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Council approves plan for downtown after O-Train runs and strategy to grow music industry

April 11, 2018
Council Updates

City Council today approved a plan to rebuild Albert and Slater streets with better sidewalks, landscaping, cycling facilities and new underground infrastructure, once the O-Train Confederation Line is in service.

Council approved the functional designs for Albert and Slater streets, currently with bus-only dedicated Transitway lanes. The lanes will be decommissioned when the light-rail service is operating through downtown. Local OC Transpo and STO buses will travel in general traffic lanes.

The long-term plan includes replacing aging sewers and watermains and simplifying the road network. Albert Street will accommodate two-way traffic for 165 metres east of Empress Street, and a new eastbound one-way street will connect Albert Street to the intersection of Bronson Avenue and Slater Street. Slater Street will be realigned between Empress Street and Bronson Avenue and Commissioner Street will be closed between Albert and Slater streets.

Construction of the $26-million integrated road and infrastructure project, from Empress Street to Bay Street, will begin no earlier than 2021 and take three years. Timing will be coordinated with the Ottawa Central Library project and the replacement of underground infrastructure.

Interim modifications to Albert and Slater streets, between Bay and Waller streets, will be made once the O-Train Confederation Line opens. Construction of the $6.4-million project will take place between 2019 and 2022. This work includes dedicated cycling facilities on the right side of Albert and Slater streets. Between the pedestrian crossing on the Mackenzie King Bridge and Waller Street, cyclists will use median cycling lanes.

Council also approved a three-year strategy to strengthen Ottawa’s music industry and establish Ottawa as a global music city. Developed in partnership with the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition, the Ottawa Music Strategy will make more City-owned spaces available for music, promote safer spaces for music and integrate music in strategies for economic development and tourism.

Council endorsed Ottawa’s Smart Cities Challenge preliminary proposal. The Challenge, hosted by Infrastructure Canada, will award up to $50 million to a winning city to define its future with the help of residents through technology. Ottawa’s proposal focuses on youth and creating a city where young people are safe, active, healthy and empowered to innovate and shape their future. Infrastructure Canada will announce a shortlist of selected cities that will move to the next stage of the competition this summer.

Council approved zoning amendments to permit development of the Capital Region Resource Recovery Centre – an integrated waste management site on Boundary Road with facilities for recovery and recycling, as well as space for a landfill.

The privately run facility will process solid, non-hazardous waste generated by the commercial, industrial, institutional, construction and demolition sectors. Operations will include composting, contaminated soil treatment, landfill gas collection and waste disposal. The municipal planning decisions follow from the Province’s approval of this privately run waste management facility.

Council approved zoning and Official Plan amendments to allow for completion of an age-in-place seniors’ campus in the Village of Richmond. The changes will allow for a variety of housing types geared at seniors within the village, including a low-rise apartment building and a five-storey retirement home at 6139 and 6143 Perth Street.

A proposed Site Alteration By-law on today’s agenda, to replace the existing Drainage By-law and eight Topsoil Preservation By-laws carried over from former municipalities, will be amended and considered at the May 3 meeting of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, and the May 9 meeting of Council.

The new by-law aims to reduce the risk of negative impacts by establishing basic rules for site alteration activities like topsoil removal, excavation and grade alteration. In most cases, the by-law would not require landowners to get City approval before proceeding with activities. Residents engaging in common activities like property maintenance, landscaping, farming and woodlot management would be exempt from most of the by-law’s requirements.

Council received a number of annual reports, including the 2018 Municipal Accessibility Plan, which outlines how the City removes barriers and advances accessibility.

According to the 2017 report on the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the City completed 766 requests for general records and personal information.

The 2017 report on French Language Services highlights the City’s work to improve services and programs offered in French. Thanks to improved planning to meet the needs of Francophones, the City saw increases in registration for French art programs and summer camps. The City now offers approximately 26 per cent more sports and recreational programs than it did in 2010.

Council approved plans to establish the 2018-2022 Election Compliance Audit Committee, which will review requests for audits of municipal candidates’ campaign finances. Following recent changes to provincial legislation, this committee will also review requests for audits of campaign contributions and registered third parties for compliance with campaign fundraising rules.

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