Minister’s Zoning Orders
OFT recently reviewed the use of Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs) in Ontario and provided feedback on the potential impacts their use may have on farmland.
MZOs were introduced into provincial legislature to allow for the Minister to make decisions over land that had no official plan, and in specific extenuating circumstances when a provincial issue was in question.
While MZOs are described by the Province as rarely used in municipalities that have comprehensive land use planning in place, they are being used to expedite residential development in established municipalities with increasing frequency. In fact, in this term of government, the Province has introduced more MZOs than what the previous government had introduced in the ten years prior. These MZOs set a dangerous precedent, that directly puts farmland at risk from development.
For these reasons, OFT believes that the use of MZOs should not be expanded out of their traditional role of providing guidance to areas without an official plan.