I responded to yet another e-mail this morning. It had a circulation of dozens. All members of council were circulated and numerous residents of the Elderberry subdivision.
I wrote the e-mail and clicked on Reply All. But this time my response came back to me as undeliverable. I have no idea why. The e-mail was three pages long in small type, I admit I did not read past the first couple of sentences.
Good Morning Mr. Manning.
Thank you for your message. I note you attended the meeting on Tuesday,heard the Planning report and the debate and are still of the opinion the town's planners have not undertaken due diligence in planning and legal matters.
It is clear therefore nothing I can say will alter your opinion.However, for the benefit of the neighbours circulated with your lengthy opinion, let me say this:
I am completely confident in the competence and integrity of town staff.
The following facts are relevant.
Property owners have rights in Ontario; a right to make an application
for development of land they own, a right to have an application
processed and considered as to how it conforms to all legal planning
requirements of the municipality.
They have a right to a decision within a specified period of time. and a right to appeal the decision to refuse the application.All of these rights are assured under provincial law.
It follows therefore, a municipality does not have the right to refuse
an application without reasoning based on the town's adopted plans.
The Municipality is governed by Ontario law.
The property owner made the application some time ago. It was refused by
the municipality. Too many aspects of the proposal conflicted with planning requirements.
I voted to refuse.
An appeal was filed with the Ontario Municipal board. The application
On Tuesday evening, the applicant was represented by Ms. Jane Pepino,
senior partner of the Toronto legal firm of Aird and Berliss.
An OMB mediation process has been provided at the request of the
applicant. It means the applicant, neighbours to the plan and the town
can work together to resolve outstanding deficiencies in the plan. You
were there Mr.Manning ,You heard that as well as I did.
There are two deficiencies; the set back from Yonge Street and density.
In all other respects the new plan more than meets the town's requirements.
As a Councillor of the town, I have a responsibility to the entire
community.To turn our back on an opportunity to bring he plan into conformity would not in my judgment be a responsible decision.
The alternative is to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayers dollars
and surrender the town's authority to the Ontario Municipal Board.
That is not in the best interest of your neighbours despite your
efforts to convince them otherwise.
You also have rights. The first is to participate in the process and
provide your input. The second is to appeal any decision of the town to
the Ontario Municipal Board
If the plan is as contrary to town requirements as you contend. If town
staff have indeed failed in their due diligence no doubt it would be a
simple matter to obtain a decision in your favour without incurring any
expense other than the few dollars it takes to file an objection.
I voted for the staff recommendation on Tuesday. I will do so again next
I do not take my responsibility lightly. I have complete confidence in
the integrity and competence of our planning staff. I accept their
advice over Susan Walmer's because they have the credentials and the
mediation process will serve you, your neighbours and the property owner better than an Ontario Municipal Board Hearing.
If it goes there, the decision is no longer ours to make.