About the OLT’s Planning Jurisdiction
The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT)’s planning jurisdiction includes hearing and deciding appeals in relation to a broad range of land use planning and development, heritage conservation and municipal governance. Planning matters that come before the OLT are identified in statutes such as the Planning Act, Aggregate Resources Act, Heritage Act, Municipal Act, Development Charges Act and Expropriations Act. These include appeals of official plans, zoning by-laws, subdivision plans, consents and minor variances, land compensations, development charges, electoral ward boundaries, municipal finances, aggregate resources.
The Planning Act governs land use planning and development in the province of Ontario. The OLT may hear appeals based on the decisions of single tier, lower tier, upper tier municipal governments. The Act sets out who is eligible to make an appeal to the OLT, and the procedures that must be followed to do so.
The Aggregate Resources Act provides for the standards and policies that aggregate and petroleum industries must comply with. The Act aims to ensure long-term management of resources and reduces negative impacts on the public. The OLT may hear objections or referrals of licence applications.
The Ontario Heritage Act gives municipalities and the provincial government powers to preserve the heritage of Ontario. The primary focus of the Act is the protection of heritage buildings, cultural heritage, natural landscapes and archaeological sites. The OLT hears appeals of certain municipal decisions related to heritage preservation.
The Development Charges Act, 1997 grants municipalities the right to impose charges on property owners when developing or redeveloping land. The fees charged are to help pay for new services and infrastructure needed for growth. The Act also provides for Education Development Charges.
The Expropriations Act provides for a means for those expropriated to receive fair compensation when their lands are expropriated or affected by nearby expropriation. It also sets out the authority and process that must be followed in order to expropriate.
History of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and the Ontario Municipal Board
Before the OLT, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) and the former Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) was an independent adjudicative tribunal that conducted hearings and made decisions on land use planning issues and other matters. The OMB was also Ontario’s first independent, quasi-judicial administrative tribunal. Originally named the Ontario Railway and Municipal Board (ORMB), the ORMB oversaw municipalities’ accounts and supervised the rapidly growing rail transportation system among municipalities. In 1906, the ORMB assumed new responsibilities, including those previously carried out by the Office of the Provincial Municipal Auditor, and was renamed to the OMB in 1932. In 2017, the OMB was continued as the LPAT. On June 1, 2021, LPAT was amalgamated and continued into the OLT.