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NEWS: Town, Saumure stand firm against OMB appeal, will seek dismissal

Ontario Municipal Board

BY AMY HOGUE

After an afternoon meeting between Mayor Shawn Pankow, Summit Energy owner, Jake Jenkins, amendment applicant Chris Saumure and municipal staff, Pankow and Saumure have both confirmed they are standing firm against the recent Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) appeal filed in opposition to the rezoning of 1 Hershey Dr.

Both Saumure and Pankow expressed their intent to hold firm throughout the OMB process whether or not Jenkins remains involved in the project.

“We will diligently fight the OMB appeal,” Saumure stated, “We are committed right to the very end regardless of whether Jake Jenkins is there or not.”

“Our position for this hasn’t changed,” Pankow stated, “The town has a role to play in supporting our decision, we’ll with the process and hopefully come up with the best conclusion.”

As the amendment applicant, Saumure has the opportunity to withdraw his application and prevent accruing costs related to fighting the OMB appeal, but he was clear that was not an option for him.  He explained that in his opinion the OMB process isn’t there for this situation.

“I have to fight this, we can’t just let it go, it’s setting out the wrong message that anyone who doesn’t like what you do can throw out two hundred dollars and affect a decision,” Saumure said, adding that he “will fight the appeal legally and maybe civilly as well.”

Saumure stressed that he doesn’t feel there is any planning merit behind the appeal, and will be applying for an immediate dismissal through the OMB.  Failing that, he said they would try and negotiate with the OMB appellant, Mark Greer, to “try to come to something he can live with without going to the OMB” which could be costly for both sides.

Not only will the municipality be standing behind council’s decision, but Pankow explained that in reality the matter before the OMB has nothing to do with the type of facility that will be operating out of Hershey Drive, it is simply an appeal of a zoning amendment.

“The process is in place to enable the public to reconsider council’s decision, but in the end, this (appeal) only relates to the rezoning,” Pankow clarified, adding that the type of processing that will take place at the facility isn’t at issue in reference to the OMB appeal, that it is all about the rezoning and whether or not “this is a suitable use for this property.”

The rezoning application for 1 Hershey Dr., is one which Senior Planner, Niki McKernan, believes has a sound planning merit behind it.  In her report to council on Dec. 8, she wrote that the proposed zoning amendment meets the standards of the Provincial Policy Statement, as well as the municipality’s Official Plan, and Zoning By-Laws.

In his appeal, Greer identified two issues as the basis for his appeal, the first being the inability for the public to provide feedback and comment at the meetings conducted on December 8th, 2014 and December 15th, 2014 and that the by-law approved is different from the original notice which was circulated – being the addition of ABS and PVC plastics and that the bylaw pertains to the entire parcel of land (not building specific).

Pankow said he will be working in conjunction with municipal staff to try and resolve the issues the appellant, Mark Greer, has with the rezoning, before the hearing, a process that is encouraged by the OMB.

“I hope there are some opportunities for discussion and dialogue along the way.”

Overview of OMB Process

An OMB appeal is a legal proceeding available for residents or interested parties to dispute a decision or action made by a municipality.  The OMB’s decisions are based on planning rationale, and some of the issues the OMB can mediate include official plans, zoning by-laws, subdivision plans, minor variances etc.

An OMB appeal will often be heard in the municipality where it is filed in order to allow all members of the community to participate in the hearing.  During a hearing, the OMB representative will hear evidence on environmental, social and economic issues, provincial legislation and policy statements, municipal planning documents, the rights of individuals and the best interests of the community.

Pre-hearing mediation between the two parties (the appellant, the zoning amendment applicant and the municipality) are common and the OMB encourages parties to come to a settlement agreement prior to the hearing.

Because the OMB bases its decisions on the planning merits of the case, a planner is often retained by both parties, as well as an attorney.  To assist with the complicated nature of the OMB process, they provide a 30 page document of Rules of Procedure that outline the expectations of each party throughout the process.

Just as with the legal judicial system, the OMB has a process for filing motions prior to the hearing date, which will be set at some point within the next month.  Motions can be filed by either party for several reasons, either to dismiss the appeal based on a lack of planning merits, to request additional information or discovery, or to determine the lack of jurisdiction in an appeal.

