAL PLAN OR PROVINCIAL
POLICY.
IF IT DOES, THE DECISION THEN
GETS SENT BACK DOWN TO THE
MUNICIPALITY WITH A 90-DAY
WINDOW IN WHICH TO EITHER CHANGE
OR MAKE AN ADJUSTMENT TO THEIR
DECISION OR LEAVE IT ALONE, AT
WHICH POINT IT GOES BACK UP TO
THE LPAT, AND AT THAT POINT, THE
LPAT HAS THE POWER TO MAKE THE
FINAL DECISION AND WOULD CARRY
ON WITH THEIR TRIAL.
NOW, OUR DISCUSSION EARLIER
ABOUT CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT.
YOU CAN IMAGINE HOW CONFUSING
THAT IS FOR SOMEBODY TO GO BACK,
UP TO THE TRIBUNAL, BACK TO THE
MUNICIPALITY, BACK TO THE
TRIBUNAL FOR A NEW HEARING.
IT'S MORE A CAREFUL WHAT YOU
WISH FOR.
THE IDEA BEING YOU'RE ALLOWING
THE MUNICIPALITY TO TAKE NOT ONE
BUT TWO CRACKS AT IT, AND I
THINK THAT'S WHAT THE PROVINCE
WANTED TO SEE.

Steve says HAVING SAID THAT,
SOME OF THE HEARINGS WOULD GO ON
FOR A WHILE AND A LOT OF THE
DISPUTES WOULD TAKE A LONG TIME
TO RESOLVE, EVEN WITH THE
PROCESS AS YOU DESCRIBED IT.
SHOULD THINGS HAPPEN FASTER IN
THE FUTURE?

Patrick says THERE ARE ACTUALLY NOW
REGULATIONS IN PLACE THAT WILL
REQUIRE THE LPAT TO RENDER
DECISIONS FASTER.
SOME OF THE BIGGER APPLICATIONS
LIKE ZONING AMENDMENTS HAVE A
TIME LINE OF 10 TO 12 MONTHS IN
WHICH THE TRIBUNAL IS TO TAKE
THE APPEAL AND RENDER THE
DECISION, AND THEN SOME OF THE
SMALLER APPEALS LIKE MINOR
VARIANCES MUST BE RENDERED
WITHIN SIX MONTHS.
AND THAT APPEALS PROCESS I
TALKED ABOUT, THAT FIRST STEP UP
TO THE TRIBUNAL, THERE'S NO
ABILITY TO CALL OR EXAMINE
WITNESSES, WHERE A LOT OF PEOPLE
WHO WERE UNREPRESENTED WERE
RUNNING INTO TROUBLE.
THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE MONEY TO
PAY FOR EXPERTS OR LAWYERS OR
THINGS LIKE THAT.
NOW WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO GET IS
A MAXIMUM 75-MINUTE SUBMISSION
TO CONVINCE THE TRIBUNAL MEMBER
THAT THERE IS AN ISSUE TO GET IT
SENT BACK.
IF YOU FAIL, IT'S DONE, AND THE
DECISION STANDS.

Martin says CAN I TRY
TO PUT THAT IN A DIFFERENT
CONTEXT BY ANALOGY.
I OFTEN THOUGHT OF THE OMB,
WHICH I LOVE TO BEAT UP, I'M NOT
GOING TO RELITIGATE IT, I
COMPARED IT TO THE SENATE.
UNTIL RECENTLY YOU HAD LIFETIME
APPOINTMENTS TO THE OMB, LIKE
THE SENATE, AND THE DIFFERENCE
WAS THE OMB WAS IN SOME WAYS
MORE POWERFUL.
IT COULD ACTUALLY TAKE OVER THE
CASE AND RELITIGATE ITSELF.
IT WASN'T AN APPEALS TRIBUNAL
LIKE THE SUPREME COURT OR THE
SENATE.

Steve says THEY COULD DECIDE.

