I have dealt fairly and consistently with developers large and small, treating each case as unique. Every applicant who comes to my office gets the standard “here is what I and the community can support, and here is what we cannot” lecture. They are also told they should engage quickly with the affected neighbours and community associations. Some take this to heart, consult, make changes, and move forward with compatible projects. Some simply abandon their plans. Others move forward taking some or none of my advice and hire expensive planning consultants, lobbyists and lawyers. This latter group gets the headlines.
Whenever a project comes forward to Planning Committee which I and the community object to (keeping in mind that there is never a full community consensus for or against anything), I speak in advance to staff, members of Planning Committee and often the mayor. I have had some modest success in blocking the worst, but often end up voting against the project as one of a small number of urban councillors (usually a 19-5 loss to the far more numerous suburban and rural councillors plus the mayor). As long as the spectre of an OMB appeal remained in place, it seems the deck was always stacked against “us.” Now that the systems is changing, I see far more victories possible, and certainly more mediated settlements that are acceptable to all parties.
Thanks for the question! If you have one of your own that you’d like to ask me, e-mail me at David@DavidC.ca