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400WellingtonGuy

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Terrible news. :(

I agree:mad:, i see some people are ecstatic....maybe after its all said and done with this and the tall building study getting revamped, the city can find ways to replace the lost revenues the construction industry generates for Toronto............Canadian Building Permits Soar On Plans For Toronto Apartments And Condos
http://www.nasdaq.com/article/canad...-toronto-apartments-and-condos-20120207-00807..... http://www.680news.com/news/local/a...construction-continues-to-increase-in-the-gta

A breakdown of the numbers shows Toronto is likely to continue to see cranes dotting its skyline through this year at least. Planned construction in Calgary and Ontario led much of the increase, while British Columbia had the largest decrease.
http://www.canadianrealestatemagazine.ca/news/item/1029-building-permits-jump-111-in-december
 
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AG
You should be happy that perhaps now instead of height we can get good design in return. It's not all about doing fast and quick. Slow and steady.
 
Can anyone here provide something other than a kneejerk (eg. "terrible news!") response?

The OMB was a complex beast, and, no matter where you stood, you could always think of a time when it gave you something you wanted and a time when it gave you something you didn't want.

It was responsible for forcing what I think were good projects on unwilling NIMBYs, but it also forced bad design on residents who sought better.

It was responsible for securing height and density, but it was also used to pave millions of acres of farmland in the name of sprawl.

It's next to impossible for me to give an opinion about whether the death of the OMB will be "good" or "bad" for the type of city I want to see.
 
AG
You should be happy that perhaps now instead of height we can get good design in return. It's not all about doing fast and quick. Slow and steady.

I doubt it..you will still see the same crap proposed, with just shorter structures
Slow and steady is why the City of Toronto still lives with a 3rd world infrasture and cant get its act together upgrading transit, hydro, water...etc.
 
I doubt it..you will still see the same crap proposed, with just shorter structures
Slow and steady is why the City of Toronto still lives with a 3rd world infrasture and cant get its act together upgrading transit, hydro, water...etc.

Slow and steady ? You're kidding me right. The most condominiums in North American amounts to slow and steady ? Toronto is a lot of things (many bad, many good) but slow and steady is not one them when it comes to private construction projects. Everything else you refer to, public infrastructure, would clearly not be effected by this.
 
Hume: Killing OMB a risk, but one city must take

February 7, 2012 17:02:00
Christopher Hume
Star Columnist

They say we should be careful what we wish for. To which we can add, nowhere more so than in Toronto.

If there weren’t enough going on last Monday, City Council voted quietly but overwhelmingly to ask Queen’s Park to exempt Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board.

Secretive, even shadowy, the OMB is a 19th-century relic that has ultimate power over what gets built in the province. The quasi-judicial body is accountable to no one, and often behaves that way. Yet criticism that the board is a developers’ stooge doesn’t hold water. More often not, the OMB finds itself doing the dirty work for which our elected officials have little appetite.

So when councillors decided it’s time to cut the OMB loose, some were amused, others appalled.

The truth, of course, is that the OMB should have been abolished decades ago. By enabling politicians to duck the hard decisions, it has left civic politicians in an infantilized state. Toronto faces all the issues of a big city, but behaves like a small town, or more accurately; a series of small towns, each presided over by the ward boss through whose hands all development applications pass. Knowing full well the real action will unfold later at the OMB, councillors tells constituents — i.e. the NIMBY hordes — exactly what they want to hear.

With few exceptions — ex-councillors Anne Johnston and Kyle Rae come to mind — Toronto’s elected representatives prefer to toe the neighbourhood line than go head to head against their constituents. That’s understandable, but some things, including development, can be too important to be left to strictly local interests.

That’s why the development industry will fight tooth and nail against any such proposal. But the more they complain, the more they reveal their obvious indifference, even hostility, to doing what’s best for the city, let alone the neighbourhood. It doesn’t help that the nature of the condo industry — build cheaply, sell quickly — tends not to bring out a developer’s inner city-builder.

And with its courtlike processes, the OMB favours the rich over the poor, developer over resident. An army of planners, architects and various consultants makes a very comfortable living telling the board whatever the clients want it to hear. Professional opinions are infinitely malleable, the biggest determinant being the amount of cash on offer.

