Planning in the World of COVID-19
Answers to your questions about planning during COVID-19
As some of you are probably already aware, things will be a little slower going this year if you were planning on rebuilding your home or cottage or even planning on having some landscaping done. On the planning-approval side of things, since municipalities are attempting to get things done by way of video conferences and meetings, or in some cases not scheduling meetings at all, things are are still moving in the world of planning, albeit moving much slower.
To allow municipalities to focus their resources on reducing the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario Government passed the Coronavirus Support and Protection Act, 2020, closely followed by Ontario Regulation 149/20 which makes some special rules pertaining to the regular deadlines imposed by the Planning Act . In short, and to us specifically as Planners and those of us that require planning applications to develop our land, these rules allow municipalities to essentially "pause" planning applications for the span of the declared emergency by allowing them to exclude the period of the COVID-19 emergency from certain Planning Act deadlines thus delaying the processing and approval of certain planning applications including but not limited to the following:
- Site Plan Agreements
- Minor Variances
- Zoning Amendments
- Official Plan Amendments
- Plans of Subdivision
- Ontario Land Tribunal Appeals
Although municipalities may be moving slower with processing, and Council and Committees slower to hear and make decisions on applications, our firm is still working with clients to prepare and submit these applications to get their desired developments in the queue so to speak, so that when things settle and get back to normal (or whatever the new normal may be), we will be ready to proceed.
At this time we are continuing to accept inquiries and new clients as our team of Planners are working from home to ensure your applications continue to move forward while staying within the safety parameters we are all doing our best to adhere to at this time. If you have any questions about the planning process in today's world, or how the new laws will affect your own property development, or if you simply require the advice of a Planner, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our team members.
We know this is a stressful time for everyone; rest assured your planning needs will continue to be taken care of.
- The Team at Marie Poirier Planning & Associates Inc.