RE: PH11.14 Committee of Adjustment Applications Analyses and Service Improvements
10th floor, West Tower, City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Attention: Nancy Martins
RE: PH11.14 Committee of Adjustment Applications Analyses and Service Improvements
Dear Deputy Mayor Ana Bailao, Chair and Members, Planning and Housing Committee,
FoNTRA is pleased to see the staff report outlining various application analyses and service improvements over the past two years.
While some process improvements, including efforts to standardize procedures across all four districts, have been accomplished, the overall question remains – are Neighbourhood Planning (City Planning), the Zoning By-law (City Planning), the Committee of Adjustment (City Planning), administration of the Zoning By-law (Building) and Building Permit issuing (Building) producing outcomes intended by the Official Plan?
The need is for a comprehensive “end to end” review of “minor land use planning” which involves both City Planning and Toronto Building Divisions – not just the Committee of Adjustment (City Planning). The Committee of Adjustment review focuses on processes not results. From the perspective of residents there remains deep concerns about the Committee of Adjustment which can only be addressed by a broader review of the results of the process – not one that focuses only on process efficiency. FoNTRA previously raised this issue in April 2019, the last time that the CofA was reviewed, but it remains unaddressed. Attached is an updated copy of FoNTRA’s report, “Minor” Residential Planning and Development Decision- Making in Toronto.
Consistent with this direction, we recommend:
- that the review recommended by the Special Committee on Governance (GV5.1) to be undertaken “in partnership with a post-secondary institution” be a comprehensive End to End Review focused on outcomes, as referenced in the FoNTRA report; “Minor” Residential Planning and Development Decision-Making in Toronto, and that residents be consulted in the review.
We also have many detailed comments and suggestions to increase the ability of residents to engage in the process. Attached are the detailed item by item FoNTRA comments. The following are examples (not a comprehensive list):
- Application Materials should include contextual information
Currently there is no requirement for the application to illustrate how it relates to its built form context. The lack of contextual information in the application is a severe disadvantage for the neighbours and other residents to understand how the application affects their property and the street. There should be a requirement to include (correct scale) elevation drawings of the application in relation to its neighbouring properties;
- The vetting of agenda items according to presence of objectors is extremely prejudicial to neighbours who are expected to engage in “mediation”;
- The notifications to neighbours within 60 meters should be increased to 100 metres.
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
Cc: Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division
Michael Mizzi, Director, Zoning and Committee of Adjustment
Joe Nanos, Director, Community Planning, North York District
Will Johnson, Executive Director, Toronto Building Division
- Committee of Adjustment Applications Analyses and Services Improvement with FoNTRA Annotations;
- “Minor” Residential Planning and Development Decision-Making in Toronto. (FoNTRA, updated Dec. 2019)
PH11.4 Committee of Adjustment Applications Analyses and Service Improvements: FoNTRA Item by Item Comments
Analysis of After-the-Fact CoA and TLAB Decisions
“Given the small number of after-the-fact applications and the appropriate resolution of those cases, staff do not believe an inter-divisional strategy to address after-the-fact applications would add value for the effort involved.”
FoNTRA – This item relates to illegal building, which is not common. Infractions are usually discovered by neighbours.
Our bigger issue is the Waiver process which results in missed variances discovered after CofA approval … at the building permit desk during zoning review. Each waivered application has one of more missed variances. We are not aware of any enforcement or remedies if the problem is identified. We ask that this issue be addressed.
CoA Application Type Analysis
FoNTRA – The analysis was done to understand where opportunities for streaming might exist. There are inconsistencies in how variances are shown on the variance list … sometimes shown individually and sometimes clustered together which distorts the results. Given that the analysis shows the extent of approved variances that are clearly on paper not minor, updating the zoning bylaw is urgently needed.
Application Streaming Options
Staff will continue to explore how best to divide applications into simple and complex streams. In formulating different options, staff involved in development review, residents groups, and applicants will be consulted.
FoNTRA – We suggest that a categorization into demolitions/new builds vs. renovations vs. additions might be worthwhile to examine. However we would like to be consulted on this matter.
Ongoing Review of the CoA Processes
1. Enhancing Neighbour Engagement Prior to Hearing
FoNTRA – Additional observations that hinder the participation of residents:
>>Facilities are not available at the hearing rooms for sit-down discussions
>>Plans are changed at the last minute without consultation
>>Owners wait to the day of the hearing to see who will show up
>>There are no rewards to encourage owners to behave differently
a. Formally Encouraging Neighbour Dialogue
The application form now includes an advisory note to applicants that they are strongly encouraged to consult with their neighbours in advance of their hearing.
