The City's website Engage Ottawa (https://engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan) divides the draft Official Plan into 21 topics, each with a one-pager and an associated feedback form (see screen capture from the City site, below). The deadline for individual public feedback is February 17, although organizations have been given until early March to make formal submissions.
The survey for each of these 21 topics show two (and sometimes one) specific policies for feedback from the public. For example, one of the Climate Change policies is to avoid building on floodplans. There are 37 policies in total included in the survey, each with an agreement scale and a box for general comments on the topic.
Below are all of the policies included on the feedback forms, organized thematically. I asked the City to indicate why they had selected these specific policies from among the many candidates related to the topic. The answer was that the 21 topics align with the key themes the City heard from their engagement with residents, and as such provide an opportunity for people to delve into those topics of interest to them. Unfortunately, this does not explain the reason why some policies within a topics are included for feedback and not others. It does not tell us whether or not these are policies included in the current draft of the Official Plan or policies they are unsure about and on which feedback is needed. Furthermore, some of the statements do not actually specify the proposed policy (for example, under Healthy and Inclusive Communities the statement is “Policies that protect housing for people living with a low income”, but no specific policy idea is included).
Despite the limitations of the consultation, it is currently the main avenue for general public feedback to the City on the policies of the new Official Plan. I encourage residents to use the comment box for topics of interest to them as a way to indicate to the City one or more policies you think would advance the topic.
(Provide your comments here: Draft New Official Plan One-pagers and Feedback Forms).
City consultation topics and policies for feedback
Healthy and Inclusive Communities
1. Protection from extreme heat through requiring shade, safety from health hazards, and access to green spaces.
2. Policies that protect housing for people living with a low income.
Equity and Inclusion
3. Introduce a requirement for replacement units to discourage displacing people.
4. Commit to respectful inclusion and representation of Indigenous peoples’ culture in urban greenspaces, Indigenous art and ceremonial gathering spaces.
5. A growth management strategy that supports Council’s target to reduce emissions 100% by 2050
6. Reduce flood risks by avoiding building in flood plains
7. Directing regeneration to locations where daily and weekly needs can be accessed within a 15-minute walk, known as 15-minute neighbourhoods.
8. Regeneration to contribute to the needs of an ageing population by enhancing access to more vibrant areas with social interaction, health services, and community facilities.
9. Site design and built form policies promote development that reinforces street edges and provides strong relationships between buildings and the public realm
10. Support partnerships resulting in the implementation of living streets, where space is reallocated from serving cars to prioritizing people.
11. A focus on density and building form, rather than about how the inside of the building is divided up.
12. Development standards to illustrate clear benefit to the public interest to justify how it adds to the cost of housing.
High Performance Development Standards
13. Apply performance measures to advance the use of innovative sustainable design practices in site planning and building design.
Sidewalks and Driveways
14. No new curb cuts to be created in the Downtown Core Transect and all areas within the Transforming Overlay.
15. In areas within the Evolving Overlay, the policy will call for the strict minimum of new curb cuts to be created and require scrutiny on circumstances where combined accesses would be a better option.
16. 613 Flats - a new type of residence that has six rooms in total, one of them being a bathroom and three of them being bedrooms.
17. 613 flats designs will require trees and soft landscaping to contribute to the existing character of the street and grow the City’s urban tree canopy.
18. Sidewalks will be required in proximity to frequent and rapid transit.
19. Timing and phasing of new subdivisions and major development will be dependent on the timing and provision of sufficient frequent or rapid transit service capacity.
20. Require early consideration of trees in development and infrastructure projects.
Culture and Heritage
21. A policy framework to conserve important sites of archaeological value that link Ottawa to its past.
22. Consider the needs of the creative cultural industries with unique land use requirements.
23. Direct the knowledge-based jobs typically located in offices to the new Hub and Corridor designations.
24. Allow for the establishment of new neighbourhood-scaled service, retail, cultural and leisure uses in Neighbourhood designations.
Rural Economic Development
25. Protect farmland from uses that would impede productive farming.
26. Support diversification of farming operations to increase local supply of value-added goods and agri-tourism appeal.
27. Recognize bars and restaurants as essential to the vibrancy of the city and supports them in areas like Mainstreets.
28. A no net loss approach for wetlands and significant woodlands in the rural area.
29. A no net negative impact approach for natural features that lie outside the natural heritage system.
30. Prioritize land dedication instead of collecting cash-in-lieu for parks.
31. Differentiate park policies by context, from the downtown to suburban and rural areas.
32. Limiting the expansion of the City’s urban area in proximity of a village.
33. Ensure development will be sensitive to the context and characteristics of the rural area.
34. Align policies with the local Source Protection Plans and gives added protection for municipal and communal wells.
35. Special Districts are identified as being distinct enough from other designations to warrant unique planning treatment.
36. Specific objectives and policies provide guidance for the evolution of each Special District.
37. 15-minute neighbourhoods support pandemic resiliency.