Planning Committee




Vice Chair:


Ex officio:

Councillor Jan Harder

Councillor Tim Tierney

Councillor Shad Qadri
Councillor Rick Chiarelli
Councillor Tobi Nussbaum
Councillor Jeff Leiper
Councillor Riley Brockington
Councillor Jean Cloutier
Councillor Stephen Blais
Councillor Allan Hubley

Mayor Jim Watson


Terms of Reference

The Planning Committee is responsible for overseeing all development and planning within the urban boundary in accordance with the City’s Official Plan document, including zoning designations, community planning, site design requirements and affordable housing.


Membership of the Planning Committee shall consist of Members of Council, as approved by Council. The Mayor is an ex officio member.


The Planning Committee shall:

  1. Be responsible directly to Council for those items emanating from:
    1. Applicable branches within the Planning and Infrastructure portfolio, specifically the Planning and Growth Management Department;
    2. Applicable branches within the City Operations Portfolio, specifically the Community and Social Services Department;
    3. Any Advisory Committees or Sub-committees that are within the area of responsibility of the Planning Committee;
    4. The two urban panels of the Committee of Adjustment; and
    5. Local boards, agencies and corporations that are created by, and report to, this Committee.
  2. Ensure co-ordination and consultation with other Standing Committees and departments where responsibilities overlap on planning matters and on issues relevant to the mandate of more than one Committee.
  3. Have the authority to hear briefings on litigious matters of a planning and development nature and to give direction to the City Clerk and Solicitor on such matters where it is consistent with current Council direction or policy.
  4. Subsequent to the approval of the budget, consider, for recommendation to Council, all operating and capital budget adjustments pertaining to items within the Committee mandate. 
  5. Consult with the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee on issues having an effect on the City’s rural residents and businesses, or relating to items of interest for the agricultural and associated industries.
  6. Receive reports from staff regarding the exercise of delegated authority (By-law 2014-435) on items within the Committee’s mandate.
  7. Receive public delegations on matters affecting general land use planning in the City of Ottawa and hold public hearings, as required by the Planning Act, the Ontario Heritage Act and the Municipal Act, 2001.
  8. Review and recommend to Council revisions to the Planning Committee Terms of Reference, as required.
  9. Address all matters related to, and arising from, Advisory Committees or Sub-Committees under the Standing Committee’s responsibility and that are in line with the established Committee and Council Strategic Plans.
  10. Have the delegated authority to decide matters that are consistent with the application of federal and/or provincial statutes and/or regulations.
  11. Recommend to Council, the City of Ottawa’s participation in federal or provincial cost-sharing programs for matters within the mandate of the Committee.
  12. Monitor federal and provincial legislation with a distinct impact on planning matters.
  13. Recommend to Council proposed by-laws that are under the Committee’s jurisdiction.
  14. Pursuant with the Delegation of Authority By-law (Section – Conferences and Conventions), approve Councillors travel and attendance at conferences that are related to the Committee’s mandate.


The Planning Committee shall:


  1. Provide direction to staff for the implementation of the planning and development goals and policies as outlined in the City’s Official Plan document.
  2. Make recommendations to Council with respect to all Official Plan matters.
  3. Ensure the proper investigation and survey of the physical, social, economic and environmental conditions in relation to the development and redevelopment of land within the urban boundary.
  4. Consult with applicable local boards having jurisdiction within the City of Ottawa and whose mandates deal with items pertaining to this Committee.
  5. Make recommendations to Council on items related to the delegation by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs, as set out in the Planning Act, for those matters not delegated to staff.
  6. Review and make recommendations to Council concerning other planning matters of the City, including neighbourhood area studies, special studies, aerial photography and mapping, development control matters and planning policy matters.
  7. Make recommendations to Council on appointments to the urban panels of the Committee of Adjustment.
  8. When applicable, and where delegation of authority has been lifted, review and consider reports on the following matters that are consistent with an adopted Council policy and fall within the mandate of the Committee: 
    1. Subdivision and condominium applications; 
    2. Extensions of draft plan approvals;
    3. Site Plan Control applications; 
    4. Approval of Zoning By-laws; 
    5. Land severance applications and minor variances granted by the two urban panels of the Committee of Adjustment;
    6. Official Plan amendments;
    7. Street openings and closings;
    8. Street name changes;
    9. Municipal addressing;
    10. Administration and enforcement of the Ontario Building Code;
    11. Lifting of 30 cm reserves;
    12. Lifting of Holding Provisions;
    13. Signs By-laws, Variances and Amendments; and
    14. Cash-in-lieu of Parking agreements. 
  9. Review and make recommendations to Council on the planning, design and implementation of infrastructure for developing communities, specifically Environmental Assessments that relate to infrastructure required for future subdivision growth.

    Development Charges

  10. Review and make recommendations to Council on all front-ending agreements pertaining to items within the mandate of this Committee.
  11. Review and make recommendations to Council on all issues pertaining to the Development Charges Act.
  12. Review and make recommendations to Council on the general enactment of the Development Charges By-law.
  13. Review and consider recommendations from the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee with respect to the Development Charges Act and on the general enactment of the Development Charges By-law as they relate to the rural area.

    Affordable Housing

  14. Make recommendations to Council on housing policies for the City’s Official Plan, based on: 
    1. housing requirements and targets for the City of Ottawa;
    2. federal and provincial housing policies and other related policy initiatives; 
    3. reports outlining the periodic review and evaluation of the housing situation in the City; and
    4. the implementation of the City of Ottawa Housing Strategy and related housing policy initiatives.
  15. Make recommendations to Council on how to adequately and affordably house Ottawa residents, and provide options for increasing the supply of affordable housing.
  16. Make recommendations to Council on all issues related to any funding opportunities from other levels of government or other sources, supporting projects along the spectrum of housing-related needs from new construction, to renovations to supportive housing.

    (Note that Community and Protective Services Committee (CPSC) is responsible for housing policies related to the ongoing administration and funding of existing social housing programs, emergency shelters, supportive housing and homelessness programs – see CPSC Terms of Reference)


  17. Make recommendations to Council on heritage protection within the urban boundary through applications and proposals brought forward by the Built Heritage Sub-Committee for designation under the Ontario Heritage Act as well as other heritage applications. 
  18. Make recommendations to Council on general heritage matters including the development and implementation of heritage policies, by-laws, strategies and programs applicable to the urban and suburban areas of the City.

*The version of this document that was approved by Council on February 11, 2015 contained bullets at item 8 under “Specific Responsibilities”. This sub-section has been changed to an alphabetical list to meet web accessibility requirements.

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