Martin says THEY
COULD START THE WHOLE THING OVER
AGAIN AND CALL WITNESSES.
YOU SAY PEOPLE WILL ONLY HAVE 75
MINUTES, PATRICK.
MAYBE THAT'S NOT A BAD THING.
YOU ARGUE ON THE NARROW POINTS
OF THE LAW OR WAS IT FAITHFUL TO
THE OFFICIAL PLAN INSTEAD OF
EMPOWERING THE OMB TO JUST START
ALL OVER AGAIN, BRING IN THE
PLANNERS, WHICH WAS MUCH MORE
EXPENSIVE FOR RATE PAYERS AND
HAVE A WHOLE NEW FIGHT WHICH
ALMOST MEANT THE INITIAL HEARING
AT CITY COUNCIL WAS ALMOST A
PRETEND OR A PHONEY WAR.
THE REAL FIGHT TOOK PLACE NEXT
AT THE OMB SO YOU HAD TO HAVE
NOT ONE BUT TWO FULL-FLEDGED
CONTESTS.
NOW AT LEAST IT'S MORE OF AN
APPEAL.
LIKE THE SENATE, YOU DON'T LIKE
IT, YOU SEND IT BACK TO THE
HOUSE OF COMMONS AND LET THE
ELECTED OFFICIALS DECIDE AND IT
GOES BACK.

Steve says MORE COMPARING AND
CONTRASTING TO THE WAY IT WAS TO
THE WAY IT IS NOW.
DURING THE CONSULTATION PROCESS
THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HELD
ON THE OLD ONTARIO MUNICIPAL
BOARD, SUBMISSIONS WERE MADE TO
ADDRESS LANGUAGE, ADDRESSING
DENSITY, DESIGN, AND
AFFORDABILITY.
ARE ANY OF THOSE THREE THINGS
INCLUDED IN THE NEW FRAMEWORK?
DO WE KNOW?

The caption changes to “Goodbye OMB, Hello LPAT. Density, design and affordability.”

The caption changes to “Marcy Burchfield. @Burchfie.”
\
Marcy says I THINK
PATRICK WILL BE A BETTER PERSON
TO ASK THAT QUESTION, BUT I
THINK IT GOES BACK TO -- THAT
LANGUAGE IS IN THE PROVINCIAL
POLICY.
THAT LANGUAGE IS IN THE OFFICIAL
PLAN.
THAT LANGUAGE IS IN, YOU KNOW,
THE SECONDARY PLANS THAT TALK
ABOUT MORE SPECIFIC AREAS AND
MORE SPECIFIC DESIGNS FOR
SPECIFIC AREAS, AND THE IDEA IS
THAT THE PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
PROCESS WILL HAPPEN DURING THAT
PERIOD OF TIME AND THAT'S WHERE
THE RIGHT PLACE FOR DESIGN
DENSITY AND OTHER AMENITIES,
PUBLIC AMENITIES, PUBLIC
BENEFITS.
YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE A PLACE LIKE
HAMILTON --

Steve says MY HOMETOWN.

Marcy says THAT
RIGHT NOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING IS
THEY'RE DOING A REVIEW OF THEIR
OFFICIAL PLAN, THEY'RE DOING
THEIR SECONDARY DOWNTOWN PLAN
THAT'S 10 YEARS OLD.
AT THE SAME TIME, THEY'RE
REDOING THEIR ZONING BY-LAWS AND
MAKING TALL BUILDING GUIDELINES
SO THAT THERE'S A MAXIMUM HEIGHT
OF WHICH TO PLAN.
ALL OF THAT IS TO BRING SOME
CERTAINTY INTO THE PROCESS AS TO
WHAT RESIDENTS CAN EXPECT IN
THAT AREA.
PRE-ZONING IS ANOTHER TOOL THAT
MUNICIPALITIES CAN USE SO THAT
PRE-ZONING JUST ESSENTIALLY
MEANS YOU WILL KNOW WHAT THE
MAXIMUM HEIGHT OF A BUILDING IN
A PARTICULAR CORRIDOR IS, AND
THE IDEA -- AND THE
JUSTIFICATION OF WHY THAT
DENSITY AND THAT HEIGHT IS IN
PLACE.

Steve says IF YOU CAN ONLY GET
25, DON'T COME FORWARD WITH A
50-STOREY PROPOSAL.

