Report to/Rapport au :

 

Planning and Environment Committee

Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement

 

and Council / et au Conseil

 

31 March 2006 / le 31 mars 2006

 

Submitted by/Soumis par : Ned Lathrop, Deputy City Manager/

Directeur municipal adjoint,

Planning and Growth Management/Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance 

 

Contact Person/Personne ressource : Carol Christensen, Manager / Gestionnaire

Environmental Management/Gestion de l’environnement

(613) 580-2424 x21610, Carol.Christensen@ottawa.ca

 

City Wide

Ref N°: ACS2006-PGM-POL-0025

 

 

SUBJECT:

Official Plan Amendment – community
improvement and contaminated sites policies

 

 

OBJET :

modification du plan officiel – politiques sur
les améliorations communautaires et les sites contaminés

 

 

REPORT RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve an amendment to the City of Ottawa Official Plan to amend Sections 4.8.4 Contaminated Sites, 5.1 Introduction, 5.2.1 General, 5.2.3 Public Notification, 5.2.5 Community Improvement, and the Glossary as detailed in Document 1.

 

RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT

 

Que le Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement recommande au Conseil d’approuver une modification du Plan officiel de la Ville d’Ottawa, aux articles 4.8.4 Sites contaminés, 5.1 Introduction, 5.2.1 Généralités, 5.2.3 Avis public, 5.2.5 Améliorations communautaires, de même qu’au glossaire, tel qu’exposé en détail dans le Document 1.   

 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Assumptions and Analysis:

 

The purpose of this amendment is to provide the required policy framework for the Brownfields Redevelopment Strategy and to ensure that the City has (1) community improvement policies consistent with legislative authority under Section 28 of the Planning Act to designate community improvement project areas and prepare community improvement plans; and (2) a comprehensive set of official plan policies in place to ensure that contaminated and potentially contaminated sites are properly assessed, remediated and/or risk managed prior to development. The Brownfields Redevelopment Strategy is tentatively scheduled for the June 13, 2006 Planning and Environment Committee.

 

Financial Implications:

 

This amendment has no financial implications.

 

Public Consultation/Input:

 

The Planning and Growth Management Department circulated all registered community associations, all Ward Councillors, as well as the Ottawa Carleton Homebuilders’ Association and the Building Owners’ and Managers’ Association Ottawa Chapter.

 

In addition, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the internal and external working groups involved with the Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy were notified of the Official Plan amendment and circulated the amendment details.   

 

 

RÉSUMÉ

 

Hypothèses et analyse :

 

Cette modification a pour objet de donner le cadre stratégique nécessaire à la Stratégie de réaménagement des friches industrielles et de permettre à la Ville (1) de disposer de politiques d’améliorations communautaires conformes au cadre légal en vertu de l’article 28 de la Loi sur l’aménagement du territoire pour désigner les secteurs où seront menés des projets d’améliorations communautaires et pour préparer des plans en ce sens; et (2) de mettre en place un ensemble détaillé de politiques du Plan officiel de sorte que les sites contaminés ou risquant de l’être soient adéquatement évalués et pris en charge, et/ou qu’ils fassent l’objet d’une gestion des risques avant tout aménagement. La Stratégie de réaménagement des friches industrielles devrait être présentée au Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement le 13 juin 2006.

 

Répercussions financières :

 

Cette modification n’a aucune répercussion financière.

 

Consultation publique / commentaires :

 

Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance a communiqué avec toutes les associations communautaires accréditées, avec tous les conseillers municipaux ainsi qu’avec l'Association des constructeurs d'habitations d'Ottawa-Carleton et la section d’Ottawa de la Building Owners’ and Managers’ Association.

 

De plus, le ministère des Affaires municipales et du Logement ainsi que les groupes de travail internes et externes ayant participé à l’élaboration de la Stratégie de réaménagement des friches industrielles ont été avisé de la modification du Plan officiel et ont reçu les détails à ce sujet.   

