Item - 2019.PH11.14

Tracking Status

  • City Council adopted this item on December 17, 2019 without amendments.
  • This item was considered by Planning and Housing Committee on December 10, 2019 and was adopted with amendments. It will be considered by City Council on December 17, 2019.

PH11.14 - Committee of Adjustment Applications Analyses and Service Improvements

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on December 17 and 18, 2019, adopted the following:

 

1.  City Council direct the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to:
  

a. continue to be in regular communication and consultation with interested stakeholders to evaluate the degree of success of the potential improvements outlined in the report (November 21, 2019) from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning;
 

b.  consult with and inform stakeholders with respect to the continuing review of the options to better balance application volumes across the City’s districts in order to provide more consistent processing timelines for applications;

 
c.  consult with and inform stakeholders as staff continue a review with respect to the consideration of establishing different application streams that would allow less complex applications to be processed more efficiently; and

 
d.  report back to the Planning and Housing Committee on December 8, 2020 with detailed progress and performance updates related to the improvement initiatives and streaming options as noted in the report (November 21, 2019) from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning.

Background Information (Committee)

(November 21, 2019) Report from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning on Committee of Adjustment Applications Analyses and Service Improvements
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-140647.pdf

Communications (Committee)

(December 9, 2019) Letter from Paula J. Tenuta, Senior Vice President, Policy and Advocacy, Building Industry and Land Development Association (PH.New.PH11.14.1)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ph/comm/communicationfile-99650.pdf
(December 10, 2019) Letter from Geoff Kettel and Cathie Macdonald, Co-Chairs, Federation of North Toronto Residents' Associations (PH.New.PH11.14.2)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ph/comm/communicationfile-99658.pdf
(December 10, 2019) Submission from Ron Jamieson, Long Branch Neighbourhood Association (PH.New.PH11.14.3)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ph/comm/communicationfile-99622.pdf

Communications (City Council)

(December 12, 2019) E-mail from Harold B. Smith (CC.Supp.PH11.14.4)
(December 13, 2019) E-mail from Karen Gorsline (CC.Supp.PH11.14.5)
(December 15, 2019) Letter from Carol Burtin Fripp, Co-President, Leaside Residents Association Incorporated (formerly Leaside Property Owners Association) (CC.Supp.PH11.14.6)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/cc/comm/communicationfile-99733.pdf
(December 15, 2019) Letter from Maureen Kapral, Vice-President, Lytton Park Residentsí Organization (CC.Supp.PH11.14.7)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/cc/comm/communicationfile-99712.pdf
(December 16, 2019) Letter from Maureen Kapral, Vice-Prresident, Lytton Park Residentsí Organization (CC.Supp.PH11.14.8)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/cc/comm/communicationfile-99787.pdf
(December 16, 2019) E-mail from Lorraine Tinsley (CC.New.PH11.14.9)

Motions (City Council)

Motion to Adopt Item (Carried)

PH11.14 - Committee of Adjustment Applications Analyses and Service Improvements

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

Committee Recommendations

The Planning and Housing Committee recommends that:

 

1.  City Council direct the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to:
  

a. Continue to be in regular communication and consultation with interested stakeholders to evaluate the degree of success of the potential improvements outlined in the report (November 21, 2019) from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning;
 

b.  Consult with and inform stakeholders with respect to the continuing review of the options to better balance application volumes across the City’s districts in order to provide more consistent processing timelines for applications;

 
c.  Consult with and inform stakeholders as staff continue a review with respect to the consideration of establishing different application streams that would allow less complex applications to be processed more efficiently; and

 
d.  Report back to the Planning and Housing Committee on December 8, 2020 with detailed progress and performance updates related to the improvement initiatives and streaming options as noted in the (November 21, 2019) from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning.

Origin

(November 21, 2019) Report from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning

Summary

In 2018 and 2019, the Planning and Housing Committee, the Special Committee on Governance and City Council directed staff to investigate and report back on a variety of matters related to the Committee of Adjustment (CoA). These directions can be broadly grouped into two categories: various analyses of CoA applications and decisions, and requests for process and service improvements.

