10th floor, West Tower,
City Hall 100 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Attention: Nancy Martins, Secretariat
Re: PH8.7 End-to-End Review of the Development Review Process
Dear Chair Ana Bailao and Members, Planning and Housing Committee,
The Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations (FoNTRA) is a non-profit volunteer organization comprised over 30 member organizations. Our members have an active interest in good planning of our City, one which ensures that the Development Review Process is open, transparent and fair, and accessible to residents to become engaged and participate at all stages.
The staff report describes the results of a consultant lead process to re-engineer the Development Review Process. The report references the need to hire staff to implement the Review’s recommendations over a number of years. In the end, the staff report merely recommends that the report be received.
For the record, FoNTRA has, over several years, been engaged in discussing concerns about the current processes with City Planning staff and earlier this year submitted a proposal for an End to End Review focused on Committee of Adjustment and LPAT, which are part of the Development Review Process that is much in need of review (see Attachment).
The consultant’s Review does not appear to have involved any consultation with the public.
Excerpt from the staff report:
“Extensive stakeholder consultations were conducted to identify how the City can improve the clarity, certainty and transparency of the development review process to City staff, applicants and the public. In addition to stakeholder consultation, the review included documentation reviews, analysis of internal performance measures and data, multiple workshops with the inter-divisional project team, high-level process mapping and research of leading practices from comparable jurisdictions”.
Excerpt from the consultant’s report:
“Extensive stakeholder consultations were conducted to identify how the City can improve the development review process. More than 150 stakeholders were engaged, including: City staff across various divisions, geographies and levels; elected City officials; City agencies, boards and corporations; non-City agencies and boards; external commenting partners; and industry stakeholders, including developers, renovators, lawyers, urban planners, engineers, and other industry consultants”.
Extensive consultation … Really?… A process
- that did not involve the public and/or the residents who are impacted by the development being reviewed?
- that did not involve the public and/or residents who pay for the processes that are being reviewed?
Other Council Direction
We note the following direction regarding report back on the Committee of Adjustment as part of the End to End Review:
PH 4.5 Committee of Adjustment Panel Size and Structure
- City Council direct the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to report back to the Planning and Housing Committee by the third quarter of 2019 on the ongoing review of the Committee of Adjustment and related processes as directed by Executive Committee on Item 2018.EX35.7 at its June 19, 2018 meeting, including any related recommendations identified in the comprehensive divisional assessment of the development review process, at the discretion of the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning.
- City Council direct the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to report back on the feasibility of Committee of Adjustment hearings to commence at 1:00 p.m. with proceedings to continue into evening hours, to improve accessibility for residents.
The staff report does not appear to include the directed report backs?
- that the Planning and Housing Committee refer the End to End Review report back to staff with direction that staff ensure a comprehensive analysis including past City Council direction, and that public consultation be undertaken before coming back to the Committee.
CC: Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division
Melanie Melnyk, Project Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Policy & Analysis
Philip Parker, Project Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Policy & Analysis
Attachment: FoNTRA: “Minor Residential Planning and Development Decision – Making in Toronto: An “End to End” Overview of Policy and Process Issues,” April 2019
cc: Tracey Cook, Deputy City Manager, Infrastructure and Development Services
Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division
Michael Mizzi, Director, Zoning and Committee of Adjustment
Kerri Voumvakis, Director, Strategic Initiatives
Lorna Day, Director, Urban Design