- The importance of Good Planning in the Race to be Better
We recognize that this year the City continues to face fiscal challenges on a scale that is unprecedented. We believe that the City should be bold, not shy away from making investments and raising revenue. It is apparent that the way the City, the province, the country, and the world, work have been changed indelibly and permanently as a consequence of the pandemic. If people can work from anywhere, they will still work from somewhere. Will that somewhere be Toronto? Or Whitby, or Scottsdale, or Barbados?? The call has been “to build back better”. This is right. The legacy of the pandemic will be the “race to be better”. What has Toronto going for it? Its brand? “Diversity Our Strength”, “You Belong Here”? Toronto not only has to remain a good place to live for all its (diverse) people, but become a better place.
FoNTRA understands the importance of a vital and active planning function to the longterm health of the whole city including thriving and complete communities. City Planning Division activities basically consist of two streams: undertaking planning studies, and creating plans; and managing development applications. Conducting pro-active planning activities such as Avenue Studies, Secondary Plans, Zoning By-law Updates, Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Studies, Cultural Heritage Resource Assessments (CHRA) and neighbourhood-specific Design Guidelines are vitally important. The underlying principle is that the Study Program is critical in order to strengthen the position of the City in dealing with development applications. Unfortunately the waiting lists for studies and plans are long, and getting longer.
FoNTRA understands the importance of a vital and active planning function to the long- term health of the whole city including thriving and complete communities. Planning activities such as Avenue Studies, Secondary Plans, Zoning By-law Updates, Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Studies and neighbourhood-specific Design Guidelines are urgently required, yet the waiting lists for such studies and plans are long.
The City Planning Division is swamped by site-specific applications, including Zoning By-law Amendments (ZBAs), and minor variance and consent applications to the Committee of Adjustment. In addition City Planning is forced to deal with the backlog of appeals resulting from the influx of appeals made before the cutoff for the OMB and the establishment of the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal. (LPAT).