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Changes To OMB Welcomed By Huron County Senior Planner

A senior planner with Huron County is optimistic that replacing the Ontario Municipal Board with the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal will reduce the cost and streamline the appeals process in the province.

Denise Van Amersfoort explains the new tribunal will establish a local planning appeal support centre to help people understand the Land Use Planning process and to navigate the appeals process.

It will also introduce timelines for appeals, which would reduce the length and cost of the process as well as eliminate cross-examination in an attempt to level the playing field for people who can’t afford legal representation.

Van Amersfoort says the tribunal will also attempt to give more weight to decisions made at the local level.

They are doing that by not allowing new information to be presented at a tribunal hearing. If new information is brought forward, the entire matter will be sent back to local councils to hear that new information and to make a second decision.

She adds that second decision can still be appealed but the hope is that as many decisions as possible made by the local council.