Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Toronto Enforcing Two Zoning Bylaws Simultaneously

Oh the Pain! The Horror!

City of Toronto is enforcing both the old and new zoning bylaws simultaneously.  I contacted Joe D'Abramo (Acting Director - Zoning?) last night and he returned my phone call this morning (bless him).  He confirmed that yes, the two zoning bylaws are in effect simultaneously, and this will go on for some time, until all the appeals have finally been dealt with - so this means for a year or more - (I am thinking more - this is a costly and big process).  There are 694 appeals. - Apparently 90% of them are lot/site specific. 
Presently Joe's group are analyzing and sorting through the appeals.  They hope to provide direction (early in the new year, he said) on which parts of the new bylaw are not under contest, so that the OMB can work to complete the instating of the bylaw on those parts only.

Below are a couple of links I came across on the zoning bylaw - neither discuss the enforcement of two bylaws, but the first gives a pretty good summary of contents and old-to-new differences, and the second discusses the appeals slightly.
Note --- see the later posts to get analysis and legality of this double-enforcement approach------

Joe explained that the new bylaw will be in effect retroactively to the August 25th, 2010 date, when the bylaw is finally cleared - but this bodes darkly for current projects - buildings will be designed based on both bylaws, and they will already be built or well underway by the time the new zoning bylaw is fully implemented - meanwhile the appeals process will change the bylaw - which means any buildings being permitted in the interrum will likely not conform regardless - or if they did, it would be because they paid $1700 for the committee of adjustment review and waited over 4 months for the result, and based on a law that is changing!  This seems unfair to all those people who are in the building process right now.

On the whole, I just find it unreasonable to both building departments and related services and builders that the new bylaw cannot go through it's birthing woes BEFORE it becomes enforced - the need to enforce it retroactively seems innappropriate, to put it mildly.

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