Board-specific processes and requirements
Committee of Adjustment
The board-specific requirements set out below reflect the requirements approved by Council in September 2006.
The Committee of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial body that hears applications for minor zoning variances and land severances. The committee is a local board of the City established under the Planning Act.
The committee conducts itself in accordance with the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, R.S.O. 1990, and is also governed by the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 4, "Adjustment, Committee of".
To make informed decisions, each panel member is expected to:
- review materials filed with each application
- conduct individual site inspections of the subject property to assess the impacts the proposal may have on the surrounding area, and
- attend and participate at all public hearings scheduled for their respective panels, including a briefing session prior to the actual hearing.
Panel Chairs are responsible for:
- ensuring fair and timely public hearings
- addressing matters concerning the operation and conduct of their panel membership, and
- participating as a member of the Panel Chair group to discuss issues affecting the city-wide Committee membership.
Successful candidates must attend an intensive orientation and training program.
Term of office
The Committee of Adjustment consists of 28 citizen members organized into four Panels corresponding to the Community Council boundaries. There are:
- 5 panel members in Scarborough;
- 5 panel members in Etobicoke - York;
- 8 panel members in North York (a maximum of five panel members may participate in any one meeting of the North York Panel); and
- 10 panel members in Toronto - East York (with hearing panels set at 5).
(Amended by City Council at its meeting held on October 24 and 25, 2011, as Item CA11.4 and further amended by City Council at its meeting held on November 29 and 30 and December 1, 2011 as Item MM14.31)
In addition to the general eligibility requirements set out in the Public Appointments Policy, members should collectively bring the following skills and expertise to the committee:
- demonstrate a strong interest in the complexities and challenges of city building;
- bring an understanding of the diverse neighbourhoods and communities across the city;
- have knowledge in one or more areas of: law, planning, architecture, government, economic development, community development, land development, or citizen advocacy;
- demonstrate decision-making, communication, and mediation skills to facilitate an open and fair hearing process; and
- each panel should have at least 2 members with adjudication experience and administrative public speaking and organizational skills to be able to chair public hearings and maintain order in conflict situations.
A member cannot act as an agent for applicants before the Committee of Adjustment.
Former Council Members who served in the immediately preceding term of Council are ineligible for appointment as public members.
Public hearings are generally scheduled every 2 to 3 weeks depending on the application volume in each District, but they are sometimes scheduled more often when volumes are high.
Public Hearings are held at the Civic Centres, and the start times may vary from the times listed below:
Etobicoke York Panel
2 p.m. at either the Etobicoke or
York Civic Centres
North York Panel
10 a.m. at North York Civic Centre
9:30 a.m. at Scarborough Civic Centre
Toronto and East York Panel
9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at
Toronto City Hall
|Panel Chairs:||$1,000 annually, plus $350 per hearing attended|
|Members:||$350 per hearing attended|
Nomination process - advertised recruitment
Members are recruited through City-wide media advertising, screened against Council approved qualifications by a City staff team and short-listed by the Community Councils. The Community Councils identify up to 2 nominees, where possible, for every vacancy.
The Civic Appointments Committee interviews short-listed candidates, but may select additional candidates to interview from the larger pool of candidates who applied for the Panel, if deemed necessary, and nominates candidates for appointment by City Council.