The Ontario Municipal Board released a few decisions involving the City of Hamilton this week.
The most significant came in appeals of the City's new rural official plan and zoning bylaw, the others involved a 307-unit new subdivision in Binbrook, a denied severance in Ancaster, and a six-storey multiple dwelling on Barton Street in Flamborough.
Each one of the cases decisions can be read on CanLii.ca and are linked in the summaries below.
Coalition For Rural Ontario Environmental Protection v. Hamilton (City)
Hamilton Rural Zoning and Official Plan appeals
This is one of the larger appeals of the City's new rural official plan and zoning bylaw, which is now narrowed to a fourteen remaining appellants , with the City and other appellants having reached agreements.
The significance of this week's ruling, which is procedural in nature, is the Ontario Municipal Board ruled - with the exceptions of sections under appeal, the new rural official plan and zoning bylaw is in effect.
From the ruling (para 26):
"Those parts of Rural Hamilton Official Plan Amendment No. 9 that are not under appeal, as set out in Exhibit “C” to the affidavit of Ms. Hickey-Evans, dated March 30, 2016 (the “annotated RHOPA”, at Exhibit 1 of these proceedings), came into effect on the day after the last day for filing a notice of appeal, being August 10, 2015, in accordance with the provisions of s. 17(27) of the Act."
The remaining appeals will require significant litigation and hearings.
The City put out a press statement after the ruling to note the significance of the OMB decision to enact the OP and ZB.
The City created a website for materials related to the proceeding, which will include all the litigation documentation and is extremely useful for tracking the ongoing appeals (bookmark it):
The next OMB date is a pre-conference hearing on Tuesday, July 26, 10am, at the Dundas Town Hall.
Empire Communities (Caterini) Ltd. v. Hamilton (City)
Section 34(11) of the Planning Act requires municipal councils to make final decisions on planning applications within 120 days of a submission. In effect, due to statutory requirements of notice for Planning Committee hearings, municipal staff only get two months to review and make recommendations to the municipal council.
Empire Communities applied to the City for a 307 unit residential sub-division in Binbrook. The development will be on 20.8 hectares of land.
After the 120 days expired, and Council had not made a decision, Empire filed to the OMB for failure of the City of Hamilton to make a decision.
The 120 day requirement is an ongoing point of contention in the Planning Act with municipalities seeking amendments to the limit for more complex applications or in situations where a developer is negotiating with a City.
In this case, the City and developer reached an agreement, the hearing was cancelled, and the subdivision is approved.
From the ruling (note: Paul DeMelo is counsel for the developer and Joanna Wice is counsel for the City of Hamilton):
"At the outset of the hearing, Mr. DeMelo reported that Empire had resolved all its issues with the City’s staff. Ms. Wice reported that she did not have instructions from Council with respect to the resolution of issues worked out through staff, and asked for an adjournment to seek instructions. She added, however, that she was not elevating the request to a formal motion."
Scalia(Re) OMB PL141240
The character of older parts of Ancaster is homes on large lots, setback a distance from the street, and with large setbacks from neighbouring properties.
With larger lot sizes, and the appeal of living in an established low density community such as Ancaster, there are increasing numbers of severance applications to split single home lots into two properties to build new separate homes.
The Ancaster zoning bylaw and official plan does envision this type of neighbourhood. Applicants for severances at the Committee of Adjustment have been turned down, and a few of the applicants have filed appeals of denial to the Ontario Municipal Board.
Last week, the OMB upheld the denial of a severance at 114 Reding Road where the applicants proposed to "divide the subject property into two lots and construct two residential dwellings".
Reding Road is southwest of the corner of Sulphur Springs Road and Wilson Street.