Marcy says UNLESS A MUNICIPALITY HAS SET
A POLICY WHICH SAYS WE'LL GIVE
YOU MORE DENSITY BUT FOR
PARTICULAR PUBLIC BENEFITS
THEY'VE WORKED OUT WITH THE
COMMUNITY --

Steve says GIVE US DAY CARE,
BUILD US A PARK, THAT KIND OF
STUFF.

Patrick says
CERTAINLY MARCY IS CORRECT IS A
LOT OF IMPETUS TOWARDS DENSITY
AND AFFORDABLE PLANNING IS
PROVIDED IN THE PLANS WE ALREADY
HAVE.
THE DIFFICULTY IS THOSE ARE
PROVINCIAL PLANS.
IT'S DIFFICULT TO FUNNEL THAT
DOWN INTO AN INDIVIDUAL
MUNICIPALITY, AND MUNICIPALITIES
ARE VERY DIFFERENT.
TORONTO AND HAMILTON VERY
DIFFERENT FROM WHAT YOU'D SEE
OUTSIDE OF THE GTA, OUTSIDE OF
THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE.
DIFFERENT PLANS, DIFFERENT
OBJECTIVES.
BUT I THINK WHAT HAS BEEN ADDED
TO THE MUNICIPAL TOOL BELT ARE
THINGS LIKE THE ABILITY TO
PROTECT AROUND INFRASTRUCTURE,
AROUND HIGH DENSITY, TO ALLOW
HIGH DENSITY TO BE BUILT AROUND
AREAS WHERE YOU'RE GOING TO
INVEST IN RAPID TRANSIT
INFRASTRUCTURE, FOR EXAMPLE.
IN HAMILTON THEY'RE CREATING
HIGHER DENSITY AROUND SOME OF
THE AREAS THEY'RE GOING TO BE
BRINGING RAPID TRANSIT TO THE
CITY, AND THEIR ABILITY TO
PROTECT FOR THAT, TO ASSIGN
HIGHER DENSITY, HIGHER HEIGHTS
TO THOSE AREAS AND THEN ONCE THE
PROVINCE APPROVES THEM THROUGH
SOMETHING CALLED THE MAJOR
TRANSIT STATION AREA, THOSE ARE
NOW PROTECTED.
YOU NOW HAVE TO ASK COUNCIL FOR
EVEN PERMISSION TO TRY TO AMEND
THEM.
OF COURSE, THE FLIP SIDE OF
THAT, RESIDENTS WHO MAY BE
LIVING AROUND IT MAY NOT
NECESSARILY LIKE HIGH DENSITY.
THEY DON'T GET A CHANCE TO
APPEAL IT EITHER.

Steve says I WANT TO BRING UP
AN EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING
HAPPENING ACTUALLY JUST A COUPLE
OF HUNDRED METRES SOUTH OF WHERE
WE'RE ALL SITTING RIGHT NOW.
THIS MADE YOUR NEWSPAPER THE
OTHER DAY, IN FACT, I THINK.
TORONTO CITY COUNCILLOR JOSH MAT
LOW, WHO REPRESENTS THIS AREA,
REGARDING A CONDO DEVELOPMENT
PROJECT, JUST DOWN THE STREET,
HAD THIS TO SAY:

A slate appears with a caption that reads “Keeping pace. The Yonge and Eglinton area, including Davisville, has seen unprecedented growth for several years and it’s critically important that along with social services, basic infrastructure can keep up with the pace of new residents moving into the area. This isn’t a narrow debate about whether there should be development or not, it’s about when there is development it should support a good quality of life in our neighbourhood. Josh Matlow, as quoted in the Toronto Star (April 3rd, 2018).”

Steve says JOSH IS TALKING
ABOUT A SITUATION WHERE SOMEBODY
WANTS TO PUT UP A RATHER LARGISH
BUILDING AND THE CITY SO FAR IS
SAYING NO, YOU CAN'T PUT IT UP
BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T GOT THE
INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT ALL
THE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE THAT MAY
BE MOVING IN THERE.
DOES THIS NEW PROCESS TO THE
BEST THAT YOU'RE ABLE TO TELL SO
FAR, MARTIN, ADEQUATELY ADDRESS
THE PROBLEMS OF NEW DEVELOPMENT
OUTSTRIPPING INFRASTRUCTURE TO
SUPPORT IT?