FoNTRA – This is a good first step
b. Notice Sign Review and Redesign
The new design was developed in consultation CoA and City Planning Graphics and Visualization staff and the Toronto Planning Review Panel, which is a resident advisory group that provides input into the planning process.
FoNTRA – This is useful.
c. Enhanced Application Information Centre – AIC 2.0
FoNTRA – Certainly the enhanced AIC is a big improvement in terms of access to the application and other information such as staff report, correspondence, letters of support/opposition etc. for computer savvy users. However,
>>the AIC is difficult for first time users, especially those residents who lack computer skills.While the information may technically be available, the neighbours are unaware of this until they are informed by the City in the usual way (by mail). People are unlikely to be “trolling” the AIC looking for new applications to be posted!the information is taken down shortly after the hearing unless it is appealed to the TLAB.- why??
d. Improved CoA Communications to Residents
Staff are also working on improved how-to guides for the public which
will be available in print and on the CoA web-page.
FoNTRA – This is a very positive step that should have broad impact.
e. Partnership with Post-Secondary Institution
The Special Committee on Governance recently recommended that City Council direct City Planning to consider partnering with a post-secondary institute to undertake research on the organizational structure of the Committee of Adjustment to better engage and empower residents in the process. If adopted by Council, staff will move forward with this matter.
FoNTRA – While in principle we support this recommendation of the SCG to involve a post-secondary institution, the purpose must be clarified.
We strongly recommend:
that the review “in partnership with a post-secondary institution” be a comprehensive End to End Review focused on outcomes, as referenced in the FoNTRA report, “Minor” Residential Planning and Development Decision-Making in Toronto.
FoNTRA – (Additional Issue) Application Materials must include contextual information for applications for renovations and new builds that will impact the street character. Currently there is no requirement for the application to illustrate how the application relates to its context. There should be a requirement to include (at the correct scale) elevation drawings of the application in relation to its neighbouring properties. The lack of contextual information in the application is a severe disadvantage for the neighbours and other residents to understand how the application affects their property and the street.
2. Improvements to Committee of Adjustment Review Process
a. Adoption of City-wide Policies and Harmonization of Practices across Districts
FoNTRA – The report describes how agenda vetting “where uncontested items are heard at the beginning of a hearing and contested items are heard later” has been introduced across all districts.
We would dispute the term “uncontested” which suggests that only those present have a right to be part of the proceedings. Who speak for those who voiced comments by letter and not physical presence??
Those who attend the hearing are subject to a prolonged wait time while those “uncontested” items are heard
This practice demonstrates that the proponent of the variances is favoured in the CofA procedures.
FoNTRA – The vetting of agenda items according to presence of objectors is extremely prejudicial to neighbours who are expected to engage in “mediation”. The ”agenda vetting” process results in hardships with residents unable to predict when the hearing will happen, the need to appear for the 9:30am and/or 2pm roll call, etc. Residents often abandon the proceedings after waiting 3 or 4 hours.
FoNTRA – The notifications to neighbours within 60 meters should be increased to 100 metres.
Staff are also harmonizing public facing documents, such as hearing agendas and district webpages, across districts.
FoNTRA – SAHRA has recently made a complaint about the timeliness of agenda publication and decision publication.
FoNTRA – Significant differences between TEY and NY Panels remain. Not sure about the other districts.
The above improvements implement various improvement opportunities identified in the End-to-End Review with respect to adopting standard city-wide interpretations of policies, procedures, rules and guidelines and making those interpretations available online to improve consistency across districts, and adopting consistent agenda vetting.
FoNTRA – This is a good idea, as long as the interpretations do not favour the building industry.
Rules around hearsay evidence should be put into place … as with ‘I talked with the Community Planner’ and they are okay with this …’
b. Changes to Panel Size, Structure and Compensation
FoNTRA – We support these changes.
c. Staff Resources Added in the Committee of Adjustment and Community Planning
FoNTRA: We agree that the increases in staff resources and the increase in the number of comments they make are a significant and much needed improvement. However we continue to be disappointed that the staff reports do not address “fit” with neighbourhood character. And as a result when CofA decisions are appealed to TLAB the planner cannot be called to speak to this matter which is of such great importance to residents. Surely planners could be trained and sensitized to the need to comment on this matter given the Planning Act’s Test concerning the Official Plan.
d. Panel Member Training
One of the improvement opportunities identified in the End-to-End Review was improving training for panelists once appointed.
