Ontario’s Planning Act is the provincial legislation that governs land use planning in Ontario and provides the legal foundation for the tools that planners and municipalities use to make land use planning decisions.
Sometimes people do not agree with the decisions of the Municipality. The Planning Act provides opportunities to appeal decisions made by the Municipality about certain land use planning matters to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).
The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) is an independent adjudicative tribunal responsible for resolving appeals and applications on a variety of contentious municipal and land use planning matters.
There are limits on appeals and only those who make a written submission or verbal representation at a public meeting are able to appeal.
To learn more about the Ontario Land Tribunal, go to Ontario Land Tribunal | Citizen’s guide to land use planning | ontario.ca
Below are current appeals of the Municipality’s decisions to the Ontario Land Tribunal.
Bylaw 2022-005 “Natural Vegetative Buffer” Status
Since 2004, the Municipality’s Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw No. 2004-035 required a 15 metre natural vegetative buffer be maintained along the shoreline.
The Municipality of Hastings Highlands is a part of the County of Hastings. The County of Hastings updated their Official Plan in 2017. Subsections 26(9) and 27(1) of the Planning Act required Council to amend Bylaw 2004-035 Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw to conform with the County of Hastings Official Plan. Bylaw 2022-005 was presented to Council to amend the Municipality’s Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw to conform with the natural vegetative policies in the County of Hastings Official Plan.
Bylaw 2022-005 “Natural Vegetative Buffer” was passed by Council on May 4, 2022 to amend the Municipality’s Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw No. 2004-035 to require a 30 metre natural vegetative buffer to be maintained along shorelines.
An appeal of Bylaw 2022-005 was received by the Municipality and has been submitted to the Ontario Land Tribunal.
Section 34(30) of the Planning Act states “If one or more appeals have been filed under subsection (19), the by-law does not come into force until all of such appeals have been withdrawn or finally disposed of, whereupon the by-law, except for those parts of it repealed or amended under subsection (26) or as are repealed or amended by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under subsection (29.1), shall be deemed to have come into force on the day it was passed.”
The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) gave notice to the Municipality that the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) will conduct a Case Management Conference (CMC) on October 18, 2022 for this Case (Case No. OLT-22-003939). In Ontario’s Citizen’s Guide to Land Use Planning, “A case management conference may be held before the OLT schedules a hearing to bring parties and other interested persons together to define and narrow issues in dispute and discuss opportunities for mediation or settlement.”
What this means for you…
Bylaw 2022-005 was passed on May 4, 2022 meaning if the Ontario Land Tribunal dismisses the appeal, Bylaw 2022-005 is retroactive to May 4, 2022.
Landowners should assume Bylaw 2022-005 is in place and await the decision of the Ontario Land Tribunal to avoid contraventions or non-compliance with Bylaw 2022-005 in the event the Ontario Land Tribunal dismisses the appeal.