Martin says SO
THERE'S NO PERFECT ANSWER
BECAUSE IT'S A BIT OF A YIN AND
A YANG.
PEOPLE LIKE TO SUPPORT THE OMB
LIKE TO BRING OUT WHAT I THINK
IS A BIT OF A RED HERRING THAT
THE OMB IS ACTUALLY PROTECTING
THE LAUDABLE GOAL OF INCREASED
DENSITY.
ALL OF US UNDERSTAND THAT
DENSITY IS NECESSARY IF YOU WANT
TO CURB SPRAWL.
BUT YOU CAN HAVE TOO MUCH OF A
GOOD THING.
AND THE PROBLEM WITH YONGE AND
EGLINTON OR YONGE AND DAVIS AND
YONGE AND ST. CLAIR WHICH HAVE
BEEN ADDRESSED FOR INCREASED
DENSIFICATION.
THE
PROBLEM WITH THE OMB -- YOU
OPENED THE DOOR, COUNSELLOR.
THE PROBLEM WITH YONGE AND
EGLINTON IS THEY WOULD LOOK AT
THESE HIGH-RISE DEVELOPMENTS
WHICH PERHAPS ON THEIR FACE
WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA BUT THEY
DIDN'T TAKE ACCOUNT OF THE
NEIGHBOURING PROJECTS.
YOU CAN HAVE ENDLESS BUILDINGS
AT YONGE AND EGLINTON, THE OMB
WOULD SAY THAT MAKES MORE SENSE,
BUT NOBODY WAS LOOKING AT THE
BIG PICTURE EXCEPT THOSE AT CITY
HALL AND THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT
WHO WERE SAYING, WHOA, THIS IS
OVERWHELMING US.
I HAVE BROUGHT ALONG, NOT AS A
PROP, MARCY, IT'S NOT JUST THAT
PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT
OVERRUNNING SCHOOL SERVICES AND
OVERCROWDING, THEY'RE TALKING
NOW ABOUT SEWERS.
WHO WANTS A SEWAGE BACKUP IN
TOWN?
SO MAYBE THAT'S A BIT OF A SCARE
TACTIC.
BUT CLEARLY YOU CAN HAVE TOO
MUCH OF A GOOD THING AND I THINK
THAT WAS THE PROBLEM WITH THE
OMB.

He shows a newspaper article with a headline that reads “GTA. Rapid development concerns city.”

Steve says IS THIS A CONCERN OF
YOURS INASMUCH AS THIS
INTERSECTION HAS NOT ONLY THE
YONGE STREET SUBWAY LINE BUT A
6 BILLION DOLLAR LRT WHICH
THEORETICALLY WILL BE DONE
SOMETIME IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS
GOING EAST-WEST ACROSS THIS
YONGE AND EGLINTON INTERSECTION
AS WELL.
YOU HAVE MASSIVE 60- , 70-STOREY
CONDO UNITS GOING UP ALL
OVER-THE-PLACE HERE, AND THEN
BUNGALOWS 100 FEET AWAY, YOU
KNOW, ON THE SIDE STREETS AWAY.

Marcy says RIGHT.

Steve says THIS AREA WASN'T
REALLY -- YOU HAVE TO ASSUME
THAT THIS AREA WAS NOT THOUGHT
OF FOR THE KIND OF DENSITY
THAT'S GOING IN HERE RIGHT NOW.
IS THAT FAIR TO SAY?