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

In December 2004, the City was awarded $100,000 by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Green Municipal Enabling Funds to support the development of a comprehensive Brownfields Redevelopment Strategy. The project was launched in June of 2005 and will be completed by the spring of 2006. This project has involved an extensive consultation process involving stakeholders and the larger community.

 

The proposed Official Plan Amendments have been developed to accommodate the Brownfields Redevelopment Strategy and to ensure that the City has (1) community improvement policies consistent with legislative authority under Section 28 of the Planning Act to designate community improvement project areas and prepare community improvement plans; and (2) a comprehensive set of official plan policies in place to ensure that contaminated and potentially contaminated sites are properly assessed, remediated and/or risk managed prior to development.

 

The proposed amendment to Section 4.8.4 Contaminated Sites of the Official Plan will apply to both rural and urban areas. The proposed policies will provide environmental due diligence to minimize the liability, for both the City and private landowners, in approving development applications that involve the remediation of contaminated sites. This typically involves requiring Phase I and II, Environmental Site Assessments and/or a Record of Site Condition in compliance with Ontario Ministry of Environment guidelines.  The amendment will also clarify Official Plan policies as they relate to the City’s current development practices that involve contaminated sites and remediation.

 

The proposed changes to Section 5.2.5 Community Improvement are in accordance with the Planning Act and will apply to the urban area and rural villages as designated in the Official Plan.  These new policies will allow the City to prepare community improvement plans for designated project areas that require enhancement as a result of age, dilapidation, overcrowding, faulty arrangement, unsuitability of buildings or other environmental, social or other community or economic development reasons.  The intent of the Community Improvement Policies is to improve the urban environment and quality of life in communities with public facilities and infrastructure to advance growth management policies in the Official Plan. The Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy is an example of a Community Improvement Plan that will be enabled as a result of the proposed Official Plan Amendment.  As such the strategy could provide the City with the ability to offer a range of financial incentives and engage in municipal leadership activities such as strategic brownfield property acquisition and participation in partnerships to remediate and redevelop brownfield sites. The Brownfields Redevelopment Strategy is tentatively scheduled to be heard at Planning and Environment Committee on June 13, 2006.

 

Other parts of the proposed amendment modify sections of the Official Plan such as the Public Notification section and the Glossary. The intent of these changes is to ensure that these parts of the Official Plan take into account and accommodate the new community improvement and contaminated sites policies.

 

In conclusion, the amendment proposed provides the City with access to a variety of tools available through the potential implementation of Community Improvement Plans and an improved level of environmental due diligence by updating the existing contaminated sites policies.

 

 

CONSULTATION

 

The Planning and Growth Management Department circulated all registered community associations, all Ward Councillors, as well as the Ottawa Carleton Homebuilders’ Association and the Building Owners’ and Managers’ Association Ottawa Chapter.

 

In addition, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the internal and external working groups involved with the Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy were notified of the Official Plan amendment and circulated the amendment details.   

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

This amendment has no financial implications.

 

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

 

Document 1 -  Proposed Official Plan Amendment

 

 

DISPOSITION

 

Planning and Growth Management Department to prepare the implementing by-law, forward to Legal Services Branch and undertake the statutory notification.

 

Department of Corporate Services, Legal Services Branch to forward the implementing by-law to City Council.

 


DOCUMENT 1

 

PROPOSED OFFICIAL PLAN AMENDMENT                                                                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Official Plan Amendment X Modifications du Plan directeur

 

To the Official Plan of the City of Ottawa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Land use

Utilisation du sol


 


 

 

INDEX

 

 

 

The Statement of Components

 

PART A - THE PREAMBLE

Purpose

Location

Basis

 

PART B- THE AMENDMENT

Introductory Statement

Details of the Amendment

Implementation and Interpretation

 

 


THE STATEMENT OF COMPONENTS

 

PART A - THE PREAMBLE, introduces the actual Amendment but does not constitute part of Amendment No. 39 to the City of Ottawa Official Plan.