 

As requested, staff conducted an analysis of CoA and Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) decisions on variances to legalize structures that are already built, with the intent of determining whether they were treated similarly to cases where there has been no illegal construction. The analysis revealed that after-the-fact variance applications, which represent approximately 3% of all minor variance applications, are not treated in a markedly different manner by the CoA or TLAB than all other applications, though the CoA appears slightly more likely to refuse this type of application. By law, both adjudicative bodies are to consider the applications as if the construction does not exist and make a determination on the merits of the application under the criteria under section 45(1) of the Planning Act.

 

Staff were also asked to provide a breakdown of applications according to building type, size, complexity and the nature of the variances. This breakdown, which is included in the body of this report, will be used to formulate possible streaming options for minor variance applications and could be used for evaluating amendments to Zoning By-law 569-2013.

 

This report also summarizes recent enhancements to the CoA review and approvals process and evaluates other possible improvements.  In formulating these, staff considered the End-To-End Review of the Development Review Process Final Report ("End-to-End Review"), the Toronto Local Appeal Body Chair's 2018 Annual Report and input from a variety of stakeholders. City Planning may also partner with a post-secondary institution to undertake further research on the organizational structure of the CoA to better engage and empower residents in the process.

 

Recently implemented service enhancements include more formally encouraging dialogue with neighbours earlier in the review process; redesigning the public notice sign and improving other communication tools for residents; the adoption of new public facing policies such as an application fee refund policy; and the harmonization of various hearing practices like agenda vetting. Other recent improvements include the increase in number of panel members from 30 to 35, the assignment of members to districts rather than specific panels to allow for greater flexibility in scheduling, and increased remuneration rates for CoA panel members. These changes should improve the ability of City Planning to meet service standards and adjust to changing development activity across the city.

 

Processing timelines have in fact improved significantly since 2017 and staff are working toward further improvements by considering various changes to how applications are processed and hearings are organized.

 

Further, as requested by Council, staff considered the feasibility of CoA hearings commencing at 1:00 p.m. to run into the evening. Staff have considered this request and are not recommending this change.

 

Finally, also as requested by Council, staff evaluated the feasibility of hosting regular information sessions on CoA and TLAB practices and procedures, and have concluded that hosting public drop-in information sessions between one and two times annually is feasible and will work toward holding the first public information session by mid-2020.

Background Information

(November 21, 2019) Report from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning on Committee of Adjustment Applications Analyses and Service Improvements
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-140647.pdf

Communications

(December 9, 2019) Letter from Paula J. Tenuta, Senior Vice President, Policy and Advocacy, Building Industry and Land Development Association (PH.New.PH11.14.1)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ph/comm/communicationfile-99650.pdf
(December 10, 2019) Letter from Geoff Kettel and Cathie Macdonald, Co-Chairs, Federation of North Toronto Residents' Associations (PH.New.PH11.14.2)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ph/comm/communicationfile-99658.pdf
(December 10, 2019) Submission from Ron Jamieson, Long Branch Neighbourhood Association (PH.New.PH11.14.3)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ph/comm/communicationfile-99622.pdf

Speakers

Ron Jamieson, Long Branch Neighbourhood Asssociaton
Geoff Kettel, Federation of North Toronto Residents' Associations (FoNTRA)

Motions

Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Ana Bail„o (Carried)

That:

 

1.  City Council direct the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to:
  

a. Continue to be in regular communication and consultation with interested stakeholders to evaluate the degree of success of the potential improvements outlined in the report (November 21, 2019) from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning;
 

b.  Consult with and inform stakeholders with respect to the continuing review of the options to better balance application volumes across the City’s districts in order to provide more consistent processing timelines for applications;

 
c.  Consult with and inform stakeholders as staff continue a review with respect to the consideration of establishing different application streams that would allow less complex applications to be processed more efficiently; and

 
d.  Report back to the Planning and Housing Committee on December 8, 2020 with detailed progress and performance updates related to the improvement initiatives and streaming options as noted in the (November 21, 2019) from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning.


Motion to Adopt Item as Amended moved by Councillor Ana Bail„o (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council