Ontario amends land use planning legislation
TORONTO, ONT-Legislation to reform Ontario's land use planning system and promote sustainable development has been passed by the Ontario legislature. "This legislation... includes important reforms to Ontario Municipal Board processes, which emphasize local planning and provide the board with a more effective role in helping to ensure well-planned growth," said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Gerretsen. The Planning and Conservation Land Statute Law Amendment Act, 2006, contains enabling provisions that will help municipalities develop more compact, energy efficient and transit-friendly communities. It establishes clear requirements for information and public consultation in the early stages of the planning process. Through land use planning tools, municipalities will be able to consider architectural features, innovative technologies and sustainable design, to improve the look and feel of their communities. Gerretsen said the legislation is intended to work together with Ontario's Greenbelt Plan and other initiatives aimed at promoting clean water, green energy and better transit.