FoNTRA – Better Panel selection and training is essential.
FoNTRA – TEY broadcasts the CoA hearings and this has had a dramatic impact on the quality of the decision making. NY hearings should be broadcast, as well.
Feasibility of Committee of Adjustment Meetings Commencing at 1 p.m.
FoNTRA – We agree that there are no easy answers here.
Feasibility of Public Information Sessions on the CoA and TLAB Practices and Procedures
FoNTRA – This is a good step forward.
But what happened to this motion re establishment of a Toronto Planning Appeal Support Centre?
“Planning and Housing Committee passed a motion (PH5.7) on April 9, 2019 to: direct the Director, Court Services in collaboration with the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to report back to the Planning and Housing Committee in the third quarter of 2019 on the feasibility of creating a support centre to replace the functionality of the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre for residents of the City of Toronto for Committee of Adjustment and Toronto Local Appeal Body matters, as specified in the Toronto Local Appeal Body Chair’s 2018 Annual Report”.
FoNTRA – Additional Issue
The report restricts itself to City Planning Division involvement and does not examine Zoning Review (Toronto Buildings). Yet the Committee and its decision-making are affected by Zoning Review decisions. For example we are seeing variances that are grouped rather than listed separately. Grouping of variances results in a smaller number of variances – which would suggest less impact. In our view, the Zoning Examiner should list all variances separately to ensure clarity and transparency.
Federation of North Toronto Residents Associations Dec. 9, 2019
“Minor” Residential Planning and Development Decision-Making in Toronto: An “End to End” Overview of Policy and Process Issues
Federation of North Toronto Residents Associations V. 3 Dec 9, 2019
This report outlines issues related to the Toronto Zoning By-law 569-2013 and the Toronto Committee of Adjustment’s handling of severances and minor variances related to residential land use planning and development.
City Planning and Toronto Building are both involved, but, rather than operate sequentially, they interlock:
- Zoning By-law development and management is the responsibility of City Planning
- Management of the Committee of Adjustment is the responsibility of City Planning
- Intake, Review and Acceptance of Committee of Adjustment applications, and Zoning Examination Reviews (by-law administration) are the responsibility of Toronto Building.
This review is divided into the following sections:
- Neighbourhood Planning and Zoning By-law Policy (City Planning)
- CofA Application Intake and zoning review (TO Building)
- Committee of Adjustment Hearings Policy and Procedures (City Planning)
- Appeals of Committee of Adjustment decisions (TLAB)
- Construction regulation (TO Building)
While specific recommendations are made with respect to the individual sections, the overall recommendation is:
That the City should conduct a comprehensive ”End To End” examination of the “minor” residential planning and development processes.
1. Neighbourhood Planning and Zoning By-law Policy (City Planning)
1.1 Neighbourhood Planning Guidelines
The Committee of Adjustment (CofA) hears and decides whether or not to approve an application for minor variances based on the four “tests” under the Planning Act. The first test is:
- Must maintain the intent and purpose of the Official Plan
The Official Plan Neighbourhoods and Apartment Neighbourhoods policies are directed to ensuring that new development respects the existing physical character of that neighbourhood. The Policy states that
- Neighbourhoods are low rise and low density residential areas that are considered to be physically stable. Development in Neighbourhoods will be consistent with this objective and will respect and reinforce the existing physical character of buildings, streetscapes and open space patterns in these areas.
So-called “minor” land use decisions by the Committee of Adjustment (and TLAB) over time can have a significant impact on neighbourhood character. However the OP policy may not be adequate to protect character in established neighbourhoods in light of Committee of Adjustment decisions.
City Planning began a pilot program in 2016(?) to develop Neighbourhood Design Guidelines for two areas: Long Branch and Willowdale, with the intention of developing a template that could be used by neighbourhoods interested in character protection across the city. The Long Branch guidelines were developed, with public input, approved by City Council, and implemented, However, guidelines for Willowdale are not in place and the template remains to be developed.
That City Planning complete the Neighbourhood Design Guidelines template ASAP and work with interested neighbourhoods to implement the template
1.2 Community Identified By-law Issues
“Bonnet on a box” and “jumped up” house design
Some By-law changes have had unanticipated negative effects on street and neighbourhood physical character.
There is increasing incidence of the “bonnet on a box” (square) design, that increases the a building’s massing and fails to fit the prevailing character of the neighbourhood.