“The OMB is undemocratic and unelected” says downtown councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, who led the charge against the OMB. “It has no sense of accountability. I’ve heard OMB adjudicators mispronounce names of streets and community centres. It shows me they have no sense of context. And yet a single adjudicator can undo years of community work and planning.”

At the same time, however, a single OMB judgment such as the one that kept Walmart out of Leslieville in 2009 can undo years of corporate effort and expenditure. Few tears were shed over that decision, but would council have had the strength to defy the world’s largest retailer?

The current council does not inspire confidence; the challenge would be to come up with an alterative appeal mechanism. Eliminating the OMB would also increase the opportunities for corruption; we could end up like those suburban jurisdictions where councillors do what developers tell them.

Provincial Municipal Affairs Minister Kathleen Wynne says she supports the move, but only as it affects “committee of adjustment matters.” That means small stuff — backyard decks and the like.

On the larger question of exempting Toronto entirely, she was less enthusiastic. That, she said, “requires consultations with all municipalities.”

chume@thestar.ca
 
And more from the Star......

Ontario Municipal Board interference in Toronto’s development needs to end

Consider it a welcome declaration of independence. Toronto’s residents, urban planners and elected councillors will have a lot more say over neighbourhood development if this city succeeds in freeing itself from a century-old oppressor.

No, the bully Toronto wants to escape isn’t some local Scut Farkus (“He had yellow eyes!â€) It’s the Ontario Municipal Board — an unelected, widely despised, quasi-judicial provincial agency with the power to overrule any community’s development decisions.

The board has repeatedly done just that in Toronto, notably in 2007 when it ruled in favour of developers and approved a series of highrise residential buildings on a culturally important section of Queen St. West. The decision came over the objections of local residents, the arts community, city planners, Toronto’s mayor and city councillors.

So much for democracy. In the wake of that ill-judged ruling several urban advocates, including the Star, encouraged Toronto to bypass the board and set up a local panel to adjudicate land use disputes.

The province has done some tinkering with the OMB, but not enough to make a difference. Now Toronto is finally taking action. City council has voted 34-5 in favour of asking Queen’s Park to free Toronto from being in thrall to this board.

The ideal solution would be to create a local appeal body more sensitive to the city’s needs. There may be a role for the OMB in overseeing smaller municipalities. But Toronto is Canada’s sixth largest government, run by 44 full-time city councillors well-connected to their community. It has an experienced and professional planning department and a highly talented legal department. Yet, all their efforts can be undone by the OMB.

“It is manifestly undemocratic for an appointed board such as the OMB to substitute its opinions for the considered judgment of elected councillors and professional city staff,†states a report to council. Quite right. No other province has a panel with that kind of power.

A great deal of planning department time is wasted defending appeals to this board, usually launched by developers. And, according to city staff, the high cost of going to the OMB discourages Toronto from making appeals of its own, even when it has a case to make in the public interest.

One risk is that residents making irrational objections to worthwhile developments would gain even more influence than they have now, swaying vulnerable city councillors while being spared from having to make their case before the OMB. That’s why there needs to be a culture shift at city hall. Without the OMB to act as a solid backstop against anti-development decisions, councillors will have to be more willing to say “no†to NIMBYs.

It’s also important for any appeal panel set up by the city to be truly arm’s length, and capable of resisting weak-kneed councillors who might put obedience to NIMBYs ahead of the city’s overall interests. With a better-balanced and dispassionate arbiter like that, Toronto can safely rid itself of the OMB.
 
I doubt it..you will still see the same crap proposed, with just shorter structures
Slow and steady is why the City of Toronto still lives with a 3rd world infrasture and cant get its act together upgrading transit, hydro, water...etc.

??????????????? I'm taking a wild guess here, and I'm probably right, but you've never stepped foot outside of the GTA.

This is the best decision. It's about time the city and developers work together rather then risk everything with the OMB. The OMB is like gambling. You stick to your opinion and ignore everyone else, and choose the team you think will win. Sometimes you win sometimes you lose.
With the OMB out of the way the city and developers have to be more cooperative. In my short time here I've seen too many times where developers couldn't care less what the city had to say and just waited until it went to the OMB. At the same time, the city has also completely ignored the situation at hand and refused to budge and waited for the OMB to decide.
There should be no external body that decides on city planning. It should always be between the city and the developers.
 

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