Committee of Adjustment Status Update

10th floor, West Tower, City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

Attention: Nancy Martins

RE: PH29.14 – Committee of Adjustment – Status Update

Dear Deputy Mayor Ana Bailao, Chair and Members, Planning and Housing Committee

This is to express our interest in the information provided in the above noted report, and to remind staff of the reasons why the review was initiated.

This report provides an update to Planning and Housing Committee, and City Council direction, further to a City Planning report titled Update on Committee of Adjustment Virtual Public Hearings, dated April 6, 2021. An independent consultant is being retained to review the End-to-End Review of the Development Review Process Final Report, dated August 15, 2019, as it applies to the Committee of Adjustment, as well as additional matters associated with virtual Committee of Adjustment public hearings.

Staff have had discussion with the consultant retained for the End-to-End Review and have scoped-out a proposed work program that responds to the required areas of review, with the expectation that, when retained, the consultant can complete the work by the end of Q1 of 2022 and staff will be in a position to report soon after.

The report describes interim improvements that have been made in the areas of: Public Notice Signage, Documents/Application Checklist Form / Webpage Updates, Virtual Public Meetings – Technology related Improvements, Access to Open Data, and Integrated Business Management System (IBMS).

We would remind City Planning that the report back was requested due to concerns expressed by many residents over multiple issues, such as the rubber-stamping of applications, procedural unfairness to residents in the hearings process, the lack of appreciation of Committee of Adjustment Panel members for the Four Tests, etc. These concerns were a key driver behind the Council direction for a review of the Committee of Adjustment.

Despite this, the report does not speak to the community engagement that will be undertaken and we would request that City Planning communicate this key expectation to the consultant.

Yours truly,

Geoff Kettel
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

Cathie Macdonald
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

Attachment: FoNTRA letter re PH22.7 Update on Committee of Adjustment Virtual Public Hearings 

Cc:  Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division
Kyle Knoeck, Acting Director, Zoning and Committee of Adjustment, City Planning Division
Diane Silver, Acting Project Coordinator, Zoning and Committee of Adjustment,
City Planning Division