UNDER THE TENT Envisioning Neighbourhoods – Ontario Municipal Board [OMB]: Toronto - Ontario
One of the major challenges to the implementation of Community Planning Boards is the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Many communities feel that the OMB restricts the limits of true participatory planning in the city. The community often has trouble accessing the OMB, and when they are able to take part in proceedings, the process is vague, complicated and expensive.
The OMB is an independent, quasi-judicial administrative tribunal responsible for handling appeals of land-use planning disputes and municipal matters. The OMB is a provincially appointed committee. Members are chosen on a variety of qualifications, and oversee projects across the province.
Proponents of the OMB maintain that the OMB’s distance from accountability in the local political arena is what makes it work, while others argue that this affects their ability to know what is in the best interest of local areas, especially in terms of large scale development.