 

PART B - THE AMENDMENT, constitutes the actual Amendment No. 39 to the City of Ottawa Official Plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

PART A - THE PREAMBLE

 

Purpose

 

The purpose of Amendment X is to amend Sections 4.8.4 Contaminated Sites, 5.1 Introduction, and 5.2.1 General, 5.2.3 Public Notification, 5.2.5 Community Improvement, and the Glossary.

 

Location

 

This Official Plan Amendment applies to the entire City of Ottawa.

 

Basis

 

The basis of the amendment is to accommodate the Brownfields Redevelopment Strategy and to ensure that the City has (1) community improvement policies consistent with legislative authority under Section 28 of the Planning Act to designate community improvement project areas and prepare community improvement plans; and (2) a comprehensive set of official plan policies in place to ensure that contaminated and potentially contaminated sites are properly assessed, remediated and/or risk managed prior to development.

 

Section 5.2.5 Community Improvement will be amended to provide the proper legislative authority under Section 28 of the Planning Act to designate community improvement project areas and prepare community improvement plans. The purpose and range of actions that can be implemented through CIPs vary significantly and may include not just brownfields redevelopment but also upgrading of areas characterized by obsolete or deteriorated buildings, deficient municipal recreational or hard services, social or economic instability, environmental problems, energy efficiency, housing, and/or social development issues/needs.

 

The reason for changing Section 4.8.4 Contaminated Sites is to better reflect Province of Ontario Ministry of Environment Standards and to provide clearer guidance when reviewing development applications for both the City and property owners. Overall, the recommendations are based on the analysis of brownfields-related legislation and regulations, the Ministry of Environment “Guideline for Use at Contaminated Sites”, and the “Regional Planning Commissioners of Ontario Standard Municipal Model”.

 

 

 


PART B - THE AMENDMENT

 

1.     Introduction

 

All of this part of the document entitled Part B - The Amendment constitutes Amendment X to the Official Plan of the City of Ottawa.

 

2.     Details of Amendment

 

The City of Ottawa Official Plan is hereby amended as follows:

 

2.1   Section 4.8.4 Contaminated Sites be deleted and replaced by the following:

 

4.8.4 Contaminated Sites

 

Potentially contaminated sites are sites where the environmental condition of the property (soil and/or groundwater) may have potential for adverse effects on human health, ecological health or the natural environment. In order to prevent these adverse effects, it is important prior to permitting development on these sites, to identify these sites and ensure that they are suitable or have been made suitable for the proposed use in accordance with provincial legislation and regulations.

While the identification of potentially contaminated sites is important in the planning application review process, the policies in this section should not be interpreted as a commitment on the part of the City of Ottawa to identify all contaminated sites or properties. Rather, the objective of the City of Ottawa is to responsibly utilize available information in the development application review process in order to help ensure that development takes place only on sites where the environmental conditions are suitable for the proposed use of the site.

 

Policies

 

1.      The City will require applicants to document previous uses of a property or properties that are subject of a development application and/or properties that may be adversely impacting the property that is subject of a development application in order to assist in the determination of the potential for site contamination.

2.      The City will require an affidavit from a qualified person as defined by provincial legislation and regulations, confirming that a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) has been completed in accordance with Ontario Regulation 153/04, as amended from time to time, as follows:

a) For all applications for proposed plans of subdivision;

b) For all other development applications under the Planning Act where a property or properties have been identified through the City’s development review process as potentially contaminated due to previous or existing uses on or adjacent to the property.

A phase I ESA documents the previous uses of the property and provides an assessment of the actual or potential soil or groundwater contamination on the site.

