November 7, 2011
On the agenda for the next City of Toronto Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting on Nov. 8 is a motion to abolish the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Under the current system, developers have little incentive to negotiate in good faith with the city, a process they see simply as a formality en route to a developer-friendly OMB appeal hearing. As a result, city councillors, city staff with expertise in planning and development, and citizens have little say over planning decisions that affect the future and development of Toronto neighbourhoods.
The Toronto Public Space Initiative (TPSI) supports recent calls by Toronto Councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27) and Josh Matlow (Ward 22) to abolish the OMB and set up an internal appeals body. No other region in North America is bound by an anti-democratic provincial body like the OMB. The TPSI believes the city has the ability and expertise to make its own planning and development decisions, in partnership with Torontonians, and to set up a more limited appeals body to deal with a more limited jurisdiction.
TPSI will attend the November 8th meeting, making a deputation in support of the motion. We encourage concerned citizens and community organizations to support local democracy and good planning by joining us or otherwise making their voices heard by emailing, sending a letter, or calling members of the Committee.
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