Proposed Amendment to the Planning Act will Lead to More Delays
New Democratic Party MPP (Beaches–East York), Michael Prue introduced a bill to the Legislature to amend the Planning Act. If approved, Bill 144, Planning Amendment Act will more than double the time period for an approval authority to give notice of a decision regarding an official plan under section 17(40), zoning by-law under section 34(11) and variances under section 45(4).
Currently, if the approval authority fails to give notice of a decision in respect of all or part of an official plan within 180 days after receipt of the plan, or 120 days after receipt of the application for a zoning by-law amendment, an appeal can be made to the Ontario Municipal Board. Bill 144 proposes to extend this timeline to 365 days.
Also subsection 45(4) of the Planning Act currently requires a committee of adjustment to hold a hearing within 30 days after receipt of a variance application. The Bill extends the timeline to 90 days.
First Reading of Bill 144 was carried on December 3, 2013. The bill will need to go through second and third reading before receiving Royal Assent. There is no proposed timeline for the process as of yet.
With the current wait for scheduling hearings at the Ontario Municipal Board this amendment will compound delays in the planning process.
By: Katarzyna Sliwa