Bill 139 – the proposed Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 was introduced on May 30, 2017. The Bill proposes to make changes to the Planning Act and introduce new legislation to replace the Ontario Municipal Board Act with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act to give communities a stronger voice in land use planning.
If Bill 139 is passed by the Legislature and receives Royal Assent, the proposed transition regulation would set out rules for planning matters in process at the time of proclamation of the Bill 139 changes to the Planning Act and would provide certainty regarding the processing and decision-making on planning matters. Changes to the Planning Act through Bill 139 not addressed in the proposed transition regulation would apply immediately upon the coming into force of those changes.
It is proposed that the application of the Bill 139 changes identified below be transitioned as follows:
-Removing appeals of provincial approvals of official plans and official plan updates, including for conformity exercises to provincial plans – these provisions would apply to provincial decisions in respect of which notice is given after the Bill comes into force;
-Restricting the grounds of appeal of a decision on an official plan/amendment or zoning by-law/amendment to consistency and/or conformity with provincial and/or local plans would apply to:
- appeals of decisions on those matters in respect of which notice is given after the Bill comes into force (i.e., appeals made during appeal periods that begin after the Bill comes into force); and
- appeals of decisions made before proclamation in respect of:
-complete applications made after Royal Assent
-municipally-initiated official plan amendments that are adopted after Royal Assent; and
-municipally-initiated zoning by-law amendments that are passed after Royal Assent;
-Restricting the grounds of a non-decision appeal on an application for an official plan amendment or zoning by-law amendment to consistency and/or, conformity with provincial and/or local plans would apply to:
- appeals of non-decisions made after the Bill comes into force; and
- appeals of non-decisions made before proclamation in respect of complete applications made after Royal Assent;
-The removal of mandatory referrals of Minister’s zoning orders would apply to requests to refer made after the Bill comes into force;
-The removal of appeals (other than by the province) of interim control by-laws when first passed (for a period of up to 1 year) would apply to decisions made after the Bill comes into force;
-The restriction on the ability to amend secondary plans for 2 years following their approval, unless allowed by council, would apply to applications for amendments to secondary plans that come into effect after the Bill comes into force;
-The extension for decision timelines on applications for official plan amendments and zoning by-law amendments would apply to complete applications submitted after Royal Assent and the extension for decision timelines for approval authorities on adopted official plans/amendments would apply to official plans/amendments adopted after Royal Assent.