Planning Act Approvals

In an effort to achieve land-use planning approvals with the intent of realizing a proposed development, applications are made within municipalities under the Planning Act. Our firm is involved in the production and coordination of Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment applications, Draft Plans of Subdivision, Site Plans, Draft Plans of Condominium, Committee of Adjustment applications such as Minor Variance and Consent to Sever applications and more.

The preparation of the above noted applications may include some of the below list of deliverables:

  • Planning Justification Report
  • Community Services and Facilities Study
  • Rental Replacement Analysis
  • Draft Official Plan Amendment
  • Draft Zoning By-law Amendment
  • Minor Variance Rationale
  • Consent to Sever Rationale
  • Application Forms
  • Application Fee Confirmation
  • Cover Letter
  • Development Summary Review
  • Sustainability Matrices

Pre-Acquisition Strategic Analysis

Strategy is the foundation of success. By leveraging our planning and design expertise, Weston Consulting can approach every project with a unique and diverse perspective. Our strategic analysis is conveyed by a multitude of tangible and intangible deliverables. Contact us to discover and learn more about our suite of services.

Due Diligence Report
Often used as an early introduction to the lands, a Due Diligence Report can provide a preliminary analysis of the applicable planning policy framework at a high level. This will in clue as-of-right development potential for the lands as well as next steps in the planning process.

Development Options Report
This report is produced in house and is often used as a marketing package for our clients. It includes a comprehensive evaluation of a property by showcasing development concepts with pertinent policy and regulatory framework analysis, including an assessment of feasibility and sustainability.

Financial Pro-Forma
Having the ability to understand cost is one of the most critical pieces of information that assist in making an informed decision about your development. A Pro-Forma Analysis can be completed for residential, commercial or employment lands to evaluate hard and soft development costs and provide a projected analysis of estimated profits.

Landowner Group Management

Managing the interest of multiple parties that aim to achieve common goals is a cornerstone consulting service that our firm provides. By project managing an array of multi-disciplinary technical services, including finance and accounting, our clients benefit from a suite of landowner group and project management services that includes the preparation and development of financial reports, establishing, tracking and maintaining project budgets, and preparing cost sharing principles and development agreements.

Project Management

In addition to providing planning services and deliverables, Weston also provides a full range of project management services to assist in expediting projects through the Planning process. Our project management services can be provided independent to, or along with our suite of planning services within a project. This may include the following:

  • Gantt Charts / Project Timeline Projections
  • Time Task Matrices
  • Project Team Coordination
  • Project Deliverables Matrices
  • Critical Path Analysis
  • Comment Response Matrices
  • Weekly/Monthly Project Updates

Expert Testimony

Weston provides expert testimony supported by detailed evidence and professional descriptive graphics for various land-use planning and design tribunals. These services include the following:

Planning Application Hearings
Ontario has two governing appeal bodies at this time under the Planning Act. The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT; formerly the OMB) and the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB). The LPAT deals with all matters relating to Planning Act Applications within the province other than Committee of Adjustment applications in the City of Toronto, which are reviewed by the TLAB. Our services for LPAT and TLAB hearings include the preparation of Witness Statements or Affidavits, detailed evidence materials, document books, visual exhibits

Expropriation Hearings
Occasionally landowners are faced with expropriation of all or partial portions of their property. When this happens, Weston is able to provide representation to assist in achieving fair market compensation for the land by using various tools in an effort to achieve valuations based on planning and design analyses. Weston is able to provide expert testimony at a Hearing of Necessity or Board of Negotiation under the Ontario Expropriation Act. Preparations include Witness Statements or Affidavits, detailed evidence materials, document books, visual exhibits and Highest and Best Use analyses based on pre-and post land takings.

Community Engagement

Our team represents the interests of a diverse class of stakeholders, from developers to ratepayer groups, within various communities. Focusing on community interest is an integral part of the urban planning landscape and is done through statutory and non-statutory platforms to solicit feedback and collaborate with the community. Our community engagement strategies can include the following based on the scope of project and nature of community issues;

  • Statutory Public Meetings
  • Informal Public Meetings
  • Community Open Houses
  • Public Information Sessions
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Ratepayer Association Engagement
  • Third Party Facilitator
  • Design Charette

Additional Services

  • Joint-Venture Brokerage Strategies
  • Adaptive Re-use Strategies
  • Public Sector Endeavors
  • City of Toronto “Open Door” applications
  • Permit Processing
  • Development Agreements
  • Minister’s Zoning Order
  • Employment Land Conversion
  • Urban Boundary Expansion

Urban Design

Master Planning

A master plan is an important step in the development of new and evolving places. Typically required for larger site design, master plan exercises help bring together a variety of site specific, neighbourhood and regional considerations, providing strategic direction as a project progresses. Not only does a master plan establish the character and built form vision for a site or area, it can be used as a basis for cost estimates, promotes buy-in and facilitates engagement with a variety of stakeholders, and can improve the potential for project realisation and success.

