Creation of the City of Toronto Local Appeal Body
After extensive public and private consultation, on March 29th, 2017, Toronto City Council established the Toronto Local Appeal Body (“TLAB”) pursuant to Chapter 142 of the Toronto Municipal Code, the City of Toronto Act, and additional provincial legislation. As of May 3rd, 2017, all appeals of Committee of Adjustment Decisions under Section 45 and 53 of the Planning Act will be sent to the TLAB and not the Ontario Municipal Board (“OMB”), unless:
- An appeal was filed with the OMB prior to May 3, 2017, in which case all subsequent appeals will be made to the OMB; or,
- There is already a related appeal before the OMB for the same matter (including Official Plan Amendments, Zoning By-law Amendments, Site Plan Approval etc.)
The TLAB is comprised of seven Members on four-year terms that were recommended for appointment by a citizen-member nominating panel. Each hearing will be presided over by a minimum of one of the TLAB Members. You can review the biographies of the Chair and Members here.
The TLAB has released its own Rules and Practice and Procedure and administrative forms, separate and distinct from the OMB, which outline new procedural requirements and deadlines. Once the TLAB issues a Notice of Hearing, several key dates are triggered. Most notably, applicants only have 15 days from the date the TLAB issues a notice of hearing to submit any revisions to the original application. Parties must also disclose all documents to be relied upon at the Hearing within 30 days of the issuance of the Notice of Hearing. The TLAB also requires Witness Statements to be exchanged, which is a marked change from the present process before the OMB for minor variance and consent appeal hearings.
The TLAB is similar to the OMB in that it too is an independent quasi-judicial appeal body and all proceedings are conducted in accordance with the Statutory Power Procedures Act. Decisions of the TLAB are final after the issuance of a formal order, but as is the case with the OMB there is a process and certain criteria under which requests for reviews of TLAB decisions are considered. Reviews will be granted when it is determined that the TLAB either:
- Acted outside its jurisdiction;
- Violated natural justice for example, by not giving notice of the hearing;
- Made a material error of fact or law which would likely have resulted in a different order or decision;
- Heard false or misleading evidence that could have changed the decision; or,
- Should consider new evidence which was not available at the time of the hearing which evidence could change the decision.
A decision of the TLAB may also be subject to an Application for Judicial Review to the Divisional Court for any of the same the reasons set out above. A decision of the TLAB may also be subject to an Application to the Divisional Court, with leave, if it is determined that an error on a question of law was made during the proceedings.
For additional information about the TLAB and the process for hearings under the TLAB Rules of Practice and Procedure do not hesitate to contact any one of the land use lawyers at Davies Howe Partners LLP.