 

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NEWS: Town, Saumure stand firm against OMB appeal, will seek dismissal

Ontario Municipal Board

BY AMY HOGUE

After an afternoon meeting between Mayor Shawn Pankow, Summit Energy owner, Jake Jenkins, amendment applicant Chris Saumure and municipal staff, Pankow and Saumure have both confirmed they are standing firm against the recent Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) appeal filed in opposition to the rezoning of 1 Hershey Dr.

Both Saumure and Pankow expressed their intent to hold firm throughout the OMB process whether or not Jenkins remains involved in the project.

“We will diligently fight the OMB appeal,” Saumure stated, “We are committed right to the very end regardless of whether Jake Jenkins is there or not.”

“Our position for this hasn’t changed,” Pankow stated, “The town has a role to play in supporting our decision, we’ll with the process and hopefully come up with the best conclusion.”

As the amendment applicant, Saumure has the opportunity to withdraw his application and prevent accruing costs related to fighting the OMB appeal, but he was clear that was not an option for him.  He explained that in his opinion the OMB process isn’t there for this situation.

“I have to fight this, we can’t just let it go, it’s setting out the wrong message that anyone who doesn’t like what you do can throw out two hundred dollars and affect a decision,” Saumure said, adding that he “will fight the appeal legally and maybe civilly as well.”

Saumure stressed that he doesn’t feel there is any planning merit behind the appeal, and will be applying for an immediate dismissal through the OMB.  Failing that, he said they would try and negotiate with the OMB appellant, Mark Greer, to “try to come to something he can live with without going to the OMB” which could be costly for both sides.

Not only will the municipality be standing behind council’s decision, but Pankow explained that in reality the matter before the OMB has nothing to do with the type of facility that will be operating out of Hershey Drive, it is simply an appeal of a zoning amendment.

“The process is in place to enable the public to reconsider council’s decision, but in the end, this (appeal) only relates to the rezoning,” Pankow clarified, adding that the type of processing that will take place at the facility isn’t at issue in reference to the OMB appeal, that it is all about the rezoning and whether or not “this is a suitable use for this property.”

The rezoning application for 1 Hershey Dr., is one which Senior Planner, Niki McKernan, believes has a sound planning merit behind it.  In her report to council on Dec. 8, she wrote that the proposed zoning amendment meets the standards of the Provincial Policy Statement, as well as the municipality’s Official Plan, and Zoning By-Laws.

In his appeal, Greer identified two issues as the basis for his appeal, the first being the inability for the public to provide feedback and comment at the meetings conducted on December 8th, 2014 and December 15th, 2014 and that the by-law approved is different from the original notice which was circulated – being the addition of ABS and PVC plastics and that the bylaw pertains to the entire parcel of land (not building specific).

Pankow said he will be working in conjunction with municipal staff to try and resolve the issues the appellant, Mark Greer, has with the rezoning, before the hearing, a process that is encouraged by the OMB.

“I hope there are some opportunities for discussion and dialogue along the way.”

Overview of OMB Process

An OMB appeal is a legal proceeding available for residents or interested parties to dispute a decision or action made by a municipality.  The OMB’s decisions are based on planning rationale, and some of the issues the OMB can mediate include official plans, zoning by-laws, subdivision plans, minor variances etc.

An OMB appeal will often be heard in the municipality where it is filed in order to allow all members of the community to participate in the hearing.  During a hearing, the OMB representative will hear evidence on environmental, social and economic issues, provincial legislation and policy statements, municipal planning documents, the rights of individuals and the best interests of the community.

Pre-hearing mediation between the two parties (the appellant, the zoning amendment applicant and the municipality) are common and the OMB encourages parties to come to a settlement agreement prior to the hearing.

Because the OMB bases its decisions on the planning merits of the case, a planner is often retained by both parties, as well as an attorney.  To assist with the complicated nature of the OMB process, they provide a 30 page document of Rules of Procedure that outline the expectations of each party throughout the process.

Just as with the legal judicial system, the OMB has a process for filing motions prior to the hearing date, which will be set at some point within the next month.  Motions can be filed by either party for several reasons, either to dismiss the appeal based on a lack of planning merits, to request additional information or discovery, or to determine the lack of jurisdiction in an appeal.

 

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