Jeff Davies was recently quoted in Law Times, where he expressed his views on Toronto’s proposed Development Permit System (“DPS”). Jeff pointed out that, while well-intentioned, a DPS may have more problems and fewer benefits than its proponents expect and will “merely be the same creature dressed in different clothes.” Read the full article here.Read More
The Cobourg Internet, a community website, reported on a recent local OMB hearing.
The author describes Davies Howe Partners’ associate Katarzyna Sliwa as ‘super sharp. If she cross examines you, you lose.’ We agree! Click the link for the full report on her OMB victory.
Davies Howe Partners is proud to announce that 3 of our partners have been identified as Leading Practitioners in Property Development in the 2014 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. Our leading practitioners for 2014 are:Read More
The December 2013 ice storm caused significant damage to Toronto’s trees. The City estimates that up to 20 percent of the City’s trees may have been damaged in the storm.
The damage is a setback for a City known for its green canopy. The City’s Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Department’s Forest Management Plan 2012-2022 identified the pre-ice storm canopy cover in the City in the range of 26.6% to 28%. The same Plan lists as its first strategic goal the expansion of the urban forest to achieve a canopy cover of 40%.
We expect the City will continue with the direction in the Forest Management Plan to protect and maintain the existing canopy and to stress, now more than ever, the need for ongoing tree plantings. The Toronto Parks & Trees Foundation is running a “Recover The Canopy” campaign to gives residents and others an opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation to help rebuild Toronto’s damaged tree canopy.
In a City proud of its trees, these trees are carefully regulated during the planning approval process. Chapter 813 of the City’s Municipal Code regulates the care, maintenance and removal of trees. This Chapter also regulates the injury or destruction of trees and the minimum tree protection zone where construction is contemplated near trees.
By: Isaiah BanachRead More
When it comes to the serving materials on a large number of respondents—whether it’s a few dozen, a few hundred, or more—the reported case law is extremely sparse. There is little guidance on appropriate methods of substituted service for groups of this size, let alone guidance on dispensing with service altogether.
In a recent unreported Superior Court of Justice decision, we were successful in obtaining an order dispensing with service on about 700 respondents so that a developer could proceed with its plan to build a subdivision.
The standard test to dispense with service under Rule 16.04(1) of the Rules of Civil Procedure has two prongs: it must be impractical to effect prompt service (meaning all reasonable steps have been taken to locate and serve the parties), and it must be in the interests of justice to dispense with service.
However, with a large group of respondents, what “reasonable steps” should an applicant be expected to take? Even if the applicant knows the location of each respondent and is able to serve them, it may not be reasonable in the circumstances to take any steps if the logistics and costs of service are prohibitive. However, reasonableness will also depend on the second prong of the test: the interests of justice.
The interests of justice take into account the interests of both the respondents and the applicant (although on an ex parte motion of this sort, greater weight will be given to the respondents’ interests). How will the proceeding affect the parties’ legal rights? Are serious allegations being made? How will success or failure impact the parties, financially or otherwise?
In the proceeding at hand, the applicant developer was seeking to delete an easement over its lands that was registered on title for hundreds of lots in an adjacent subdivision. This easement was preventing the development of the applicant’s subdivision. The easement, made years earlier, allowed the developer of the adjacent lands to run utility pipes under the applicant’s land. However, through an error, the easement had carried over to each of the lots in the adjacent subdivision.
Removing the easement would technically alter the respondents’ property rights, but without any negative legal or practical effects. Further, service on such a large (and in this case, indeterminate) number of respondents would have been possible but very costly. Therefore, the presiding judge granted our motion to dispense with service.
The decision shows that when an applicant seeks substituted service or no service for a large group of respondents, the court will tend to take a contextual and practical approach. Ultimately, it will weigh the impact on the respondents if the service requirements are relaxed or eliminated (e.g. potentially not receiving notice and judgement being given) with the impact on the applicant if service is required (e.g. creating a significant barrier to relief).
By: Kyle GossenRead More
Jeff Davies has once again been recognized as one of the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (Property Development) in the 2014 Lexpert/ALM 500. Published since 1997, The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada is the most comprehensive guide to legal talent in Canada. It identifies the most frequently recommended lawyers across Canada in 39 practice areas. It has become the resource of choice for American and Canadian in-house counsel and law firms in need of Canadian legal expertise. The Davies Howe Partners LLP Land Use group is at your service.Read More
Davies Howe Partners LLP has once again been recognized by Novae Res Urbis as the top firm in the 16th Annual rankings of the GTA’s most prominent Planning and Development law firms. Davies Howe has been #1 for 3 of the last four years and we intend to stay there. For the complete Novae Res Urbis rankings, please click here to Read More. For our ranking history, click here.Read More
Davies Howe Partners LLP has once again been recognized by Novae Res Urbis as a top contender in the 16th Annual rankings of Toronto’s most prominent Planning and Development law firms. Davies Howe been in the top 3 for six years in a row proving once again that size does, or does not (depending on how you look at it), matter. For the complete Novae Res Urbiz rankings, please click here to Read More . For our ranking history, click here .
The City of Toronto is in the midst of a review of its Official Plan and a municipal comprehensive review looking specifically at designated areas of employment in the City. On November 21, Planning and Growth Management Committee held a special public meeting to consider draft Official Plan policies and designations for employment areas, as well as recommendations from the Planning Division on approximately 125 employment land conversion requests.
The draft Official Plan policies seek to eliminate the existing distinction between “Employment Areas” and “Employment Districts” and instead propose two designations of “General Employment Area” and “Core Employment Area”. The “General Employment Area” designation will include broader permissions for uses such as retail and restaurants.
New policies proposed with respect to employment land conversions are noteworthy in their potential effect on landowners who may be seeking to add or change uses on their employment lands in the future. These new policies declare that the addition of any use that is not permitted in an “Employment Area” is a conversion and removal of employment land. The policies go even further to declare that the introduction of “General Employment Area” use into a “Core Employment Area” is also a conversion.
These policies are likely to be controversial in light of the provisions of the Planning Act which restrict appeals of private official plan amendments that would remove lands from an employment area.
Planning and Growth Management Committee recommended that Council amend the Official Plan in accordance with the draft policies, subject to a number of modifications and amendments. The date for consideration by Council has not yet been set.
By: Meaghan McDermidRead More