The Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan and Infrastructure Master work together to show how the city will grow and what new infrastructure is needed to provide an appropriate level of service. The Master Plans prioritize new infrastructure projects within an affordable budget envelop that includes construction as well as long-term operating costs.
Higher densities and a focus on walking, cycling and transit throughout Ottawa support a more compact and affordable city. This approach to growth is also more environmentally sustainable, since less energy is consumed for buildings and transportation and less land is consumed by development.
How do the Official Plan and Master Plans affect our neighbourhoods?
The official plan and master plans result in on-the-ground change through requirements for new development, changes to the Zoning By-law and construction of new infrastructure. The plans also lead to more detailed studies and neighbourhood plans.
- Light rail will make the most significant changes in the City
- Construction is underway on the Confederation Line – 12.5 km of light rail from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station that will reduce congestion and improve travel through the downtown. When the line is complete in 2018, priority will shift to Stage 2 LRT.
- The Stage 2 LRT plan ultimately will extend light rail transit from Central Ottawa farther east, west and south. Specifically, the plan will extend rail to Baseline and Bayshore in the west (Confederation Line West), Place d’ Orléans in the east (Confederation Line East), and to Bowesville in the south (Trillium Line O-Train). Although not within the City’s affordable budget envelop, the Stage 2 LRT plan also includes an Airport Rail Link on the Trillium line and extension of the Confederation Line East from Place D’ Orléans to Trim Road.
- Urban Forest Management Plan
The trees that grow along city streets, in parks and open space, and in landscaped areas around homes, businesses and institutions make up the urban forest, one of Ottawa’s most valuable assets. This plan will set out the community’s goals for the urban forest and the strategic policies and practices needed to achieve them.
- Employment Land Review
Where people work in Ottawa makes a difference to the economy, the life of communities and the use of roads and transit. The review is looking at the employment role of the downtown and mixed-use centres, and the need for business parks dedicated for employment uses.
- Secondary Dwelling Units in Accessory Structures Zoning Study
A study is underway to amend the Zoning By-law to permit small, back-yard apartments in garages or other accessory buildings on residential lots.
- Minimum Parking Requirements
Parking standards that have been in place since the 1960s are under review. Less parking could mean fewer cars, more walkable streets, and more support for new businesses. The study is looking at parking minimums in Central Ottawa and near rapid stations city wide.
- Transportation Impact Assessment (TIA) Guidelines Review
- The City is reviewing the TIA Guidelines - a critical part of the development review and approval process. The Guidelines are the primary tool for identifying the potential impacts on the transportation system from a development proposal.
- Site Alteration By-law
A new by-law to regulate site alteration. This initiative responds to policy direction in the City's Official Plan for such a by-law to be established.