On April 14th, 2020, the Province of Ontario introduced Bill 189, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020, which included amendments to the Planning Act authorizing the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to make regulations respecting the calculation of time for development applications in connection with the state of emergency declared under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
Ontario Regulation 149/20 was released on April 15th, 2020, and overrides Regulation 73/20 made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which had previously suspended all limitation periods under any statute, regulation, rule, by-law or order of the Government, and now permits certain statutory requirements under the Planning Act to proceed.
The Regulation provides municipalities with additional flexibility during the COVID-19 emergency to process and advance development applications.
Statutory timelines that are no longer suspended during the COVID-19 emergency include:
- Appeal periods to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) with respect to the approval of zoning by-laws, and approval or refusal of official plans, official plan amendments, zoning by-law amendments, draft plan of subdivision, minor variance and consent applications, and community planning permits;
- Appeal periods with respect to consent conditions or changes thereto;
- Appeal periods with respect to draft plan conditions or lapsing provisions;
- Lapsing of draft plan approval;
- Applications to Council for relief from demolition permit conditions; and,
- Appeal periods with respect to the passing of interim-control by-laws.
Statutory timelines that remain suspended for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency include:
- Appeal periods to the LPAT for an approval authority’s failure to make a decision on official plans, official plan amendments, zoning by-law amendments, demolition permits and conditions, applications to remove holding provisions, draft plans of subdivision, consent applications, community planning permits and site plan applications under both the Planning Act and the City of Toronto Act, 2006;
- In the event of an appeal, timelines to forward records to the LPAT;
- Timing of expiry and extensions of interim control by-laws, but only in respect of interim by-laws in effect on March 17th, 2020;
- Other appeal periods to the LPAT for payment under protest for parkland dedication and other municipal tariffs;
- Timing for notices of complete application for official plan amendments, zoning by-law amendments and plans of subdivision;
- Timing for circulation and notice for official plan amendments, zoning by-law amendments and draft plan of subdivision applications;
- Timing for hearings of Committee of Adjustment applications;
- Timing for fulfillment of consent conditions and lapse of consent approval; and,
- Other statutory timing with regard to withdrawn appeals.
Additionally, any motions to the LPAT that were made on or after March 17th, 2020 and before April 15th, 2020 for the purpose of determining the completeness of official plan amendment, zoning by-law amendment and draft plan applications are deemed not to have been made. Notices of decision issued on or after February 26th, 2020 and before April 15th, 2020 are to be issued again, no later than 15 days after the COVID-19 emergency has ended.
Weston Consulting has been diligently monitoring the changes to the COVID-19 legislation, and will ensure that all active applications are continuing to make forward progress. Our staff have maintained strong communication with municipal staff across Ontario and are regularly participating in virtual pre-consultation meetings and teleconferences. Additionally, new applications are continuing to be prepared and submitted and current applications are being monitored, revised (as needed), and resubmitted. During this unprecedented time, Weston continues to provide and deliver quality services at the highest standard to our valued client base.