Development Principles and Design Guidelines
Proposed Concept Plan Map [ PDF 1.0 MB ]
The following development principles and design guidelines are to be used as the principle reference for the City to direct the preparation of development applications and to evaluate submissions in the development review process. Application of these principles and guidelines are meant to ensure that future development achieves a consistently high level of site planning, architecture and landscape design.
- Be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement and Official Plan policies for lands designated Employment Area.
- Foster development that ensures the area’s future as a sound and economically viable place of business offering a variety of employment opportunities which meet a high level of urban design regarding site planning, architecture and landscape design, while recognizing the uniqueness of a railway facility in its midst.
- Investigate and be prepared to take creative action for any opportunities to effectively use the existing railway lines to full advantage of both the Employment Area and the surrounding residential community.
- Facilitate the development of the lands in an effective and efficient manner while allowing for a variety of block and lot sizes, while recognizing that the size of lots will be market-driven and based on the desires of the landowner, but as per minimums established by the Comprehensive Zoning By-law.
- Support the preference for light industrial uses as established through the public consultation process.
- Make use of existing infrastructure services and allow for orderly expansion where required.
- Provide the opportunity to encourage and integrate efficient public transit service with pedestrian and cycling networks within the area and between new and existing development.
- Provide two new local roads to provide maximum access for as much of the site as possible.
- Reduce direct vehicular access to Johnston Road for lands located at both the northwest corner of Johnston and Conroy Road and the northeast corner of Johnston and Albion.
- Encourage linkages to pedestrian and cycling paths as identified in the Ottawa Pedestrian Plan and Ottawa Cycling Plan through the development review process.
- Maintain existing natural topographic features, distinctive land forms, vegetative and drainage characteristics as much as possible to enhance site development, including the retention of all existing large healthy trees, and substantial masses of mature shrubs.
- Ensure that the Conroy Woods and the Greenboro Turtlehead Nature Area (GTNA) continue to be protected when considering new development proposals within the area by implementing any mitigation measures as required by supporting studies.
- Promote a finished development setting that is cohesive and employs a formal landscape design to impart a pleasantly distinctive visual character for the area.
- Ensure that development interfaces with the adjacent residential community in a sensitive manner, with building facades of new development oriented toward Johnston Road.
- Create an environment which is physically compatible and aesthetically enhanced on those portions of individual properties which are visible to abutting residential areas through the use of landscape elements, such as berms, tree and shrub planting and decorative fencing, etc.
- Develop an effective visual separation between new business park uses and nearby uncomplimentary or incompatible industrial, commercial, utility or other such uses.
- Employ Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) techniques in all facets of site development review.
The guidelines discuss how development can be sensitively integrated with the existing context, how it can contribute to the visual image of the area, and how it can address functional requirements of safe and efficient circulation. The guidelines recommend accentuating gateways and façade treatment along public rights-of-way. Key consideration is given to compatibility between new development in the Employment Area and the surrounding community. The guidelines also strive to reduce the visual prominence of associated parking areas by locating them at the rear of buildings or effectively screening them from adjacent pedestrian areas, residential areas and public streets. Effective linkages for pedestrians and cyclists will be accommodated through development review with the goal to create a barrier-free network that serves developments within the industrial park and the broader community system. Street trees planted in a consistent manner on all public boulevards will create a strong and cohesive visual identity for the whole industrial business park. Effective landscaping also will be used at gateway intersections leading into the industrial park, to screen unsightly elements, and to buffer adjacent residential uses from future industrial uses.
Road Pattern and Development Blocks
- Two new local roads will be constructed and aligned in an east - west direction, one north and one south of the railway tracks. These roads are to be developer-initiated and implemented through plan of subdivision approval.
- At build-out, each road will connect to both Albion Road and Conroy Road to maximize public transit routing, provide more connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians, and improve public safety for emergency access.
- The length or segment of road to be constructed at any one time will be determined through the subdivision approval process, subject to staff approval. Phased construction of the roads and/or blocks, must consider appropriate servicing, surface operations, emergency access, and efficient public transit.
- Location of the two new local roads is conceptual. The alignments shown on the concept plan illustrate one way to provide access to as many individually owned, vacant and underutilized sites as possible, while minimizing traffic generation through existing neighbourhoods.
- New development at the northwest corner of Conroy and Johnston Roads will have vehicular access provided via a new local road connecting directly to Conroy Road; however, pedestrian and cycling access to Johnston Road will be encouraged.
- The most appropriate vehicular access for lands located near the west side of the concept plan, south of the railway tracks, is best determined through the development review process, and with the aid of a Transportation Brief or Transportation Impact Study as per City of Ottawa Transportation Impact Assessment guidelines. In either case, buildings will be encouraged to face Johnston Road, and to provide pedestrian access directly to Johnston Road.
- All four, new intersections should be defined as well-articulated, visually enhancing gateway entries into the new employment area, either through significant landscape treatment and /or built form and siting of new buildings.
