A news release issued by the City of Toronto on May 1, 2017 responds to years of criticism of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) by Toronto residents, neighbourhood associations like HVRA, and councillors. It announces that the City of Toronto has established an independent local appeal body to provide quick and efficient hearings on appeals of land use decisions made by the Committee of Adjustment.
On May 3, the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) will replace the OMB for minor variance and consent applications. It is authorized by Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 142.
The hope is that members will understand Toronto’s unique character and communities. Topics may range from minor variances such as setback of garden sheds to consent applications for dividing a property into separate lots or adding adjacent land to an existing lot.
TLAB also aims to expedite the appeals process, which is now often lengthy and expensive. As well as holding appeal hearings, the board will offer a mediation process where concerns can be discussed beforehand without the need to hire professional consultants. Most meetings and hearings will take place in the Toronto Public Library at 40 Orchardview Boulevard off Yonge Street just north of Eglinton. Hearings may be held in person, by telephone or video conferencing, or in written form.