On July 1, 2016, Bill 73 (Smart Growth for Our Communities Act, 2015), which amends the Planning Act as well as new regulations applicable to the Planning Act, will come into force. Changes to the Planning Act include the ability of municipalities to engage alternative dispute resolution, through the use of voluntary mediation once an appeal is filed. This option will be available in regard to decisions to adopt official plans, refusal to adopt official plan amendments, and decisions to approve or refuse applications to amend zoning by-laws.
All appellants are given notice of council’s decision to engage mediation but only those appellants council considers appropriate are invited to participate. While the Minister, the approval authority and applicants for official plan and zoning by-law amendments must be
invited to participate, participation is voluntary.
When council engages alternative dispute resolution, the deadline for the municipality to forward the appeal record and fee to the Ontario Municipal Board is extended by 60 days. However, the 60 day extension does not result in a corresponding extension of the appeal period.
Related Bill 73 Posts:
Bill 73 - 90-day “Time-Out” of 180-day Decision Timeline of Approval Authority
Bill 73 amendments to the Planning Act come into force on July 1, 2016
Notice of Proposed Changes to the Planning Act Regulations
Ontario Passes Legislation to Promote Smart Community Growth (Bill 73)
Draft Bill 73 Smart Growth For Our Communities Act, 2015: Planning Advisory Committees
Bill 73 Smart Growth For Our Communities Act, 2015 - An Overview of Key Proposed Changes to the Planning Act