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Bill 139 – the proposed Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017

Based on feedback received through the review, Ontario is proposing to overhaul the province’s land use planning appeals system. Bill 139 – the proposed Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 proposes transformative changes, which include:

  • Replacing the OMB with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal - a new tribunal which would be mandated to give greater weight to the decisions of local communities, while ensuring that development and growth occurs in a way that is good for Ontario and its future
  • Making planning appeals more accessible to the public by creating the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre, a new agency that would provide free legal and planning advice, as well as representation to citizens who may want to participate in local planning appeals
  • Leveling the playing field for communities, including free legal and planning support
  • Providing a faster, fairer and more affordable planning appeals.

Since 2004, the government has made a series of land use planning reforms that:

  • Set out clearer rules for land use planning
  • Strengthen policy directions that outline the provincial interest in land use planning
  • Give municipalities a stronger voice and more independence in local land use decisions
  • Provide residents more opportunities for involvement and a greater say in land use decisions in their communities

The changes proposed through the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 (Bill 139) would build on these past improvements to ensure the land use planning appeals system works effectively and efficiently.

More information can be found at the following link:

http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page14965.aspx