Comment 85622

By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 13:41:32 in reply to Comment 85606

The OMB is supposed to be an independent tribunal. They are not supposed to have their own established opinion on policy, beyond respecting provincial policy and laws. Like other court judgments, decisions are to be evidence-based.

From the Q&A on the OMB website, regarding "How does the Member(s) arrive at a decision?"

"Decisions are based on the evidence presented at the hearing, the relevant law, provincial polices and the principles of good planning."

Whether that always happens in practice is something that could probably be debated. Nevertheless, the OMB has a lot of power - their decisions can be appealed, but under certain conditions and as their own info sheet states "The OMB rarely grants reviews and/or changes a decision"

There are two big factors that affect these decisions, in my opinion:

  • The depth of the case presented by each party during an appeal. And depth is often a function of how much money and resources are available to prepare the case.
  • The opinions of what constitutes "good planning" are not always clear - the province has guidelines and requirements for planning, but they're often very broad or lack teeth to be enforced (and apt to change depending on the government of the day)

The Hamilton decision is pending, but in the KW decision the developers simply made a stronger case than the region did. I would argue it has more to do with what the developers wanted, than what the people want.

Comment edited by ScreamingViking on 2013-01-27 13:42:24

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