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Clarifying the OMB process

This blog is a follow-up to my October 20 blog post “October 19 Planning Committee – OMB process for Point St. Mark Drive” as an effort to continue to inform the public on the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) process.  

Update on OMB appeal for Point St. Mark Drive

At the November 7 Council meeting, staff provided an ‘in-camera’ report to City Council related to the OMB appeal for 48A Point St. Mark Drive (former Rideau Marina). The OMB pre-hearing for this appeal is scheduled for November 22, 2017, in Council Chambers. Staff will be providing an information report to Council on Tuesday November 21, 2017 which will include the status of the application and Council’s direction for this hearing. With the current number of appeals before the OMB, it takes on average one year from the pre-hearing for the hearing date.

Clarifying the OMB process

I have received numerous questions over the past two weeks seeking clarification and information as it relates to understanding the appeal process to the OMB. There is confusion about what it means to have ‘party’ status versus ‘participant’ status at a hearing, how residents can get involved in the hearing, understanding Council’s position and what the process moving forward looks like.

I’ve reviewed the OMB website and pulled some relevant content that I thought would be helpful to respond to questions I’ve received over the last few weeks and map the process going forward.

The OMB has a digital Guide Book, which provides a lot of excellent information related to all key details of process, what to expect, how to prepare for a hearing etc. View the OMB Guide Book here: http://elto.gov.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/OMB-Guide-EN-8.pdf

The City’s role

It is important for the community to understand that although the applicant has invoked their appeal rights to the OMB, it is not a result of negligence or inaction on behalf of the City. City staff was actively working on the technical review of this application until the time that the appeal to the OMB was filed.

Staff will be providing another report to Council ‘in-camera’ before the hearing (date of the hearing to be determined) begins that will include technical review from staff and peer reviews on key studies submitted in support of the applications. The date of this ‘in-camera’ discussion is not yet known, as it is based on the hearing date determined by the OMB. The peer reviews and staff technical review that will be included in this report are not yet complete.

Pre-hearings

The OMB may hold a meeting before a hearing, especially if the matter in dispute is expected to be long or complicated. This meeting is referred to as the pre-hearing. Pre-hearings usually:

  • Identify issues, parties and participants
  • Organize complicated matters
  • Decide what documents should be exchanged
  • Determine procedures before and during the hearing.

What is a ‘party’ and how do they participate in a hearing?

The City of Kingston is a ‘party’ to this appeal. At the hearing, parties have a responsibility to:

  • Provide an overview of what the appeal is about;
  • Submit all necessary documentation as exhibits at the hearing (this includes any maps, case law, document books, etc.);
  • Present their case using exhibits, witnesses and other evidence;
  • To cross-examine the other parties’ witnesses and evidence;
  • At the end of the hearing, give final arguments or a summary of all the evidence

What is a ‘participant’ and how do they participate in a hearing?

A participant is an individual, group or corporation that may choose to attend only part of the proceedings but makes a statement to the Board on all or some of the issues in the hearing. Participants do not provide evidence or witnesses, and cannot be asked to pay costs.

Participants have a responsibility to:

  • Show up on the first day of the hearing before it begins;
  • Provide their name and address to the Board;
  • Give a statement to the Board about the matter being dealt with at the hearing;
  • Give their statement at a later date if the hearing has been scheduled for multiple days;
  • Follow the procedures set out in a procedural order from a prehearing. These procedures may set out when to appear at a hearing and when to provide participant statements to the parties.

Typical OMB appeal process

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Paige Agnew
Paige Agnew
Director of planning, building and licensing services
613-546-4291, ext. 3252
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