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Province to replace Ontario Municipal Board with less powerful tribunal

Last Updated May 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm EST

File photo.

TORONTO – The province has announced major changes to how disputes between developers, residents and governments over planning and development issues are adjudicated in Ontario.

Government officials say the Ontario Municipal Board will be replaced by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, which will have less power.

Under new reforms, the tribunal will only make decisions on whether or not a municipality has followed its planning process and land use plans. If it hasn’t, the issue will be sent back to the municipality for reconsideration.

That will mean fewer municipal decisions can be overturned than under the current process, in which each dispute is treated as if it were new, disregarding the decision the local government has made.

The reforms also include giving information and support to residents who want to appeal a municipal decision.

Other changes include prohibiting appeals of municipalities’ development plans around major transit hubs.