3.      Where a Phase 1 ESA indicates that the property or properties that are subject of a development application under the Planning Act may be contaminated, the City will require the application to be supported by an affidavit from a qualified person as defined by provincial legislation and regulations, confirming that a Phase 2 ESA has been completed in accordance with Ontario Regulation 153/04, as amended from time to time. A Phase 2 ESA provides a sampling and analysis of the property to confirm and delineate the presence of soil or groundwater contamination at the site or confirm the absence of contamination at the site.

4.       For a property or properties that have been identified through the City’s development review process as potentially contaminated due to previous or existing uses on or adjacent to the property and where the City determines that there is a proposed change in land use to a more sensitive use, the City will:

a.       Require as a condition of development approval, verification to the satisfaction of the City from a qualified person as defined by provincial legislation and regulations, that the property or properties in question are suitable or have been made suitable for the proposed use in accordance with provincial legislation and regulations, including where required by the City, or provincial legislation and/or regulations:

i)       filing by the property owner of a Record of Site Condition (RSC) signed by a qualified person in the Environmental Site Registry;

ii)      submission to the City of a Declaration signed by the qualified person acknowledging        that the City may rely on the statements in the RSC; and,

 iii)     submission by the property owner to the City of proof that the Ministry of Environment (MOE) has acknowledged receipt of the RSC;

b.      Establish conditions of development approval to ensure receipt of satisfactory verification of suitable environmental condition as per Policy 4 a.;

c.       Where applicable, utilize the holding provisions of the Planning Act to ensure receipt of satisfactory verification of suitable environmental condition as per Policy 4 a.

 

5.      Where an RSC has been made a condition of planning approval, a building permit may be issued in regard to a property or properties on a phased basis to allow for site assessment and remediation/risk management.

6.      Where the City is deeded land for public highways, road widenings, parks, stormwater management, easements, or for any other purpose, the City may require, as a condition of transfer, verification to the satisfaction of the City from a qualified person as defined by provincial legislation and regulations, that the property or properties in question are suitable or have been made suitable for the proposed use in accordance with provincial legislation and regulations, including where required by the City or provincial legislation and/or regulations, filing by the property owner of a Record of Site Condition (RSC) signed by a qualified person in the Environmental Site Registry, and submission by the owner to the City of proof that the MOE has acknowledged receipt of the RSC.

7.      For instances where contamination from a property or properties extends onto a City right-of way and filing of a RSC in the Environmental Site Registry is not possible, the City may issue a building permit in regard to this property or properties on a phased basis contingent on the execution and implementation of an Off-Site Management Agreement or Remedial Action Plan that remediates/manages contamination in the right-of-way to the satisfaction of the City. 

8.      Where a gasoline station site is being redeveloped and there is no change in use to a more sensitive use, the City will require that a letter of continued use from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority be provided.  For instances where contamination extends onto a City right-of way, the City will require that an Off-Site Management Agreement and Remedial Action Plan be implemented to the satisfaction of the City prior to issuance of the building permit.

9.      The City will not consider an RSC as acknowledged by the MOE until either:

a.                   It has been confirmed that the RSC will not be audited by the MOE; or,

b.                  It has been confirmed that the RSC has passed the MOE audit.

 

2.2   The following statements be added to Section 5.1 Introduction:

 

Under “Financial Tools” add:

        Use financial incentives such as those approved in Community Improvement Plans to promote the intensification and growth management goals of the Official Plan.

 

Under “Land Acquisition and Ownership” add:

        Strategic acquisition, preparation and disposal of land for purposes of achieving the goals of approved Community Improvement Plans.

 

Under “Setting Targets and Monitoring” add:

        Monitor the implementation of Community Improvement Plans.

 

Under “Undertaking Area Plans” add:

        Prepare Community Improvement Plan for Community Improvement Project Areas designated by Council, and seek Ministerial approval of Community Improvement Plans, as required.

 

 

2.3   The following revisions are proposed to Section 5.2.3 Public Notification:

 

In Paragraph 1 of the Preamble, add “and Community Improvement Plans” after the word “amendments”.

 

In Paragraph 2 of the Preamble, Sentence 1, add “and plans” after the word “amendments”.

