Here are some frequently asked questions on the new by-law:
Will the City Notify Property Owners of Changes to Existing
No. The City of Toronto has stated that owners of real estate in
the City are solely responsible for reviewing the new by-law to see
whether it changes the existing zoning permissions for any
What Will Happen if Property Owners Do Not Review the New
By-law before it is Adopted?
Your zoning rights may be changed and you will lose your right
to appeal the new by-law to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). If
the new by-law changes existing zoning permissions for your
properties and you do not file written submissions, or make an oral
deputation in objection to these changes before the new by-law is
adopted by City Council, you will not have the right to appeal the
new by-law to the OMB.
The new by-law is approximately 4,500 pages in length and
includes text and numerous types of maps. Below are just some of
the changes we have found:
Land Use – Institutional uses such as
schools and hospitals and retail uses such as big box stores, will
no longer have as-of-right zoning in certain zones and future
projects for these uses will be subject to the rezoning application
Tall Buildings – Former design
guideline criteria related to minimum and maximum base building
height, floor plate size limitation, and tower-to-tower separation
distances on the same lot will be included in the new bylaw, which
means a rezoning application must be filed to deviate from the
Gross Floor Area – The definition of
"gross floor area" in the new by-law includes all areas
above and below grade, excluding parking and loading areas. Even if
a density permission for a particular property does not change
under the new by-law, it will change in actual terms, as permitted
density will be calculated using a greater area, effectively
down-zoning the property.
Parking – Policy areas have been
introduced whereby the number of parking space standards vary
across the City depending on the proximity of a property to public
transportation. This change would result in new maximums for the
amount of parking that can be provided.
Natural Hazard Boundaries –The
location of buildings near ravines is restricted to within 10
metres of the top of the ravine bank and the reconstruction of
buildings already located within the Natural Hazard area will be
Existing Site-specific By-laws –We
have reviewed many properties for our clients and have discovered
that existing amendments to the existing zoning by-law have not
been included in the new by-law, which means those owners will lose
existing zoning rights for their properties under the new
Open House - May 27, 2010
The City will hold an Open House for the new by-law, at which
time members of the public will have the opportunity to review the
new by-law and ask questions of City Planning staff.
Statutory Public Meeting - June 16, 2010
During the regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning and
Growth Management Committee (the "Committee"), members of
the public will have the opportunity to make representations on the
new by-law to the Committee. The window for Council to adopt the
new by-law before the municipal election this fall will close on
August 26th. At this point, City Council is on schedule to adopt
the new by-law at its July 6th and 7th meetings.
Adoption of New By-law
Although requests have been made to the City to postpone the
statutory public meeting in order to provide additional time to
review the new by-law and to provide meaningful comments to City
Planning Staff, the City has indicated that it will not revise its
adoption timetable. In short, now is the time that you must
act to protect your zoning rights in the City of Toronto.
Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP has been contacted by many clients
regarding the new by-law and would be pleased to provide you with
advice during the final stages of the public consultation process,
as well as make the requisite oral and written submissions on your
behalf in order to protect your rights.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Russell v. Township of Georgian Bay provides a useful reminder of the fact that while municipal officials sometimes appear to hold all of the cards in disputes with home owners, that is not always the case.
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