SAHRA is a member of FUN, a province-wide umbrella organization of community and neighbourhood associations. FUN promotes awareness of urban issues, undertakes projects which will enhance quality of life for residents or urban settings, maintains a resource base for information, shares expertise, represents the common interests of member organizations before public and private bodies as well as encouraging citizens to actively participate in and become informed about community and civic affairs.
FUN actively monitors changes to the Planning Act, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, Ontario Heritage Act and provincial planning direction like the Growth Plan. By speaking with one voice for the resident associations in urban areas across the province, they present a strong and respected voice. They also participate with and co-operate with environmental organizations and other (special) interest groups with like concerns.
Review their website for their News posting on current urban planning and environment issues at https://urbanneighbourhoods.ca/
FUN distributes eBlasts to member organizations across the province as well as to environmental and special interest groups, the Legislature and politicians at the municipal level for large and medium-sized urban centres. For example, the January 12th eBlast (see below) covered Bill 197 (MZO), the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, protecting the Upper West Credit, and the Tax on Vacant Homes.
You can review all FUN eBlasts, on the Newsletter Archive page of their website.
Proposed Bill 257 a further attack on protected land
Bill 257 Schedule 3 changes to retroactively authorize MZO’s exemption from Provincial Policy Statements
FUN has written to Hon. Steve Clark as we are concerned, disappointed and angry that he has introduced legislation that amends the Planning Act to provide that Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZOs) are not required and are deemed to never have been required to be consistent with Provincial Policy Statements (PPS) issued under subsection 3 (1); that is, except for such orders that apply to land in the Greenbelt Area.
This legislation, being snuck in as a one paragraph schedule on the entirely unrelated “Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act, Bill 257” in a blatant attempt to avoid notice, is unjust, authoritarian, and undemocratic. It curtails the municipal planning process and facilitates non-compliance with the Provincial Policy Statements. Worse, it is applied retroactively, apparently to attempt to avoid the Provincial Government being held to account in two on-going court challenges, Duffin’s Creek and the Foundry.
A statement from the three groups involved in the court case, Environmental Defence, Ontario Nature, and Ecojustice, said the move amounts to “an attack on the public’s constitutional right to seek judicial review of unlawful decisions”.
FUN has requested that this legislation be abandoned immediately.
Curtail the Use of MZO’s
In recent eBlasts, FUN reported on the Provincial Governments flagrant use of the Minister’s Zoning Order legislation with objections by Cities, municipalities, citizen, neighbourhood and environmental organizations. But the Provincial Government continues!
One recent example is the demolition of the Dominion Foundry. The St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association (SLNA) has taken the Friends of the Foundry campaign to the Courts to get an interim order to pause the demolition. Toronto City Council will be asked on Tuesday to authorize City legal counsel to also seek a stop to the demolition. A full hearing on the SLNA (and hopefully City) applications will then be held at the end of February.
The Province is now proceeding with legislative changes powers regarding site plan control and inclusionary zoning!
The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods has made a Submission to Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Premier and MPPs commenting on these proposed change. The Recommendation re site plan control is “We recommend that the authority for site plan control should remain with the municipality. The broad strategic uses can and should be encouraged and facilitated by the fiscal, programmatic and broad legislative mandate of the provincial government at the provincial level, not by intervening in site specific plan applications”.
You can review the Federation’s submission at FUN MZO SPA letter Jan 29 2021 FINAL submitted to Prov Govt.