The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is an independent tribunal that hears appeals of decisions made by planning authorities such as local and regional councils, committees of adjustment, expropriating authorities and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Appeals to the OMB may be launched by individuals, public agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The members of the OMB are appointed by the Ontario government.
The OMB deals with appeals related to:
- Official Plans;
- zoning by-laws;
- plans of subdivision;
- consents to sever land;
- minor variances;
- development charges;
- applications for aggregate licences;
- compensation for expropriated land.
In resolving disputes, the OMB hears evidence pertaining to environmental, social and economic issues, the applicability of provincial legislation and policy statements and municipal planning documents such as official plans or zoning by-laws. The Board is also required to consider the rights of individuals as well as the best interests of the community as a whole.
OMB decisions often have implications for Greenlands protection, both positive and negative. In some cases a decision may affirm natural heritage polices contained in the PPS or an Official Plan; in others, the decision results in the approval of land use change that results in the loss of an environmental feature.