Marcy says WELL, AS MARTIN POINTED OUT,
THE YONGE AND EGLINTON, NORTH
YORK, THOSE NODES HAVE BEEN ON
THE PLANNING BOOKS FOR QUITE
SOME TIME.
IT'S THIS DICHOTOMY BETWEEN HIGH
TOWERS AND REALLY LOW-RISE
SINGLE FAMILY HOUSES THAT WE
HAVE TO MOVE AWAY FROM AND WE
HAVE TO FIND SOMETHING IN THAT
MISSING MIDDLE, AS THEY SAY,
EITHER -- AND I THINK THIS IS
THE POINT ALSO IS THAT MAYBE
THERE IS A SEWAGE CAPACITY ISSUE
AT YONGE AND EGLINTON.
I COULDN'T ANSWER THAT QUESTION.
BUT THERE ARE ALSO -- THERE ARE
PLACES WHERE THERE'S MORE
CAPACITY THAN THERE IS DEMAND IN
THE CITY AS WELL, AND SO PART OF
THE CITY'S STRATEGY COULD BE
LOOKING AT THOSE OTHER PLACES
AND LOOKING AT HOW YOU
TRANSITION TO SORT OF SOME
GENTLE DENSITY AROUND THESE
MAJOR TRANSPORTATION AREAS.
SO PATRICK BROUGHT UP THE
PROVINCIAL POLICY THAT SUGGESTS
IN THE GROWTH PLAN THAT ALL THE
MAJOR TRANSPORTATION AREAS,
WHICH IS EVERY SUBWAY STATION
HERE, EVERY LRT STATION HERE,
THERE IS A RADIUS BY WHICH THOSE
AREAS ARE DEFINED, AND SOME OF
THEM -- SOME OF THAT AREA WILL
ENCROACH INTO WHAT'S CALLED
STABLE NEIGHBOURHOODS, YOU KNOW,
THE YELLOW BELT, AS SOME PEOPLE
CALL IT, BECAUSE IT'S AN AREA
WITH LOTS OF SINGLE FAMILY
HOUSES THAT THE ZONING WILL NOT
ALLOW ANYTHING THAT'S A LITTLE
BIT HIGHER DENSITY IN THERE.
AND THIS -- THE PROVINCIAL
POLICIES AND THE IMPLEMENTATION
OF THOSE PROVINCIAL POLICIES AT
THE LOCAL LEVEL WILL ALLOW FOR
SOME OF THOSE AREAS TO BE
PENETRATED, I THINK, IF YOU HAVE
A PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT PROCESS BY
WHICH PEOPLE KNOW WHAT THEY'RE
GOING TO GET, AND IT'S NOT JUST
A DICHOTOMY OF HIGH TOWERS AND
LOW SINGLE FAMILY HOUSES.

Steve says IF I READ YOU RIGHT,
THE TORONTO STAR IS GOING TO
HAVE A GREAT TIME COVERING ALL
OF THESE ANGRY RESIDENTS WHO ARE
SEEING MORE DEVELOPMENT
ENCROACHING ON THEIR PEACEFUL
LITTLE NEIGHBOURHOODS; IS THAT
RIGHT?

Marcy says SO ISN'T IT TIME THAT WE HAVE
A PROCESS THAT'S LESS REACTIVE
AND MORE PROACTIVE?
AND THAT'S WHERE I THINK WE'RE
TRYING -- WHERE THE PLANNING
PROCESS IS TRYING TO GET TO.
IT'S MOVING AWAY FROM THAT
REACTIVE OMB, YOU KNOW, SIGN ON
A FRONT LAWN THAT SAYS YOU'RE
GOING TO HAVE A 50-STOREY
BUILDING ON THIS PROPERTY AND
MOVING TO SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE
EXPECT, KNOW WHAT THEY CAN
EXPECT IN TERMS OF DEVELOPMENT
AND ARE ENGAGED EARLY IN THE
PROCESS.

Steve says GOTCHA.
WITH JUST A FEW MINUTES TO GO
HERE, I THINK AT THE END OF THE
DAY WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT
WHETHER THE NEW LPAT SYSTEM IS
NOW BETTER THAN THE OLD OMB
SYSTEM.
WHAT DO YOU SAY?

The caption changes to “Goodbye OMB, Hello LPAT. Gradin the LPAT.”

