Property Standards Committee / Fence Viewers – Board Governance Structure
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Mandate and Responsibilities
The Property Standards Committee is a quasi-judicial body that hears appeals to orders issued by City Property Standards Officers for violations of certain Ontario Building Code and municipal by-law standards for residential, multiple residential and commercial properties.
The committee is a local board of the City. It conducts itself in accordance with the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, and is also governed by the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 629, “Property Standards”.
The Property Standards Committee is organized into hearing Panels. Members conduct hearings and review reports prior to the hearings. Members are also required to attend an initial meeting as a full committee in order to appoint a City-wide chair and a chair for each panel.
Committee members may also be called upon to serve as Fence Viewers, under the authority of the Line Fences Act, 1990, to arbitrate fence disputes between property owners, (i.e., constructing, re-constructing or repairing). Fence viewers may hear evidence under oath.
Board Size and Composition
The Property Standards Committee consists of 16 citizen members organized into four hearing Panels corresponding to the Community Council boundaries.
Property Standards Committee Chair
The Property Standards Committee elects a City-wide Chair from among its members.
Each Panel elects a Panel Chair from among its members.
Citizens are eligible for appointment to the Property Standards Committee, and eligible to remain on the Property Standards Committee after being appointed, if they satisfy the eligibility requirements for appointment as set out in the City’s Public Appointments Policy.
Members may not act as an agent for any appellant before the Property Standards Committee.
Former Council members who served in the immediately preceding term of Council are ineligible for appointment.
Members of the Property Standards Committee are to:
- bring an understanding of the diverse neighbourhoods and communities across the City;
- have a concern for the health and safety of City residents;
- have an understanding of the Building Code Act; Municipal Code Chapter 629, Property Standards; building practices and tribunal processes;
- have a clear understanding of the role of the Property Standards Committee;
- if possible, have previous experience as a member of a decision-making body; and
- be able to read and understand building plans, surveys and reports.
Appointments Process – Citizen Members
Citizen members are recruited through a City-wide advertised recruitment process. The appointments process is conducted according to the policies and procedures in the City’s Public Appointments Policy.
Hearing Panels typically hold public meetings 10 times a year at the Etobicoke, Toronto, Scarborough and North York Civic Centres where the Municipal Licensing and Standards offices for the area are located.
Meetings of Fence Viewers are held infrequently when required.
City-wide Chair: $500 annual payment plus $125 for each hearing day attended.
Members: $125 for each hearing day attended.
Members who serve as fence viewers are paid an hourly rate of $30 per hour.