Administrative law – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Municipal boards – Municipalities – Planning and zoning – Variance orders – Judicial review – Appeals – Parties – Standing – Failure to provide reasons – Evidence
Plotkine v Seidenfeld,  O.J. No. 3375, 2014 ONSC 4157, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, July 16, 2014, T.R. Lederer J.
The Respondent landowners, Allan and Susan Seidenfeld, wanted to build a home in Toronto. The desired plan was larger than the zoning would allow so they applied for 10 minor variances. The Applicant, Mr. Plotkine, is one of the neighbouring homeowners. Mr. Plotkine opposed the variances sought by the Seidenfelds. Several of the other neighbours were not opposed to the variances sought by the Seidenfelds.
On July 4, 2013, there was a hearing of the City of Toronto Committee of Adjustments. The Committee refused the variances after considering Mr. Plotkine’s letter of opposition and the Seidenfelds’ evidence which included 12 letters of support.
The Seidenfelds appealed the Committee’s decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (the “Board”). At the appeal hearing, Mr. Plotkine gave evidence as a participant (not a party). A professional land use planner testified in support of the variances. The Board allowed the appeal and approved all 10 variances.
Mr. Plotkine applied for leave to appeal the Board’s decision to the Court. He alleged that the Board’s reasons were insufficient to demonstrate an analysis of the issues. The Court rejected this argument and dismissed the motion for leave to appeal.
In the course of opposing Mr. Plotkine’s application, the Seidenfelds argued that Mr. Plotkine did not have standing to appeal the Board’s decision because he was not a party. The legislation does not specify who has a right of appeal in response to the Board’s decision. In obiter, the Court held that a participant does not have a right to appeal.
Costs were awarded to the Seidenfelds in the amount of $10,000, as agreed by the parties.
This case was digested by Scott J. Marcinkow of Harper Grey LLP. If you would like to discuss this case further, please feel free to contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or review his biography at http://www.harpergrey.com.
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