The Ontario Municipal Board is being dissolved in favour of a more streamlined service.

After holding public consultations, the province has created the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to replace the board and review developer and landowner appeals against municipalities. Unlike the previous entity, the tribunal will not have the power to overrule municipal decisions about zoning by-laws and official plans the first time an appeal is reviewed. Instead, the tribunal can either agree with a council decision to turn down a developer project or send it back to the municipality to be reconsidered. If a matter is sent back to council, that municipality has 90 days to review the project. If an appeal comes back to the tribunal a second time and the municipality is not following provincial policies or community plans, the tribunal can make a final decision on the matter.

As part of this update, the province is also offering free legal advice to developers and landowners through the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre.

This change is effective immediately in the province. The OMB will still review appeals that were sent in before this change.

In the case of the current appeal for the Lippa Quarry in Muskoka Lakes, the OMB will still make a final decision to uphold the veto of the project by council or overrule it and push the project through. The Lippa Quarry has been opposed by locals and was shot down by council. Residents were concerned the quarry could spill mercury and other chemicals into the nearby Skeleton Lake as well as drag down nearby property values with more trucking traffic moving through the area. Landowners Frank and Elizabeth Lippa filed an appeal with the OMB.

A prehearing for the appeal will be held at the Port Carling Community Centre on July 13th.

You can read all about the new LPAT here.

Related stories:

Lippa Quarry appeal back for prehearing in Muskoka Lakes in July

Appeal filed for rejected Lippa Quarry proposal in Muskoka Lakes

Proposed Lippa Quarry project blocked following heavy public opposition