Section 1. Introduction
The Official Plan is a key foundational document that will help us achieve these objectives. The Official Plan directs how the city will grow over time and sets out policies to guide the development and growth of our city. Our new Official Plan positions Ottawa to be flexible, resilient, and above all, a city where people want to live, work and play. This Official Plan will take us to the year 2046, but it also seeks to set the stage for the city to reach a population of 2 million.
Section 2. Strategic Directions
This new Official Plan is proposing five broad policy directions as the foundation to becoming the most liveable mid-sized city in North America over the next century.
Section 3. Growth Management Framework
Ottawa is a large municipality with different geographies that will accommodate different amounts and types of growth. The growth management framework is premised on the ability to provide sufficient development opportunities and an appropriate range of choices, locating and designing growth so as to increase sustainable transportation mode shares and use existing infrastructure efficiently, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Section 4. City-Wide Policies
Land use and transportation are fundamentally connected. Planning for transportation looks beyond moving people and goods, to also guide city-building objectives such as growth management and economic development.
Section 5. Transects
Schedule A divides the city into six concentric policy areas called transects. Each transect represents a
different gradation in the type and evolution of built environment and planned function of the lands
within it, from most urban (the Downtown Core) to least urban (Rural).
Section 6. Urban Designations
With the exception of the designations that identify lands for industrial uses that generate impacts, urban designations are not based on land use but, rather, on their urban function. Lands in the city have a hierarchy of importance based on their function and on the intensity of their use. Many types of land uses can exist as part of the function of each designation.
Section 7. Greenspace Designation
The Greenspace designation identifies a network of public parks, other spaces within the public realm and natural lands that collectively provide essential ecosystem services to Ottawa’s residents, support biodiversity, climate resilience, recreation and healthy living. City planning and guidance documents refer to these areas collectively as “greenspace.”
Section 8. Greenbelt Designations
The Greenbelt Transect Area is comprised of approximately 20,000 hectares of land, most of which is owned by the National Capital Commission, where those publicly owned lands are also regulated by the policies of the National Capital Greenbelt Masterplan. This area is made up of natural environment areas such as significant wetlands and Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) and rural and prime agriculture lands that contribute to the quality of life and sustainability of Canada’s Capital Region. The area hosts a range of cultural and economic activity provided by the public and private sectors and includes recreation, creative industries, research and institutions. Municipal and provincial transportation infrastructure like rapid transit systems, arterial roads and Highways 416 and 417 cross the Greenbelt connecting the region, rural and suburban communities with the City’s urban area.
Section 9. Rural Designations
Farmland accounts for approximately 40 per cent of Ottawa’s Rural area and is required by the Provincial Policy Statement to be protected for long-term use for agricultural production by limiting development that would compromise productivity of these operations.
Section 10. Protection of Health and Safety
Environmental conditions, whether naturally occurring or not, can result in hazards to human life or health and damage or loss of value to property. These environmental conditions or constraints to development may be natural hazards such as flood plains and unstable soils, or hazards that result from human activity including contaminated sites, mine hazards and land affected by noise. These conditions include current hazards as well as future hazards anticipated as a result of climate change. This Plan includes measures to protect people and property from the impacts of these natural and human-made conditions.
Section 11. Implementation
Implementation of the objectives and policies of this plan shall be achieved through a number of tools, some of which are provided by the Planning Act and others through the City’s responsibilities to undertake capital works projects, to acquire and dispose of land, to enter into partnerships and to adopt regulations and by-laws. Interpretation and implementation of the policies of this plan are also governed by provincial legislation.
Section 12. Local Plans
Local plans establish more detailed policies to guide growth and change in specific areas or neighbourhoods. Local plans adapt and implement the overall planning approach of this Plan but may deviate from specific policies to fit local contexts.
Section 13. Definitions
The following definitions provide interpretation of Official Plan content and are to be used in understanding the intent of policies and preamble text. Definitions provided for in the Provincial Policy Statement and the Planning Act have not been duplicated in this Official Plan, therefore coordination with the Provincial Policy Statement and Planning Act are also required to provide intent to meaning of the Official Plan.