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Comment on draft new Official Plan by February 17 !

  • Wed, February 10, 2021 12:53 PM
    Message # 10078400
    Christian Szpilfogel (Administrator)

    Comment on draft new Official Plan by February 17 !

    The draft new City of Ottawa Official Plan (“OP”) is open for comment until Wednesday, February 17.  The OP sets out goals for land use for years to come.

    Residents, business people and rental housing providers can comment through Engage Ottawa without registering as a lobbyist. This e-Newsletter identifies the key issues for rental housing providers and developers. Even if you are not a developer, commenting is in your interest because making development easier would tend to encourage development, and make land suitable for development more valuable.

    The draft OP is a complex document. In order to facilitate feedback, the City created 21 one-page papers on the key topics.  Links are provided below to key papers, taking you to the paper and a short tailored feedback form. This allows you to give feedback to the City on each area of interest. 

    If you would like to provide general comments for the City, you can do so through newop@ottawa.ca .

    As well, you can send comments to me by 4:00 pm on Tuesday, Feb 16, for us to consider including them in EOLO’s submission to the City.  (Monday, Feb 15 is Family Day.) I can be reached at vp@oreio.org.

    I have worked with EOLO and John Dickie to articulate our combined position. If you have any concerns with this position or if you feel there are other elements to consider in the OP then do let me know.


    In the Housing Paper, the City states:

    “Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) will be applied to the extent that Provincial legislation allows, producing new affordable units. The new supply should not be to the detriment of existing tenants; when a new development is proposed, the City will use its powers under the Planning and Municipal Acts to protect residents in existing affordable units.”

    OREIO & EOLO believe that:

    • The PO should focus on density and building form, rather than about how the inside of a building is divided up.
    • Development standards need to be limited to those that provide clear benefit to the public interest to justify how they add to the cost of housing.
    • Requirements need to be simplified for small and mid-size developments.
    • Inclusionary Zoning needs to be limited in order to avoid impeding new developments.
    • Since the City is eager for intensification, it should not limit development to protect existing low-rise affordable housing. (That works against achieving intensification, and against improving and increasing the housing supply).

    Equity and Inclusion

    In the Equity and Inclusion paper, the City states:

    “Many rentals are ageing and at risk of being replaced with new dwellings at a higher rent. The plan will introduce a requirement for replacement units to discourage displacing people [during redevelopments].”

    OREIO & EOLO believe that:

    • A requirement for replacement units will reduce redevelopment and additions to the stock of housing, thus leading to higher housing prices and rents overall.
    • Respectful inclusion and representation of Indigenous peoples’ culture in urban greenspaces, Indigenous art and ceremonial gathering spaces is appropriate.

    Urban (Tree) Canopy

    In the Urban Canopy paper, the City states:

    “Ottawa must reverse the trend of urban tree loss. Retaining space for existing trees and finding space for new trees pose the biggest challenges. Healthy trees require above-ground space for their canopies. They require below-ground space and good soil for their roots. Finding space for urban trees will become more challenging as Ottawa’s population continues to grow.”

    OREIO & EOLO believes that:

    • Paying too much attention to preserving existing trees risks the success of intensification, and the provision of new housing in existing areas.
    • It is better to accept the replacement of trees so that buildings can be sited best, rather than insisting on preserving trees where they happen to be now.

    Sidewalks and Driveways

    In the Sidewalks and Driveways paper, the City states:

    “Curb cuts is the planning term used to describe the space created to let cars from the street onto a property. Every curb cut means more pavement. Even if it were permeable, pavement does not replace a green front yard. More driveways also mean less space for street trees. The New Official Plan introduces a policy that calls for no new curb cuts to be created in many areas, and strictly limited in most areas.”

    OREIO & EOLO believes that:

    • Additional curb cuts should not be limited unduly, since they may be needed to provide proper access to building parking areas, pedestrian and loading entrances, and solid waste handling areas for new developments or re-developments.
    • Lots or combined lots which lack curb cuts should be entitled to one or two curb cuts depending on the size of the lot and the intended new building

    ‘Christian Szpilfogel


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