 

Under Notification and Consultation, Item 1, add “and Community Improvement Plans” after the word “amendments”. Item 1 b), add “or plan” after the word “amendment”.

 

 

2.4    Section 5.2.5 Community Improvement be deleted and replaced by the following:

5.2.5 Community Improvement

The Community Improvement provisions of the Planning Act allow municipalities to prepare community improvement plans for designated community improvement project areas that require community improvement as the result of age, dilapidation, overcrowding, faulty arrangement, unsuitability of buildings or for any other environmental, social or community economic development reason. Once a community improvement plan has been adopted by a municipality, approved by the Province, and is in effect, the municipality may offer incentives to encourage private sector investment. The municipality may also undertake a wide range of actions for the purpose of carrying out the community improvement plan.

Policies

General

1.      The City will maintain and promote an attractive and safe living and working environment through community improvement. To this end, community improvement will be accomplished through the:            

a)      Designation by by-law of Community Improvement Project Area(s), the boundary of which may be part or all of the urban area of the City of Ottawa, and/or part or all of one or more villages as defined in this Plan, and as amended from time to time;

b)      Preparation, adoption and implementation of a Community Improvement Plan(s) within a designated Community Improvement Project Area(s), pursuant to the Planning Act and the Community Improvement Policies set out in this Plan.

c)      Ongoing maintenance, rehabilitation, redevelopment and upgrading of areas characterized by deficient/obsolete/deteriorated buildings, deficient municipal recreational or hard services, and social, community, or economic instability; and,

d)      Establishment of programs to facilitate municipal and private sector rehabilitation and redevelopment that addresses identified economic development, land development, environmental, energy efficiency, housing, and/or social development issues/needs.  

 

Community Improvement Project Areas

                                                                                                                                  

2.   The designation of Community Improvement Project Areas shall be based on one or more of the following conditions being present:

 

a)      Known or perceived environmental contamination;

b)      Vacant lots and underutilized properties and buildings which have potential for infill, redevelopment or expansion to better utilize the land base or the public infrastructure;

c)      Other barriers to the repair, rehabilitation or redevelopment of underutilized land and/or buildings.

d)      Buildings, building facades, and/or property, including buildings, structures and lands of heritage and/or architectural significance, in need of preservation, restoration, repair, rehabilitation, energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements, or redevelopment;

e)      Absence of an adequate mix of uses;

f)        Deficiencies in physical infrastructure including but not limited to the sanitary sewer system, storm sewer system, and/or watermain system, streetscapes and/or street lighting, municipal parking facilities, sidewalks, curbs, or road state of repair;

g)      Poor overall visual quality, including but not limited to, streetscapes and urban design and/or overhead wiring;

h)      A concentration of obsolete or aging low-density land uses, vacant lots, surface parking lots and/or abandoned buildings;

i)        High commercial vacancy rates.

j)        Deficiencies in community and social services including but not limited to public open space, parks, indoor/outdoor recreational facilities, and public social facilities and support services;

k)      Vacant lots and underutilized properties and buildings which have potential for infill, redevelopment or expansion to better utilize the land base or the public infrastructure;

l)        Opportunities to improve the mix of housing types;

m)    High commercial vacancy rates.

n)      Any other environmental, energy efficiency, social or community economic development reasons.

 

3.   Priority for the designation of Community Improvement Project Areas and the preparation and adoption of Community Improvement Plans shall be given to those areas:

 

a)       Targeted for growth and intensification in Section 2.2.3 (Managing Growth Within the Urban Area), in particular, the Central Area, Traditional and Arterial Mainstreets, Mixed Use Centres and the vicinity (within 600 metres) of existing or planned rapid transit stations; and/or

b)      Where the greatest number of conditions (as established in Policy 2) are present; and/or,

c)       Where one or more of the conditions (as established in Policy 2) is particularly acute; and/or,

d)      Where one or more of the conditions (as established in Policy 2) exists across the urban area of the city. 

