The following information is intended as a guide to appeals under the Planning Act and not as a legal reference. The Planning Act should be consulted for an exact statement of law.
How do I file an appeal with the Commission?
You must file a Notice of Appeal document which can be mailed, emailed, faxed, or hand-delivered to the Commission.
5th Floor, National Bank Tower
134 Kent Street, PO Box 577
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7L1
PEI toll-free 1-800-501-6268
The document must be filed with the Commission during business hours Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. A document received by the Commission after 4:00 p.m. or on a holiday shall be deemed to have been filed on the next day that is not a holiday.
Can more than one person file a Notice of Appeal?
Yes, an appeal may be filed by more than one person. Contact information must be provided for each appellant including name, signature, email, mailing address, and telephone number. Please attach an additional page to the Notice of Appeal if necessary.
How many days do I have to appeal a decision?
The Planning Act requires that an appeal be filed within 21 days of the date of the decision.
Does the 21 day appeal period include weekends and holidays?
Yes. Weekends and holidays are included in the calculation of the 21 day appeal period. For example, if a decision you wish to appeal was made on the 1st day of the month, your signed and completed Notice of Appeal form must be received by the Commission not later than the 22nd day of the same month. However, if the 21st day falls on a day on which the Commission’s office is closed, the deadline is extended to the next day that the Commission’s office is open.
Can I email or fax my completed Notice of Appeal form to the Commission?
Yes, however you must ensure that the emailed form is signed. You may scan a signed Notice of Appeal and email the scanned version. If you email an unsigned but otherwise complete Notice of Appeal, you must follow up with a signed Notice of Appeal by fax, email or personal delivery.
The Commission’s fax number is 902-566-4076.
Can I send my completed Notice of Appeal form to the Commission by regular mail?
Yes, but allow plenty of extra time for delivery. Do not rely on typical delivery times. If you send your Notice of Appeal form to the Commission by regular mail, you must accept the risk that the Commission may not receive your Notice of Appeal within the 21 day appeal period and and as a result be unable to hear your appeal. If you are approaching the end of the 21 day appeal period, personal delivery or faxing your signed and completed Notice of Appeal form is crucial to preserve your right to appeal.
Can I appeal the bylaws or regulations themselves if I don’t think that they are fair?
No. The Commission does not have the legal authority to change bylaws or regulations. The Commission’s role is to determine whether the bylaws or regulations were correctly applied when the municipal council or the Minister made the decision.
What are some common examples of decisions that I could appeal under the Planning Act?
Some examples of typical appeals include decisions to grant or deny a development permit, a rezoning request, preliminary approval of a subdivision, and variances from the bylaws or regulations.
Can the government take away my right to appeal?
How much does it cost to file an appeal with the Commission?
There is no charge to file a Planning Act appeal with the Commission.
Do I need to use the Commission’s Notice of Appeal form when I file an appeal?
Using the form will help you to comply with the requirements for a notice of appeal.
Do I need to give reasons for my appeal on the Notice of Appeal form? Do I need to state what I want the Commission to do if my appeal is granted?
Yes. A notice of appeal must be in writing and must state the reasons for appeal and the redress or remedy that you seek from the Commission.
Do I need to provide a copy of the Notice of Appeal to anyone else?
Yes. You are required, within seven days of filing an appeal with the Commission, to serve a copy of the Notice of Appeal on the decision maker, either the municipal council or the Minister.
I have filed an appeal with the Commission but I would like to see if the other party and I could resolve our differences. Can the Commission help with this?
Yes. The Commission can provide a mediation process.
Mediation is an informal dispute resolution method where a mediator helps disputing parties reach an agreement. The mediator has no power to impose a decision on the parties. If mediation is a possible option to resolving the dispute and all parities are wiling to participate, a member of the Commission’s staff will serve as mediator. Either Commission staff or the parties may suggest using mediation to resolve the dispute.
If the efforts at mediation are unsuccessful, the matter may still proceed to an appeal hearing where the Commission’s Order will be binding.
If you have questions about mediation, please contact our Appeals Administrator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 902-892-3501 or PEI toll-free 1-800-501-6268.
Do I need a lawyer to represent me on an appeal?
You are not required to have a lawyer on a Planning Act appeal. However, you are entitled to hire a lawyer to advise or represent you. You are responsible for paying your lawyer’s fees.
How much time will it take for the Commission to hear my appeal?
The length of the appeal process varies depending upon several factors including:
- the length of time it takes for the Commission to receive requested file information;
- the complexity of the issues;
- the availability of a hearing date for which all the parties are available; and
- whether the parties request and agree to place the appeal process on hold.
If I file an appeal, will I get a copy of the other parties’ documents?
Yes. Documents that are filed with the Commission by a party to an appeal are copied and distributed to the other parties on that appeal.
Can I present photographs to the Commission as part of my evidence?
Yes. If possible, photographs can be provided to the Commission with sufficient copies for all parties.
How many copies of documents do I need to provide to the Commission?
For Planning Act appeals, the Commission requires six copies. Make sure you keep an additional copy for yourself.
Are hearings before the Commission open to the public?
Planning Act appeal hearings are posted on the Commission’s website. Due to COVID-19, Planning Act appeals only permit in-person attendance for appeal participants and their representatives/counsel.
Can a witness testify in private?
No. A witness presents their testimony at a public hearing.
How long does a Planning Act appeal hearing last?
It depends upon the complexity of the matter. Some appeal hearings take less than a half day, while others may take a couple of days.
Can my appeal hearing be postponed?
Yes, with the approval of the Commission and for reasons such as illness or bad weather. It is important to contact the Commission as soon as possible so that the other parties can be notified.
Can I speak to, or send mail or email to the Commission panel members for my appeal?
During the hearing, you may speak to the panel about relevant matters to your appeal. However, it is not appropriate to contact the Commission panel members outside the hearing room. This is to avoid any possibility of bias or impression of preferential treatment. You should contact Commission staff if you need assistance or have questions.
The Commission heard my appeal a week ago and I just thought of something important to add concerning my appeal. Can I send a letter containing this information to the Commission?
No, unless the Commission requests written submissions or further information from the parties following the hearing, the Commission makes its decision based on the evidence and submissions presented at the hearing. It is important to carefully prepare for the hearing.
How long will I have to wait for the written decision?
The time period for the written decision to be issued depends on the complexity of the matters under appeal and the Commission’s schedule.
What can I do if I don’t agree with the Commission’s decision?
You can seek a review or appeal.
Parties seeking a review of a Commission Order may do so by filing with the Commission, at the earliest date, a written Request for Review, which clearly states the reasons for the review and the nature of the relief sought.
For more information, contact the Commission at the information below.
I have heard of something called “jurisdiction”. What does jurisdiction mean and why is it important?
In a nutshell, the term “jurisdiction” refers to whether courts and tribunals, such as the Commission, have the legal power to hear and decide a particular appeal.