Diana Santo is the Senior Planning Director in the Planning and Environmental Design Group at MMM Group Limited. Over the course of her 45 year career, Diana has contributed to various facets of the planning profession, through her diverse roles as a Director at the Ontario MMAH, Vice-Chair of the Ontario Municipal Board, planning consultant and mentor to planning professionals.
Diana has extensive public sector experience with land development and land use planning policy initiatives. As the Director of the former Subdivisions Branch and the Official Plans Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Diana was responsible for the approval of all Official Plans and most plans of subdivision throughout Ontario and provided municipalities with planning advice in developing plans that reflected both provincial policies and sound development options. She was instrumental in initiating the Ontario Foodland Guideline as Provincial policy, protecting prime agricultural lands and tender fruit growing areas. During her 20 year position at the Ontario Municipal Board, Diana presided over many contentious and ground-breaking cases. Adjudicating many matters relating to the interpretation and implementation of land use planning policy with diverse parties with varied and/or opposing public interests. She either case managed or adjudicated many of the commercial competition cases that became known as the “store wars” and decided the development of key sites in Toronto. As part of the adjudication function, she had to weigh the credibility of opinion evidence of professional land-use planners.
The past years in private consulting at MMM Group Limited, Diana has focused on strategies for urban intensification that avoid significant disputes with interested stakeholders.