City may scrap omnibus bylaw
Legal challenges have made bylaw ineffective: councillor
A city-wide Toronto bylaw that cost millions to create and covers everything from parking rules to building permits could be on the chopping block.
The new bylaw was intended to make various bylaws for residents in different parts of the city consistent after the city amalgamated.
But the bylaw has instead drawn more than 700 appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board
Donald Kerr, whose house sits on about an acre of land in the Forest Hill neighbourhood, said the new bylaw is the latest attempt to limit what he can build there.
The old bylaw would allow a 12,000-square-foot structure on his lot; the new bylaw allows for only half that.
"I have been fighting for 34 years," Kerr told CBC News. He said the new bylaw may deter and future potential buyers of his property.
"Likely they're going to build a new house twice the size. To protect my values, I need to protect the rights of any future purchaser or builder."
Kerr is appealing the bylaw to the Ontario Municipal Board.
So are more than 700 others, including the city's own budget chief, developers and many homeowners trying to build an addition.
Coun. Peter Milczyn's planning committee will decide what do next week. He said the city has spent seven years and $7 million creating a bylaw that hasn't worked.
"It's not the city's job to go out of its way to make life difficult for people," said Milczyn. "There were literally hundreds upon hundreds of errors and omissions within the bylaw that have caused all kinds problems for all kind of property owners."
Milczyn said starting from scratch will eliminate the appeals before the OMB and save the city millions.
Meanwhile, city staff are working on amendments they say can fix problems with the bylaw.