Community Improvement Plans

4.   Community Improvement Plans may be prepared and adopted to:

 

a)        Facilitate the renovation, repair, rehabilitation, remediation, redevelopment or other improvement of lands and/or buildings;

b)        Facilitate the preservation, restoration, adaptive reuse and improvement of buildings with historical, architectural or other heritage significance;

c)        Facilitate the development of mixed use buildings, or the introduction of a wider mix of uses in areas that are deficient in mixed uses;

d)        Facilitate the restoration, maintenance, improvement and protection of natural habitat, parks, open space and recreational amenities;

e)        Facilitate residential and other types of infill and intensification;

f)          Facilitate the construction of a range of housing types and the construction of affordable housing;

g)        Upgrade and improve municipal services and public utilities such as sanitary sewers, storm sewers, watermains, roads and sidewalks;

h)        Improve pedestrian and bicycle circulation;

i)          Facilitate public transit supportive land uses and improve the quality of, and accessibility to, transit facilities;

j)          Contribute to the ongoing viability and revitalization of the Central Area, Mainstreets, and other areas that may require community improvement;

k)        Improve environmental and energy consumption conditions;

l)          Improve social conditions and support services;

m)      Promote cultural development;

n)        Facilitate and promote community economic development; and,

o)        Improve community quality, safety and stability.

 

5.   During the preparation of a Community Improvement Plan and any subsequent amendments, the public will be informed and public input will be obtained in keeping with the policies for Public Notification contained in this Plan.

Implementation

6.   In order to implement a Community Improvement Plan in effect within a designated Community Improvement Project Area, the City of Ottawa may undertake a range of actions as described in the Community Improvement Plan, including:

a)      The municipal acquisition of land and/or buildings within the Community Improvement Project Areas where a Community Improvement Plan has been adopted, approved and is in effect, and the subsequent;

i)        Clearance, grading, or environmental remediation of these properties;

ii)       Repair, rehabilitation, construction or improvement of these properties;

iii)     Sale, lease, or other disposition of these properties to any person or governmental authority;

iv)     Other preparation of land or buildings for community improvement.

b)      Provision of public funds such as grants, loans and other financial instruments;

c)      Application for financial assistance from senior level government programs;

d)      Participation in senior level government programs that provide assistance to private landowners for the purposes of community improvement;

e)      Provision of information on municipal initiatives, financial assistance programs, and other government assistance programs;

f)        Support of heritage conservation through the Ontario Heritage Act.

 

7.   All developments participating in programs and activities contained within Community Improvement Plans shall conform with the policies contained in this Plan, applicable Community Design Plans, the Zoning-By-law, Maintenance and Occupancy By-laws, and all other related municipal policies and by-laws.

8.   The City shall be satisfied that its participation in community improvement activities will be within the financial capabilities of the City.

 

2.5    That the following definitions in the Glossary be deleted and replaced with:

 

Brownfields:  Abandoned, vacant, or underutilized commercial and industrial properties where past actions have resulted in actual or perceived environmental contamination, and/or derelict, deteriorated or obsolete buildings.

 

Community Improvement Plan:  A plan adopted and approved under Section 28 of the Planning Act for the community improvement of a community improvement project area. This plan will specify the powers of Council with respect to carrying out the community improvement plan, including powers to:

 

          make grants and loans;

          acquire, improve and develop land and buildings,

          maintain, repair, rehabilitate, and/or construct infrastructure.

 

Community Improvement Project Area:  A municipality or an area within a municipality, the community improvement of which in the opinion of Council is desirable because of age, dilapidation, overcrowding, faulty arrangement, unsuitability of buildings or for any other environmental, social or community economic development reason.

 

             

IMPLEMENTATION AND INTERPRETATION

 

Implementation and Interpretation of this Amendment shall be in accordance with the policies of the City of Ottawa Official Plan (2003).