Recent changes to the PlanningAct allow
municipal councils and other approval authorities to use mediation
or other dispute resolution techniques to resolve disputes over
official plans, zoning by-laws, plans of subdivision and
2. What is Land Use Mediation?
A confidential, informal voluntary process in which the parties
try to reach a solution that meets their needs, usually with the
help of an experienced neutral mediator.
3. What are Advantages of Mediation?
Generally faster and less expensive
than an OMB (Ontario Municipal Board) or court hearing
Greater certainty of result
All parties achieve some of their
than "winner take all"
4. Mediation by OMB Members
The OMB encourages mediation, particularly for more complex
planning disputes within its jurisdiction. There is no charge for a
mediator provided by the Board, but it may take a long time to
schedule the process, and the parties must accept the Board member
assigned to their case.
5. Mediation by a Private Mediator
Applicants, municipalities or objectors can request mediation as
soon as a planning decision is appealed, before it is before the
OMB. They can also request mediation concerning cost allocation or
other matters outside the Board's authority.
6. Choosing a Mediator
A mediator must be impartial, without financial or other
interests in the outcome. A mediator should be trained in
facilitating consensus and have broad knowledge of the land use
shouldexpect from a Mediator
Mediation Agreement to confirm the
responsibilities of the Mediator & Parties
Clear mediation process
Confidentiality with respect to
Mechanism to enforce resolution if
reached by the
Ron has more than 30 years of experience in land use
planning law, from both public and private perspectives. He has
specialized training in Alternate Dispute Resolution, and has
arbitrated disputes for the Builders' Arbitration Forum and
private builders and owners. Ron was recently selected by Peel
Region to facilitate meetings on municipal governance issues, in
conjunction with Mass LBP.
Mackrell International - Canada - MacDonald Sager
Manis LLP is a full service business law firm in Toronto, Ontario
and a member of Mackrell International. Mackrell International -
Canada is comprised of four independent law firms in Alberta,
British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Each firm is regionally based
and well-connected in our communities, an advantage shared with our
clients. With close relations amongst our Canadian member firms, we
are committed to working with clients who have legal needs in
multiple jurisdictions within Canada.
This article is intended to be an overview and is for
informational purposes only.
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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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