Appealing Development Decisions
The Appeal Process
The St. John’s Development Regulations state that any person may appeal any decision made by the St. John’s Municipal Council or an authorized Officer of Council charged with the administration of the St. John’s Development Regulations, to the St. John’s Local Board of Appeal, which decision is made under the St. John’s Development Regulations, with respect to an:
(b) A revocation of an approval or a permit to undertake a development;
(c) The issuance of a Stop Work Order pursuant to the Development Regulations; or
(d) A decision permitted under the Urban and Rural Planning Act, 2000.
The appeal must be filed with the Secretary of the St. John’s Local Board of Appeal within 14 days from the date on which the particular decision was made by Council or by an Officer of Council.
The Appeal Board
Please note that only those decisions of Council or an Officer of Council made under the St. John’s Development Regulations may be appealed to the St. John’s Local Board of Appeal. The decision of Council to adopt, approve or proceed with a municipal plan, development scheme, development regulations and amendments and revisions of them is final and not subject to appeal.
The St. John’s Local Board of Appeal, commonly referred to as the Appeal Board, is comprised of five persons who have been appointed by the St. John’s Municipal Council. Elected or appointed officials of the City of St. John’s may not serve on the Appeal Board. The Chair of the Appeal Board is appointed by Council. The City Clerk, or his or her representative, acts as Secretary of the Appeal Board.
Authority of the Appeal Board
The Appeal Board has limited powers to overturn a decision of Council or an Officer of Council charged with the administration of the St. John’s Development Regulations. The Appeal Board cannot make a decision that is contrary to the St. John’s Municipal Plan or the St. John’s Development Regulations. Where Council exercises its discretion in making a decision on an application, the Appeal Board cannot substitute its discretion for that of Council.
Any party considering appealing a decision of the St. John’s Municipal Council or an Officer of Council, made under the St. John’s Development Regulations, should give consideration to the merits of the particular case and the Regulations pertaining to the same.
For a copy of the The City of St. John's Appeal Form. This form is also available in person at the following locations:
- City Clerk’s Department, fourth floor, St. John’s City Hall
- Planning and Development Division, third floor, St. John’s City Hall
- Access St. John’s, first floor, St. John’s City Hall
The Appeal Hearing Process
After the appeal is filed, the Secretary of the Appeal Board will contact members of the Appeal Board to arrange the hearing for the appeal. The St. John’s Development Regulations stipulate that the Appeal Board shall meet to hear an appeal within 30 calendar days after the appeal has been filed with the Secretary of the Appeal Board. Before the appeal is heard, the Secretary of the Appeal Board will arrange to have the appeal hearing advertised at least two weeks prior to the date of the appeal hearing. Any persons who feel they may be affected by the appeal may attend the appeal hearing.
Prior to the appeal hearing, the Secretary of the Appeal Board will contact the person who has filed the appeal, known as the appellant, to advise of the date, time and location of the Appeal Hearing. It is not mandatory that the Appellant attend the Appeal Hearing, but the Appellant has the right to do so. Prior to the appeal hearing, the Appellant will be provided with a copy of the City’s written submission on the appeal to the Appeal Board. The appeal hearing will be advertised by the City in a local newspaper and notices will also be sent to property owners in the vicinity of the site which is subject of the appeal.
At the appeal hearing, the City of St. John’s will be represented by City staff. The Appellant will have an opportunity to advise the Appeal Board as to the reasons why an appeal was filed and why the appeal should be allowed. The Appeal Board will in turn ask any questions of the Appellant, City staff, or other attending parties so that the Appeal Board is satisfied that it has a full understanding of all issues surrounding the appeal.
At the conclusion of the appeal hearing, the Appeal Board members will meet privately to discuss the appeal and make a decision. The St. John’s Development Regulations require that the Appeal Board make its decision known in writing, to both the City of St. John’s and the Appellant, within 14 calendar days of hearing the appeal. The Appeal Board shall either confirm or reverse the decision of Council or the Officer of Council.
The St. John’s Development Regulations provide that the decision of the St. John’s Local Board of Appeal is binding upon both the Appellant, and that where an appeal is made to the St. John’s Local Board of Appeal, the Development concerned shall not proceed pending a decision of the appeal and the subsequent issue of all required permits. A decision of the St. John’s Local Board of Appeal may be appealed to the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador within 10 days of the date of the decision of the Appeal Board.