- Existing development blocks vary in size, but overall, are large. A plan of subdivision will create the public roads and will also create smaller blocks or lots for marketing purposes and ownership. Minimum lot sizes are established through the Comprehensive Zoning By-law. The Johnston Road Concept Plan will maintain the flexibility that currently exists.
Permitted Uses and Buildings
- This concept plan will encourage a wide range of low-impact light industrial uses, as well as office and office-type uses in a campus-like industrial park setting, recognizing the existing open space, parks and urban natural features. The permitted uses are those listed in the respective zones as per the Comprehensive Zoning By-law, as amended herein, and include office, manufacturing, research and development, warehousing and distribution. A variety of complementary uses are also permitted, such as recreational, health and fitness uses and service commercial uses (e.g., convenience store, personal service business, restaurant, automobile service station and gas bar), occupying small sites on individual pads or in groupings as part of a small plaza, to serve the people working and living in the area, and passing traffic.
- Orient buildings to front onto the public right-of-way and ensure that principal entries are clearly identifiable, visible from the street and universally accessible. Entries can be highlighted by designing extra-high lobby space, distinctive doorways and distinctive landscaped entry areas, and also by changing paving materials, textures or colour.
- Ensure that facades which face Johnston Road and flank other streets, add interest through their architectural detail. Use the architectural details (e.g. windows, transoms, doorways) and choice of building material to articulate and break up the building mass.
- Accentuate corner sites by designing buildings that relate to both street fronts and provide pedestrian access to the building from the corner.
- Ensure that building setbacks permit the addition of significant landscaping and an enhanced streetscape treatment.
- Avoid large blank walls on all facades, and encourage the use of real windows facing all public rights-of-way.
- Ensure visibility into buildings from ground level facades facing public streets and the pedestrian realm. Walls should be highly transparent with windows and doors making up at least 30 per cent of the façade.
- It is recognized that certain buildings will include programmatic uses that do not lend themselves to a highly transparent façade (e.g. loading areas). These buildings should be designed so that such uses are located along walls that face away from public streets and the pedestrian realm. The external surface of these walls must be designed to break up the visual size of the wall’s façade by using any of the following techniques:
a. modulating the façade,
b. using different building materials, colours, patterns, and textures within the building lane;
c. changing the roofline;
d. incorporating display windows;
e. designing buildings with distinct bases, middles, and upper storeys.
9. Employ high quality materials in the development of individual sites.
Parking, Loading and Service
- Locate parking areas away from the new gateway entrances, and away from Johnston Road.
- Locate surface parking at the rear of buildings so that the built form screens the parking area from public streets and from abutting residential uses.
- Where parking cannot be located at the rear of buildings, a larger setback from the property line than the building setback will be required, and cars must be effectively screened from view.
- Minimize the visual and micro-climatic effects of all parking and other large paved areas through the use of plant materials in combination with earth berms where practical.
- Break up large parking areas into smaller ones (maximum of 25 parking spaces in a continuous row) with landscaped islands provided at the ends of parking space rows, each having a width of at least 3m and a minimum area of approximately 15 square metres to accommodate deciduous trees and low shrubs, or ground cover, other than grass, in place of shrubs.
- For every four single rows of parking spaces, provide a landscaped centre median, having a minimum width of 2m, to be planted with trees and possibly shrubs.
- Landscape the setback between parking areas and the public right-of-way with a row of trees, planted to create a continuous canopy, and understory shrub planting. Where possible, a second row of trees should be added. Plant spacing and planting choices must meet the intent of these guidelines to screen parking areas from view and to provide shade to city sidewalks for pedestrians. Planting may be combined with aesthetic berms, low fences or walls to achieve the desired screening. Screening must be effective in all seasons.
- The number of access driveways will be minimized where possible through the encouragement of shared access to parking areas located between buildings that are located on separate properties.
- Line the main private driveways with deciduous trees on one or both sides, spaced at an approximate spacing of 7m on centre.
- All access to storage areas must be screened from view from the public street and from abutting residential uses, with the use of earth berms and landscaping. The screening must be effective in all seasons and landscaping should not exceed 1m in height.
- Loading spaces must not face the Johnston Road right-of-way, and must be screened from view from the Johnston Road right-of-way, and from abutting residential uses.
- Loading areas or garbage storage service areas must be at least 6m away from a front yard. When abutting residential uses, mitigation measures to address noise reduction and odour shall be taken, including the consideration of requiring interior garbage/recycling storage, greater setbacks from abutting property lines, and built structures around loading areas. (‘wing-walls’)
- Locate loading, garbage and other services (transformers, utility meters, heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment) in non-prominent locations that do not detract from the aesthetic appeal of the street and are located away from the pedestrian realm and away from abutting residential uses.
- Screen mechanical, service and utility areas from view using landscaping and/or materials that match the building. Where context sensitive, e.g. abutting residential or Johnston Road, enclose these elements within the building. Any roof-top equipment will be effectively screened utilizing suitable material complementary to the material used for the main building.
