Municipal and Planning Law
Our robust municipal law practice is focused broadly on appeals and judicial reviews, as well as public inquiries and beyond.
We have acted on behalf of individuals, small businesses and major corporations and developers, advising clients in cases involving the Municipal Conflicts of Interest Act, the Ontario Municipal Board (now the Land Planning Appeal Tribunal) and the City of Toronto’s Integrity Commissioner. In Toronto, in particular, we have played a key role in cases pertaining to election financing issues, and an application to invalidate the election of municipal councillor.
Chris Paliare and Richard Stephenson successfully represented our client the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) in responding to an appeal in the Divisional Court brought by the City of Toronto. The City sought to overturn a decision of the OMB (now LPAT) regarding the City’s new Development Permit System. The case raised important and novel issues with respect to both municipal planning and administrative law. See:
Ombudsman of Ontario v. Hamilton (City) – Robert Centa and Denise Cooney 2018 CarswellOnt 8627 (ONCA) – Public Law/Judicial review Respondent city was subject of appellant provincial ombudsman’s report — Ombudsman challenged city boards’ private deliberations and issuing of reasons in private, after holding public hearings — Ombudsman issued complaint, and prepared report — City applied for judicial review of report, seeking declaratory relief — Application was granted in part — Reviewing court found that city boards were not local boards under law, and were outside ombudsman’s jurisdiction — Reviewing court did not grant broader declaratory relief, as to ombudsman’s jurisdiction — Ombudsman claimed reviewing court was in error, on issue of what was local board — City claimed that even if boards were considered local, deliberations were exempt from being made public — Ombudsman appealed from reviewing court’s judgment — City cross-appealed — Appeal dismissed; no judgment made as to cross-appeal — City boards did not provide essential services, as to day-to-day operation of city — As investigative and adjudicative bodies, city boards’ function was different than those identified as local boards — Ombudsman did not have jurisdiction to investigate alleged non-compliance.
Rob Centa and Denise Cooney represented the Ombudsman of Ontario before the Divisional Court and Court of Appeal on an application regarding the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction to investigate the deliberations of the City of Hamilton’s committees and local boards.
Chris Paliare and Michael Fenrick represented a developer in successfully resisting an appeal from a decision of the Ontario Municipal Board brought by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in The Legislative Assembly of Ontario v. Avenue-Yorkville Developments Ltd., 2011 ONSC 258.