  • Strategic Master Plans
  • MTSA Transit Hub Master Plans
  • Block Plans
  • Community Plans
  • Secondary Plans
  • Tertiary Plans

Concept & Site Design Development

Weston Consulting provides development options analysis for a range of site contexts and scales. This consists of a comprehensive evaluation of a project or property in order to thoroughly assess the development or redevelopment opportunities available. With careful consideration of economic factors, municipal documentation (such as Zoning By-laws and Official Plans), local development trends, environmental constraints, transportation, site access and risk considerations, our design team delivers robust concept options at various stages of the design process. We have worked on diverse projects, from greenfield sites to urban infill to adaptive reuse. This process may include several design investigations to assess and propose preliminary concepts.

  • Site Plans
  • Concept Plans
  • 3D Massing
  • Streetscape Design
  • Landscape Design

Draft Plans and Technical Drawing

Our team of experienced experts prepare accurate draft plans, together with detailed development analysis. The firm liaises closely with Ontario Land Surveyors and the client in order to obtain the latest available surveys, secure authorizations required for submission, and advise on when to proceed with the preparation of M-plans or R-plans. Weston Consulting has actively led projects for residential, commercial and industrial condominiums for both new and existing buildings. Our team utilizes the latest technology in AutoTURN software for industrial, commercial, institutional or residential projects that require detailed transportation and access assessments.

  • Draft Plans of Subdivision
  • Draft Plans of Condominium
  • Industrial Plans using AutoTURN
  • Severance Plans

Urban Design Studies and Guidelines

Urban Design Studies and Guidelines provide an evaluation of key urban design principles expressed by proposed developments. These documents are often required as part of the development process, and assist in communicating the development vision. An Urban Design Study typically includes contextual analysis, a statement of urban design intentions, explanatory diagrams and a review of applicable urban design policy. Municipalities often wish to establish how a proposed building design will form a compatible relationship with existing and planned streetscape and neighbourhood contexts. The Study explains why certain design decisions have been made, and how various design directions have been implemented in-line with established Municipal Official Plans and Urban Design Guidelines. Our team delivers a range of Urban Design Studies, including Neighbourhood/Community Design Guidelines and Sustainability Assessments.

Shadow Analysis

We provide technical shadow analysis to assess the impacts of a proposed building on sunlight access. A Sun/Shadow Study may be required for proposed developments over a certain height, depending on the municipality within which the site is located. Weston Consulting prepares a visual model and written assessment evaluating the impacts of shadows at various times and dates. We work with consultant teams to determine how proposed built form design can efficiently adapt in order to mitigate resulting shadow on sensitive neighbouring areas.

Visualization and 3D Rendering

Throughout the development of our projects, we provide substantial visualization services to investigate and describe the objectives and deliverables. We prepare site plan renders, 3D models and streetscape compositions, helping clients and the public to gain an understanding of how the development will look and function. This adds a human dimension to preliminary designs. Quality presentation is fundamental to our work, aiding in the legibility and delivery of projects. We support our clients to provide materials for a variety of meetings and hearings.

— Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Materials
— Toronto Local Appeal Board Materials
— Open House Exhibits

Promotional and Marketing Materials
— Precedent and Visioning Booklets
— Advertisements

Additional Services

Our design team possess a diverse range of skills to deliver our unique services. Our additional services include an array of visualisation materials to support the development of spatial concepts and plans. The following list illustrates some of our additional design services.

— Community Services and Facilities Studies
— Development Options Reports
— Bespoke Research Projects

Supplementary Report Materials may include Context Maps, Tertiary Plans, Policy Mapping, SWOT Analysis and Site Constraint Mapping. These are sometimes prepared as standalone-documents or integrated into required reports to support a variety of development application types.

Peer Review
Utilizing our extensive experience engaging with municipalities and knowledge of the regulatory framework, Weston Consulting provides peer review services for drawing sets, urban design guidelines and reports, shadow studies and other studies.

Detailed Design Drawings
— Site Plan Rendering
— Elevation Drawings
— Landscape Concepts
— Floor Plans & Elevations

Notice Signs for New Development