The Town confirmed on Monday 9 January that it had received notice of an appeal to the OMB by the developer Bob Forrest following its widely applauded decision to reject the proposed redevelopment of the Clock Tower lands in the heart of the heritage conservation district.

I am told the Town is currently processing the appeal

"and will be submitting it to the OMB later this month".

The developer's deadline for triggering an appeal was Thursday 5 January.

The Town says it has 15 days in which to forward the notice of appeal and its response which would take us to the end of next week.

I suspect Forrest's appeal will pick up on the points raised is his intemperate letter to the Mayor and Councillors of 28 November 2016. (Scroll to last item in page 2 and open.) He will no doubt bang on about delays in processing the application. The points he is likely to make can all be easily dealt with.

For its part, the Town says with simplicity and admirable clarity that the application was rejected on 5 December 2016 because:

"the development of the subject lands as proposed would adversely impact the character of the established neighbourhood and adjacent properties within the Heritage Conservation District".

I expect the Staff's proposed response to Forrest's OMB appeal will be formally approved by councillors - and amended if necessary.

In any event, we know the Town's opposition to Forrest's plans is not going to change. Tony Van Trappist admitted as much when he told the Committee of the Whole meeting on 28 November 2016 (after it had rejected the Forrest application) that

"we will be guided by the decision of the majority of this Council."

Van Trappist was, of course, the only member of Council to support the staff's amended version of Forrest's application. The decision to reject the original Forrest application was unanimous.

Forrest's letter, setting out the detailed reasons for his appeal to the OMB, and the Town's response, will be essential reading for anyone seeking Party or Participant status at the OMB Hearing.

All this material should be posted on the Town's website at the same time it is sent down to the OMB in Toronto.

Even if Forrest were to win the OMB Appeal (the chances of which are vanishingly remote) what would he have achieved?

He still won't be able to develop the Clock Tower as proposed because he needs Town owed land which will never in a thousand years be forthcoming.

For me, this is the enduring mystery.

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