Land Use Planning

Quick Info
(2320.03)  Course
M. Bassani & A. Skinner; Adjunct Professors
3 credit(s)  3 hour(s);
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement

This course will provide an overview of the law of land use planning and development law regime in Ontario, with an emphasis on the processes, approvals, negotiations and contractual arrangements involved in the development of land, with reference to the Planning Act.

Topics will include the provincial and municipal roles in land use planning and a close examination of the various land use planning instruments and processes, including official plans, zoning by-laws, draft plans of subdivision/consents to sever, site plan approval, building permits, etc. The course will also examine indirect land use controls such as development agreements, development charges and other fees, charges and levies. Students will be introduced to legislation that regulates the heritage protection of built form, and building and construction.

The role of the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) will be discussed, as well as local appeal bodies. Emphasis will be placed on the significant role that local government has with respect to land use planning. The course will accordingly combine aspects of municipal law with an understanding of the land development process.

Overall, the course will provide students with an understanding of the powers and rights available to citizens, stakeholders, landowners, governments, non-governmental organizations, and public sector agencies in shaping land use planning in Ontario.

As learning objectives, students should, by the end of the course:
• demonstrate a high degree of knowledge of the main principles and rules applicable to the land use planning regime in Ontario, with a particular focus on the Planning Act and related case law, and be able to apply these principles and rules to various fact situations in a relevant, precise and well-structured way;
• have an appreciation of other important Ontario statutes that impact the land use planning and development regime in Ontario, and be able to apply relevant portions of these statutes;
• be familiar with the basic functions and powers of municipalities in Ontario;
• understand the general role and the administrative procedures of the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) and the matters that it adjudicates;
• develop a critical perspective on the land use planning regime in Ontario, and be able to explain how certain policy objectives may be fulfilled or, alternatively, frustrated by aspects of the regime; and
• be able to critically evaluate and analyze formal decisions related to land use planning made by municipalities, the Province, the OLT and other approval authorities.