Greenspace Alliance analysizes City of Ottawa response to Province's OMB Review
On Tuesday, the City of Ottawa Planning Committee reviewed a report from staff setting out the City's position on various proposals floated in the Province's consultation document. The report is provided as a PDF below.
Readers are advised to skip pages 4 to 8 of the "Discussion" and instead read Document 1 (pp. 8-19) because the Discussion skips over important parts of the issues the Province has put on the table and the City's take on them.
There is quite a bit of common ground between the City's position and suggestions the Greenspace Alliance has put forward. I presented the Power Power presentation below at Monday's Federation of Citizens Associations of Ottawa meeting.
Common ground between us include:
+ Have Ministry staff appear at OMB hearings
+ No appeal of interim control by-laws
+ Require new information be sent back to City Council first
+ Ensure "dealt with" means only what Council decided is subject to appeal
+ Intervenor funding (provided the City does not have to pay the bill)
+ Mandatory mediation
+ Active adjudication
On the other hand, the report doesn't think much of doing away with de novo hearings, contending that OMB hearings do not start "all over again" anyway. To my mind, this is a reform that would radically change the role of the OMB for the better.
And, the report does not deal with the issue of appeals from Committee of Adjustment decisions that take up more than half of the OMB's case load.
A recurring theme, especially in support of limiting certain kinds of appeals, is that the City is doing an excellent job in engaging the public, therefore, there should be no reason to appeal -- dubious logic, to say the least.