The “bonnet on a box” house design is also associated with a high deck at the rear of the house, as the raised first floor is carried through to the rear. The high deck creates privacy and invades neighbors’ privacy and creates shadows.
These issues are driven by designers in their efforts to “design to the limits of the law” and maximize density.
A by-law amendment requiring minimum 50% roof area having minimum two (2) degree slope was introduced in an effort to control flat roof (“Modern”) roof design. The other by- law change was to introduce paired wall height limits. The By-law change has encouraged the proliferation of mansard roofs which often fail to fit the character of the neighbourhood.
Rear deck size and setback are regulated in certain Rx zones (and in the Davisville Village zoning amendment).
- That City Planning consider the implications of by-law changes on streetscape and character of established neighbourhoods .
Semi-detached dwellings – Party Walls
Semi-detached dwellings are not required to have minimum setbacks from party walls. So when extensions are made to the rear of semi-detached dwellings they can be detrimental and unfair to the dwelling with which they share a common (party) wall. Cantilevered wall construction allowing for wall not aligned with the foundation should not be permitted.
There may be similar potential issues with row housing?
There is confusion related to discussion of the need for a ‘party wall agreement’
- That setback requirements related to construction along the party wall in semi-detached dwellings be developed.
Reverse Slope Driveways: are not permitted. However, “Below Grade” (but not reverse slope) garages are permitted. By-law 569-2013 does not allow below grade garages based on “established grade” whereas Leaside by-law #1916 (as amended) did not permit below “finished grade” garages
The former by-law provided appropriate regulation for streets with hilly terrain.
In such cases of below grade garages it is a landscape/safety issue rather than a flooding issue.
- That the By-law should be modified to impose limits on the permitted depth of cut.
New Build vs. Renovation
In order to maintain character in established neighbourhoods, it is desirable to encourage renovation of existing dwellings rather than new builds. In some parts of the City the FSI ratio for new builds differs from the one for renovations, which was intended to discourages demolitions. However, this preference is negated by Committees of Adjustment when they discount the difference.
- City should consider ways of preferring renovations to new builds.
Requirement for parking to be behind the front wall
The reality is that parking occurs in front of the front wall, regardless of the presence of a garage. And there is little or no enforcement of this regulation.
- City should re-consider whether thisregulation is still valid.
The by-law does not clearly define the permissible width of a driveway in front of an integral garage (it is the width of the garage door)
- Clarify the language of the by-law.
There are inconsistencies in the handling of the mutual driveway surface area when a new integral garage with driveway is built.
- Need to clarify the treatment of the mutual driveway surface areas.
The bylaw does not specifically state how the width of eaves trough is to be handled.
There are frequent new builds where the eaves trough edge overhangs the property line.
- Clarify the language of the bylaw.
Sub-basement below a basement
This type of built form has started to appear. There are concerns with foundations and drainage on adjacent properties (and likely on the property itself)
- Sub-basement should be regulated/banned through the by-law until the potential adverse impacts are understood.
1.3 Zoning By-law 569-2013 Appeal Issues (LPAT)
In late 2018 the LPAT issued its decision regarding the majority of the outstanding issues under appeal.
- LPAT referred some outstanding issues were referred back to the City of Toronto for study and recommendations, for example, regarding the measurement of height and the definitions of floor levels.
We consider these to be important issues affecting the physicality and massing of buildings. For example, different methods of height determination (top of roof vs. half way up roof) have different design outcomes. The City has responded to LPAT and the Phase 2 Hearing is now scheduled for March 2020. It would however have been desirable to have RAs involved earlier in the formulation fo the City response.
- Several other (issues, which are organized into nine categories, remain with the LPAT:
- Parking – including the prohibition of a charge for Visitor Parking and other Public Parking regulations
- Special Residential – including Group Homes, Residential Care Homes, Crisis Care Shelters, Rooming Houses and Seniors Community Houses
- Schools — including Public and Post Secondary Schools
- Places of Worship
- Drive-Through Facilities and Eating Establishments
- Vehicle Fuel Stations
- Funeral Homes, Crematoria and Cemeteries
- Building Height and Horizontal Limits, for Functional Operation of a Building
- That City Planning engage with stakeholders regarding both above categories of remaining issues, i.e. LPAT referrals to City and the (nine) outstanding minor issues.
