Q: How does a matter come before the Board?
A: Municipalities are responsible for determining the future development of communities through the preparation of official plans, zoning by-laws and other planning tools. When disputes arise, appeals can be made to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) under the Planning Act and other legislation. The OMB does not go into a municipality and make decisions. An appeal must be submitted within the legislated timelines and be accompanied by the required information and filing fees.
Q: What is mediation?
A: Mediation is a process where an impartial person (a mediator) helps parties reach a voluntary, mutually acceptable solution on some or all of the issues.
OMB mediation can take place at any time, before or during a pre-hearing or hearing. It may replace a hearing if the parties come to an agreement during mediation.
At the mediation meeting, the OMB Member advises parties on how the mediation will proceed and sets the rules. The Member guides the mediation by encouraging discussion of the issues and may suggest possible solutions. All documents submitted and issues discussed during mediation are private. Unlike a hearing, a mediation meeting does not include the public. For more information, read “Here’s What You Need to Know about Mediation Hearings (PDF)” information sheet.
OMB Members are bound by the Code of Conduct for Ontario Municipal Board Mediators. The Code provides principles for mediators’ conduct and promotes confidence in mediation as a process for resolving disputes. View the Code of Conduct for Ontario Municipal Board Mediators.
Q: What is a pre-hearing?
A: A pre-hearing is the first time parties and participants meet to begin the process of hearing a matter at the OMB. Most pre-hearings are held to identify issues, parties and participants; organize complicated matters; determine what documents should be exchanged; and establish procedures for before and during the hearing.
At the pre-hearing, parties and participants may identify their roles and responsibilities; deal with preliminary issues and motions; discuss procedures for the hearing; clarify the questions and issues that will be dealt with at the hearing; determine the length and date of the hearing; and set any additional pre-hearing or mediation dates.
For more information read “Here’s What You need to Know about Pre-Hearings (PDF)” information sheet