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Client Work

Valspar, Rohm & Haas Canada and Crompton Company win a significant victory before the Ontario Municipal Board

Fasken
Reading Time 2 minute read
Client

Valspar, Rohm & Haas Canada and Crompton Company

On April 24, 2006, the Ontario Municipal Board ("OMB") released an important decision with respect to the incompatibility of a sensitive land use with nearby industrial land uses, having regard to the City's Official Plan, zoning and Ministry of the Environment separation guidelines. In December of 2004, Valspar Inc., Rohm & Haas Canada Inc. and Crompton Company Inc. retained Fasken Martineau to assist them before the OMB in their position that it was inappropriate to permit development approvals that would allow a place of worship to locate in close proximity to heavy industrial users. The applications for zoning and official plan amendments to permit the place of worship had been refused at City Council, but appealed to the OMB. The initial hearing had been adjourned, and Fasken Martineau, having been retained following the adjournment, brought a motion on behalf of the industries for party status at the resumption of the hearing this past January. Fasken Martineau retained expert witnesses who could be called, with the fall back that the City would call them, if they were unsuccessful on the motion. Tom Barlow successfully argued the motion on materials prepared by Karen La Caprara and Neil Smiley. Neil Smiley and Tom Barlow acted as co-counsel in the ensuing three days of proceedings, and Neil Smiley presented the closing arguments over a full day, this past February. The OMB's decision was released and Fasken Martineau's clients were successful in thwarting the incursion of the place of worship. The current by-law was upheld and a significant victory has been won for the industries. The decision is very important as it is one where the OMB has decided to give some added life to the Ministry of the Environment separation guidelines, where such guidelines are repeatedly undermined in other proceedings as simply being "guidelines". Moreover, in reaching its decision, the OMB was not prepared to consider the numerous examples of other places of worship locating in industrial areas or the fact that the City has allowed other less than ideal uses to locate in heavy industrial uses (as a mitigating factor to allow this use).