2. Committee of Adjustment
2.1 Application Intake (Toronto Building) Incomplete Applications
The COA application intake desk regularly accepts incomplete applications. This is a problem with both renovations and new builds. For example, the fee may not be recorded or the fee recorded on the application form is often incorrect. Without the fee and signature, the application is incomplete. If there is no fee indicated on the application form, there is no financial audit trail.
- Incomplete applications should be rejected.
Site Plan Statistics
The applicant is required to include a cover page with site plan statistics
The format of these statistics is not standardized and this complicates the zoning review
Landscaping numbers are frequently missing in site plan statistics and/or landscaping calculations are incorrect
- The City should specify the contents of the site plan statistics page
- A standard template should be provided for use by applicants
- Consider providing an Excel worksheet to assist in the calculations.
Survey Related Issues
The survey document is often not signed by the Land Surveyor. In survey documents there are occasionally minor errors that are later identified by the abutting neighbours. There is no identified procedure for addressing and resolving these issues. City Legal should provide guidance to Toronto Building staff and the C of A staff on how to resolve these issues.
There are occasional instances where the survey document is altered (via Photoshop) with the representation in the Site Plan (A1). Any changes of this nature should be specifically identified on the Site Plan.
There are occasional survey disputes (e.g., as with the location of the property line) that can be quite significant. Again, there is no identified procedure for addressing this issue.
- That Toronto Buildings ensure that incomplete or erroneous applications (as per examples above) are not/not be accepted
2.2 Zoning Examination Review (Toronto Building)
Missed / Erroneous Variances
The zoning review process frequently misses a variance or wrongly identifies a variance. The public has no way of appealing the zoning examiner’s decision. Committees of Adjustment do not entertain or acknowledge missing or erroneous variances.
Staff claim that missed variances are discovered in the building permit stage and sent back to the Committee of Adjustment. There is no effective process in place to address missed variances (no penalties, no enforcement).
- That Toronto Building should consider introducing a new form called ‘Dispute with respect to a Missed Variance’. The form would be filled out online and would be sent to the Zoning Examiner (Toronto Building). A copy of the form would be posted to the AIC as part of the file
- Disputed or potential missing or erroneous variances should be noted in the Committee of Adjustment Decision Document and Meeting Minutes and forwarded to the appropriate staff in the Buildings Department.
Variance lists prepared by the applicant under the Waiver process frequently have missed or erroneous variances. It is suggested that waivers are unjustified and demonstrate a higher level of errors and/or missing variances than applications that have received zoning review.
We have previously requested that the Waiver process be reviewed with a view to elimination. What is the status of this request?
- (As previously recommended). Waivers should be eliminated.
3. Committee of Adjustment Hearings Policy and Procedures (City Planning)
3.1 Role in Tree Protection
The City Council decision of March 26, 2018 (2018.PE 25.1) includes several resolutions requiring tree protection to be taken into account at all stages of the Committee of Adjustment application processing and decision-making including requiring that Tree Protection Zones (TPZs) be shown on all Site Plans (A1).
These City Council directions represent a significant change to C of A’s as up till now the C of A has not accepted any active role with respect to tree protection, merely minuting if there are Urban Forestry comments. The eight recommendations adopted by City Council should be implemented as soon as possible
- That City Planning ensure that the Committee of Adjustment members are educated in the revised policy and procedures with respect to Tree Protection and ensure that the City website is updated with respect to the changes in Tree Protection procedures.
3.2 Introduction of revised Plans and related variances at the Hearing
Each Panel considers the introduction of new plans on the day of the hearing in a different manner;
The agent may claim that City Planning is ‘okay’ with the revised plans, but there is no evidence provided. Hearsay evidence should not be permitted.
Residents do not receive copies of these revised plans/variances in advance, and are disadvantaged in having to adjust their remarks to respond to last minute “on the fly” changes;
Applicants should be required to provide a marked-up version of the requested variances to all Panel member and all interested parties.
Sketches should be provided to all Panel members and all interested parties to show any significant changes to the building elements.
Some variance changes may introduce new variances that are not declared.
- The Panels should prepare a common set of rules that describe those changes that can be made on the fly
- The Committee should defer or reject applications with significant changes
- When changes are made, the revised variances are recorded for the motion and it may be necessary to confirm the changes by attaching the revised plan to the decision. Each Panel appears to apply different rules as to when the plans are to be attached to the decision
- All Panels should have a published set of rules with respect to attaching plans.
3.3 Item scheduling (Day of Hearing)
The Committees of Adjustment are all using “agenda vetting” to determine whether an item proceeds immediately (no objectors present) or is held (objectors present).
