Thursday, May 26, 2011

Toronto Zoning Bylaw Repealed

On May 18th, 2011 the city of Toronto repealed its zoning bylaw 1156-2010 (and all subsequent amendments to it), which was passed into law last Aug. 27th.  This means all the little parts of Toronto are back to their old zoning systems until the new bylaw is once again prepared to be enacted - apparently in Jan 2012.  In the meantime, the Planning and Growth Management Committee will continue to consult with residents.
There was a couple of amendments to the repeal motion - They provided that 500m setbacks from concrete production and distribution facilities and propane facilities be considered separately from the bylaw's repeal - in other words, these measures, brought into force with the initial passing of 1156-2010, may remain in is still unclear to me for now.
I was impressed by Adam Vaughn in the Council meeting.  He was well informed, and calmly noted that the reason to repeal was not that it was a bad piece of legislation.  Implementation of the bylaw was the real cause of the problems.  The strange thing here is - the whole emphasis on the interim period is to meet with residents and concerned parties on the content - but the PGM Committee seem poised to follow the same implementation track when it is enacted a second time - that of enforcing two zoning bylaws simultaneously.  I don't see how implementation will be any easier at that time - except that there is now a period of about 8 months when everyone can rush their projects through.  Does the PGMC really expect that everyone will hold off on their projects for a year or so while the appeals (which will hopefully be fewer than 700) are dealt with?

I wonder what all those people who paid for zoning adjustments under the new bylaw have to say about the repeal?  I doubt there is any easy way for them to get a refund on the $1700 application fee.  The cost of the lost time, redesign work, and disruption to work crews would be significantly higher, I think.

I am amazed at the absence of this issue in the popular media.

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