New Information about Legal Non-Conforming Rights submitted by Donna Burns, OLA Eastern Vice-President

Published September 1, 2021

Donna Burns has brought our attention to an article on Legal Non-Conforming Rights written by a prominent law firm.  Gowling WLG writes “The concept of legal nonconforming rights (also known as “acquired rights” or “grandfathering”) has undergone a great deal of evolution and clarification in recent years. Legal nonconforming rights are one of the most powerful protections afforded to landowners under land use planning law. The concept provides that, simply put, zoning by-laws cannot apply retroactively. If a use of land, a building, or a structure was legal on Monday, a zoning by-law passed that day cannot render it illegal by Tuesday.”

The article presents three court cases in which legal non-conforming rights worked in the landowner’s favour. For those who like to delve deeply into the minutiae of the workings of our legal system, please see Legal nonconforming rights trilogy in Ontario | Gowling WLG.

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