5/18/2017 7:35:28 AM

As you may have heard in the news this week, Ontario is taking action to overhaul the province's land use planning appeals system to give communities a stronger voice and ensure people have access to faster, fairer and more affordable hearings. In the coming weeks, legislation will be introduced to create the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, which would, if passed, replace the Ontario Municipal Board. The new tribunal would be mandated to give greater weight to the decisions of local communities, while ensuring that development and growth occurs in a way that is good for Ontario and its future. Strathroy-Caradoc Mayor Joanne Vanderheyden says this could be beneficial.

Developers aren't pleased with the government's plan to scrap the Ontario Municipal Board and set up a new disputes tribunal that will give municipalities more power. Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro says if the reforms pass, there would be fewer and shorter hearings and a more efficient decision-making process. Joe Vaccaro of the Ontario Home Builders' Association says he fears the new tribunal will rubber stamp local governments' decisions, and he says that'll only serve to empower not-in-my-backyard councils to make planning decisions to get re-elected.    

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