When a decision is appealed, the Ontario Municipal Board or Local Appeal Body will hold a hearing where you will have the chance to present your case. They can make any decision that the consent-granting authority could have made on the application. The Ontario Municipal Board or Local Appeal Body also has the power to dismiss an appeal without holding a hearing.

Appealing a planning decision is a serious matter. It can take considerable time, effort and in some cases, money, for everyone involved. A hearing may last only a few hours if the matter is quite simple, but for more complicated matters, a hearing can last for several days or even weeks.

The Ontario Municipal Board or Local Appeal Body must have regard to the local decision and make a decision based on the facts presented at a hearing. The facts should generally be limited to the information and material that were before the municipal council whose decision is being appealed. New information and material can be introduced at a hearing. However, the Ontario Municipal Board may, on its own initiative, or by motion of the municipality or any of the parties, give the council 60 days to reconsider its decision and make a written submission to the Board if the new information could have materially affected the council’s decision.

At least 30 days before a hearing is held, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing can declare that an official plan matter before the Ontario Municipal Board may adversely affect a provincial interest. When such action occurs, after the hearing is held and the Board renders a decision, the Lieutenant Governor in Council (the Cabinet) may confirm, vary or rescind the Board’s decision on the matter.

The Ontario Municipal Board also has the discretion to dismiss an appeal if it constitutes an abuse of process, such as repeating the submission of an application that has recently been dealt with by the municipality and/or the Ontario Municipal Board. An appeal can also be dismissed by the Ontario Municipal Board if the application before it is substantially different from that which was before a council at the time of its decision.