I was informed recently that Laurier Homes has appealed their development application to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). It is their legal right to do so and they have used, as their reason for appeal, that the Town failed to make a decision within 180 days of the application being submitted.
This application has caused a significant concern for the neighbourhood. The planning staff has been working to ensure that the application was being properly and thoroughly reviewed. A review of this level of complexity, including opportunity for public input, often takes more than 180 days, and unfortunately, in my estimation, this reason for appeal is used far too frequently by applicants.
I am quite disappointed in learning of this news. The applicant’s appeal means that the Town will no longer represent the approval authority on this file. The planning staff and myself have been working hard with the developer for some time now, in order to make changes to this application that will produce a better fit for the community but instead of continuing this work the applicant has triggered an OMB appeal.
In any case, at an upcoming Committee of the Whole Meeting, there will be a staff report brought to council that will likely recommend that Council approve the commitment of staff resources needed to defend this appeal. I would assume that Council will vote in favour of this recommendation. Since the appeal is with the OMB, it is important for residents who have an interest in this matter, to contact the OMB should they wish to be involved in the process. Residents can be a party or participant in the proceedings if they wish to remain engaged.
I will try to keep the community abreast of any news on this matter through my monthly e newsletter and I would invite anyone to contact me if they have questions or comments on this (or any other) issue.