Patrick says I HAVE
MY CONCERNS BECAUSE THE OMB
SYSTEM, AND I'LL COME TO THEIR
DEFENCE FOR A MINUTE, WAS ALWAYS
BASED ON EVIDENCE.
IT WAS THE BEST EVIDENCE THAT
WON THE DAY IN FRONT OF THE
BOARD.
SO I WOULD COME WITH MY TRAFFIC
EXPERT, MY ENGINEER.
IF THERE'S A CAPACITY PROBLEM,
MY ENGINEER WOULD HAVE TO FIGURE
IT OUT.
AND IF THE CAPACITY PROBLEM
EXISTED, MY CLIENT WOULD HAVE TO
COME UP WITH A SOLUTION AND IN
FACT PAY FOR THE SOLUTION.
IT WAS ALWAYS THE BEST EVIDENCE
THAT WAS INTENDED TO WIN AT THE
OMB.
WHEN YOU'RE CHANGING THAT
PROCESS TO NOW PUT THAT POWER
INTO THE HANDS OF COUNCILLORS
AND OTHER RATE PAYERS WHO MAY
HAVE INFLUENCE OVER COUNCILLORS,
THEY'RE NOT EXPOSED TO THE SAME
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE THAT AN OMB
MEMBER WOULD BE THROUGH A
HEARING.
AS MUCH AS WE TRY TO FUNNEL THAT
PUBLIC DISCUSSION INTO A COUNCIL
MEETING, A COUNCIL MEETING WITH
AN AGENDA HAS A LOT OF OTHER
THINGS TO COVER.
THEY CAN'T SIT THERE AND HEAR MY
ENGINEER TELL YOU ABOUT SEWAGE
CAPACITY OR WHAT CHANGES YOU
NEED TO MAKE TO TRAFFIC SIGNALS.
MOST OF US HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO
GET THAT CASE ACROSS TO A
COUNCILLOR.
AND SO WHAT THE COUNCILLOR IS
GOING TO HAVE TO RELY ON MORE
AND MORE IS STAFF OPINIONS.
SO STAFF ARE GOING TO NEED THE
LEEWAY AND THE RESOURCES TO GO
OUT AND ENGAGE THE APPLICANT'S
EXPERTS AND COME UP WITH
SOLUTIONS EITHER ON A SITE BY
SITE BASIS OR GREATER BASIS.

Steve says I HAVE 30 SECONDS
LEFT.

Martin says LONG
OVERDUE AND EARLY DAYS.
WE CAN'T SAY FOR SURE.
BUT AT LEAST WE'RE NOT GOING TO
HAVE THESE PHONEY WARS AT CITY
COUNCIL WHICH WERE JUST FOR
SHOW, AND RATHER THAN HOLDING
BACK THE GOOD STUFF AND THE
COMPROMISES FOR THE OMB, BRING
IT ON AND BRING IT TO CITY
COUNCIL AND FIND A WAY.

Steve says WE ACTUALLY SAVED
TEN SECONDS FOR YOU.
FIRE AWAY.

Marcy says I THINK
WE'RE FORGETTING THE ROLE OF THE
PROVINCE HERE.
THERE IS A ROLE FOR THE PROVINCE
TO PLAY TO MAKE SURE THAT
OFFICIAL PLANS AND PLANNING
DOCUMENTS ACTUALLY DO ALIGN WITH
THE PROVINCIAL POLICIES AND THE
PROVINCIAL PLAN.
AND THAT IS A ROLE THAT THEY
HAVE NOT PLAYED A VERY PROACTIVE
PART IN --

Steve says THE PROVINCE.

Marcy says THE PROVINCE, YES.

Steve says YOU WANT THEM TO
NOW?

Marcy says ABSOLUTELY.
THEY ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO PLAY.
BECAUSE IT WILL GET BOGGED DOWN
IN THIS PUNTING WAR THAT GOES
BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THE LPAT
AND THE COUNCIL.

Steve says I WANT TO THANK THE
THREE OF YOU FOR COMING IN AND
HAVING THIS DISCUSSION ABOUT AN
INCREDIBLY NERDY SUBJECT, OMB
VERSUS LPAT, PATRICK HARRINGTON,
MARCY BURCHFIELD, MARTIN REGG
COHN.
THANKS, EVERYBODY, VERY MUCH.

The caption changes to “Goodbye OMB, Hello LPAT. Pruducer: Gregg Thurlbeck. @GreggThurlbeck.”

Watch: Goodbye OMB, Hello LPAT