toronto city hall The following is a guest post by Marc P. Kemerer a partner with Blaney McMurtry LLP in the firm’s Planning and Expropriation law group and the Architectural/Construction/Engineering Services (ACES) Group. Marc has acted for a number of large developers and regularly provides strategic and legal advice on large residential, condominium, retail/commercial and subdivision developments.

In 2010, City of Toronto Council adopted a City-wide comprehensive zoning by-law, By-law 1156-2010. We have previously reported in our BuzzBuzz guest posts on that ill-fated effort: the by-law was the subject of 700 appeals and was repealed by Council in 2011 with instructions to staff to bring back a new improved version.

At its meeting of 18 June 2012, the City’s Planning and Growth Management Committee (the “Committee”) reviewed the first draft of the new revised by-law.

The most notable changes include: better transition (the new by-law will only apply to new applications filed with the City after it has been passed) and grandfathering provisions; improved protection for minor variances; removal of the tall building regulations (which continue to exist however as review guidelines with teeth) and restrictions on the size of  retail floor area and restaurant sizes in commercial residential zones. The by-law however remains a challenging read.

In terms of the timing of approval of the new by-law, there will be a consultation period until end of September, during which time staff have been directed to attend at any community meetings sponsored by Ward Councillors. This consultation will be followed by a staff report to the 12 October 2012 meeting of the Committee reporting on the comments received from the public and recommending any changes as a result of such comments to the new by-law. A statutory public meeting on the new by-law for the purpose of considering its adoption by City Council is scheduled tentatively for a special Committee meeting in the latter half of November 2012.

If you are a landowner or developer, we encourage you to review the new by-law carefully to determine how your properties are impacted. To preserve your appeal rights, you are required to make oral or written submissions on the new by-law. We would be pleased to assist in this respect.

This story was modified from its original form which appeared in the Blaneys on Building July 2012 newsletter.

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