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Committee considers budget for agriculture and rural affairs

December 5, 2019
Council Updates

The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee today approved its portion of Draft Budget 2020, which commits $6.3 million to renew rural infrastructure, including roads, bridges and culverts.

Added to rural investments approved by other Committees, the City would invest a combined total of about $43 million in rural infrastructure, up from a four-year annual average of $39.7 million. The Committee approved an additional $1.8 million to fund construction of a new community building in the rural west.

The Committee considered the priorities and actions for this Term of Council that fall under its mandate. Under the proposed priority of economic growth and diversification, the City would develop and adopt a new Official Plan that envisions growth in Ottawa that fosters business investment, employment opportunities and liveable communities. The City would also develop and implement a Rural Economic Development Strategy and action plan to support growth in Ottawa’s rural economy.

A large distribution warehouse in North Gower, just off Highway 416, is a step closer to getting built after the Committee approved Official Plan and zoning amendments for 1966 Roger Stevens Drive. While no tenant has been confirmed for the site, the possible 65,000-square-metre warehouse could employ up to 1,700 people.

While the amendment increases permitted height from 15 metres to 22 metres, it also establishes a 100-metre buffer between the site and the rear property lines of existing homes to the west, to mitigate the impact of the extra height.

Area residents on private wells expressed concerns about the project’s impact on water quality. The applicant would need to complete further studies to show there will be no negative effect on water. Residents are encouraged to continue to comment on future stages of the development process, which will address concerns about noise, lighting and traffic.

The Committee approved a plan to permanently establish an ATV trail network in Osgoode, following a successful pilot. The City identified the network in 2013, in consultation with the Osgoode Carleton Snowmobile Club and the Nation Valley All-Terrain Vehicle Club. ATV drivers can use the designated trails and allowances year-round, except during spring thaw, to protect the trails.

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