This approach tends to disadvantage the residents. Residents attending (i.e., objectors) can wait up to 4 to 6 hours to have their case heard.
This approach would be more fair if more sessions were scheduled than two (morning and afternoon) .
- In general, more frequent schedule times (i.e., one and one half hour intervals rather than 4 hour intervals) would assist in reducing wait times
- An acceptable service level wait time should be established and wait times should be monitored.
3.4 Workload of the Panel
The Panel members may be unable to give proper attention through to the end of a long hearing day i.e., cases at the end of the day may be disadvantaged.
- There should be a fixed limit on the number of cases to be heard
- This has already been suggested, and agreed to by Panel Chairs (35 items for a full day hearing), however it is not in place.
3.5 Panel Chair’s Introduction at the start of Proceedings
There is considerable variation in the introductory remarks from the Panel Chair for each location (e.g., TEY as compared to NY).
There is an even larger variation in introductory remarks between locations. Experienced Panel Chairs provide more direction (and opinions) than the less experienced chairs.
The TEY Committee provides handout material that many residents find helpful.
- There should be consistency in introductory remarks across all Panels with a standard handout available at all locations
3.6 Committee discussions should be in public
Following the presentations and rebuttals the Committee may discuss the items, before a motion is made in public. These discussions should always be in public, not in private (as in a “huddle”). This is required in order to ensure that those present (or reviewing a tape) are aware of the factors that the members of the Committee felt were relevant to their decision making.
- Require that all in-committee discussions be held with an open microphone and be on the record.
3.7 Committee of Adjustment Facilities and Services
3.7.1 Recording of Hearings
The pilot program in TEY is very successful as an educational tool and a general resource for review of recent cases.
- The pilot program should be extended to all planning districts but a significant improvement in the quality of reproduction than current is needed
- The online recording should be available in segments to facilitate viewing of specific cases.
3.7.2 Overhead Projector
The overhead projector is now becoming an important part of the process. There is some disparity between available equipment across Panels (e.g., TEY compared to NY)
Projector equipment location is important. If the deputant does not have an assistant, considerable time is spent moving from the podium to the projector
- The overhead projector should be located near the speaker’s podium
- The projection equipment should be upgraded to allow for zooming and focussing of the display
3.7.3 Timing of Deputations
The chess clock should be used for all deputations. If the clock is not working, then the Panel Chair should make accommodations to assist the deputants.
Timing of each deputation should begin after the deputant has provided their name and full address. This will ensure fairness to allow the deputant to speak for the full five minutes.
- The capturing of a deputant’s personal identifying information should not be considered part of the timed presentation. Frequent visitors to the hearing have an advantage over first time visitors
- Accommodations should be made for deputants who may not be familiar with the use of the equipment.
3.7.4 Tables and Chairs for Hallway Discussions
Hallway discussions are an important part of the dispute resolution process.
Residents with disabilities may not be able to stand for discussions that often take 15 minutes or more.
Tables and chairs should be provided to assist with these discussions.
3.8 Committee of Adjustment Decisions
3.8.1 Access to Committee Minutes and Decision Data
Decision orders for a hearing are no longer available on-line as a complete set
This hampers the ability of individual residents and residents’ associations to conduct the necessary research
- All written material presented at the public hearing should be posted to the Application Information Centre
The case material including Minutes and Notices of Decision should be available
4. Appeals of CofA decisions to to TLAB
There is a wide disparity in decision outcomes between the COA and TLAB. In our opinion the TLAB is overturning C of A decisions to an extent far beyond what one would reasonably expect in a fair process. This situation needs to be reviewed by the City including conducting an analysis to examine this problem, identify the reasons for it and report its findings in a public forum.
- City Planning should take the lead in bringing this issue forward
5. Building/Construction Issues (Toronto Building)
Additional Guidance for Residents
Applications to the C of A frequently identified property rights and other issues that are outside of the purview of the Committee. The following list identifies some of the issues that are not covered by the C of A.
Right of Entry Permits
Right of Entry permits are available for minor renovations. The definition of a minor renovation needs to be clarified
There is no right of entry for New Builds
This is a civil matter for abutting neighbours
Surveys of Property Line
Disputes sometimes arise related to the accuracy of the survey and sometimes the location of a boundary fence
A civil matter between neighbours but the Committee should minute that an agreement will be entered into by the concerned Parties
- The City should update the website to identify resources that can assist residents to resolve their specific issues.