Street trees planted in a consistent manner on all public boulevards will create a strong and cohesive visual identity for the whole industrial business park. Effective landscaping will be used at gateway intersections, to screen unsightly elements, and where necessary, to buffer adjacent residential uses from future industrial uses, and new industrial uses from existing uses that currently are not as visually appealing.
- At least 30 per cent of the total area of the lot for each individual site development must be landscaped area.
- Any portion of a site not covered by a building or hard surface material also shall be landscaped, even for sites where future buildings are proposed, and phased for a later date.
- A minimum of approximately 35 per cent of all trees and a minimum of approximately 20 per cent of all shrubs planted on a site should be coniferous or broad leafed evergreens.
- Use intensive planting along all public rights-of-way, between the curb and edge of right-of-way, in a consistent and distinctive formal pattern such that a continuous canopy or screen is created:
a. Plant any deciduous trees along the street at an approximate spacing of 6m on centre, while recognizing that tree spacing will vary with species selection;
b. Any combination of deciduous trees and coniferous trees along the street should be approximately 7.5m on centre.
5. Select plant species that are non-invasive, tolerant of urban conditions, and drought resistant, with preference given to native species that can meet these conditions.
6. A landscaped area with a minimum width of three metres is required along all property lines. Pedestrian walkways or cycling linkages can form part of this area.
7. The side property lines separating individual sites are to be defined by informal plantings of trees and shrubs, and at the adjacent streetline, a formal grouping of coniferous trees (minimum of two trees on each side of any side property line) shall be included with contrasting smaller plant materials linking the coniferous trees to the deciduous street trees.
8. Bio-swales should be investigated as a means of natural irrigation for any landscaped islands and landscaped setbacks along property lines.
9. Foundation planting for all buildings fronting Johnston Road will be encouraged.
10. Plantings of shrubs and/or other plant materials shall be encouraged along the front façade of all buildings, (unless the planting diminishes a distinctive architectural feature or effect) and along building walls in the vicinity of all main pedestrian spaces or walkways, keeping Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles in mind.
11. Use compatibly designed street furnishings and other hard landscape elements within the public streetscape, and on private sites (e.g., lighting, address and signage elements), and employ similar planting designs along the streetscape and on the adjacent portions of private sites (e.g. tree species selection and rhythm along roads and driveways, property line definition plantings, entrance planting features) in order to create strong visual unity for the overall employment area.
12. Establish a landscaped buffer around the edges of any new development to preclude incompatible or uncomplimentary views onto other sites within the employment area, such as along the railway lands or outdoor storage areas, and any other uses that currently do not add to the aesthetically pleasing environment that is sought through this Plan.
13. Develop small courtyards or plazas at the main entrance to all buildings; and make these spaces sheltered from the elements and visible from the street and/or from the beginning of the main vehicular driveway leading to parking areas in the rear.
14. All building entrances and related entry courts and plazas are to be well-lit, sheltered and clearly visible when entering the site, and are to be defined by landscape elements.
15. Use plantings or appropriately sized shrubs, and/or trees to visually soften extensive lengths of building walls (e.g. 9m sections or greater) which have few windows or other substantial architectural relief, especially when adjacent to or readily visible to residential uses.
Pedestrian and Cycling Environment
As the industrial business park develops, it is essential to create a well-defined pedestrian and cycling environment along all public roads and within the individual development sites.
- Through the development review process for subdivision and site plan applications, create a pedestrian and cycling system incrementally, which at build-out, will serve the entire industrial business park and provide opportunity for future linkages to the surrounding communities, public areas, community amenities and transit stops.
- Provide for the future allocation of pathway blocks at regular intervals in the industrial park to access the future pathways as identified by the Ottawa Cycling Plan and Ottawa Pedestrian Plan, at the time of subdivision and/or site plan control applications.
- Build sidewalks or multi-use pathways on at least one side of the new roads in accordance with City standards.
- Provide for appropriate pedestrian and cycling connections to all new development immediately adjacent to the north side of Johnston Road, through the site plan and subdivision review processes.
- Design for on-road cycling for the new roads.
- Provide a physical environment that is safe, convenient, universally accessible to all users, and generally pleasant for pedestrian users, such that walkways have a minimum width of at least 1.5m and at least 2m for main walkways leading to a main building entrance.
- Ensure that all areas of the vehicular and pedestrian circulation system are lit to provide sufficient visibility for safety and security, preferably with free standing fixtures that are task oriented, and reduce glare and light spill-over. The positioning of light standards shall be used to help delineate routes and provide spatial definition for different functional areas.
- Sign all pedestrian pathway and cycling linkages leading to those nearby pathways identified in the Ottawa Pedestrian Plan and Ottawa Cycling Plan, when built.
- Provide seating and shaded areas along pathways at roughly 200m intervals.
- Clearly highlight street crossings through special pavement treatment for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Provide bicycle parking in highly visible locations close to well-lit building entrances and that are connected to the pedestrian system.