Changes to the Planning Act
Introducing a new section 34.1
On December 6, 2018 the provincial government introduced Bill 66 which, among other things, proposes an amendment to the Planning Act. This proposal would add a new section 34.1 allowing municipalities to pass “open-for-business” by-laws with approval from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
An open-for-business by-law would not be subject to Planning Act provisions. Section 34.1 would allow a municipality to allow a zoning by-law amendment without having to comply with provincial policies, zoning or official plan policies, as well as many other policies. A municipality may allow public consultation if it wishes but it is not mandatory and notice to others would only be required after the by-law is passed.
The passing of an open-for-business by-law could not be appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (“LPAT”, formerly the OMB). There would be a mechanism to allow the Minister to intervene within 20 days, after which time the by-law would come into effect.
Bill 66 can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2rpVr68 with the new section 34.1 found at page 25. Comments are being accepted until January 18, 2019.