This section outlines the policies the City of Ottawa uses to review development applications in order to meet the objectives contained in this Plan. The extent to which these requirements apply varies depending on the location, land-use designation and nature of the application. The appropriate policies and studies will be identified through pre-consultation at the beginning of the design and review process.
Land development is the key source of growth and change in a municipality. A city can exert a strong influence over the nature and pace of land development by reviewing development applications and approving only those projects that respect the principles expressed in its official plan. The development application review process also provides an opportunity for the various agencies within the municipal administration to integrate their disparate concerns through their discussion of and comments on specific land development proposals. The review process also involves community stakeholders and the general public, who are invited to participate in community meetings or other consultation processes in order to bring their views concerning development applications to the municipality’s attention.
As a result of this review process, a wide range of issues touching on the development are raised with the person putting forward the proposal (the proponent) and decisions are made as to the changes that will be made to the proposal in order to address the policies of the Official Plan and make the project acceptable to City Council. In many cases, the proponent will be required to undertake (and fund) studies designed to identify the likely impacts of the project on the social and natural environment.
The various policies, studies and assessments that the City requires are addressed as part of its review of development applications as described in this section. These requirements apply to a range of applications, generally being those made under the provisions of the Planning Act. They include, but are not limited to, the following categories:
Proposed Land-Use Changes
The following applications are made to change the existing or proposed use of an area or parcel of land permitted in an official plan or zoning by-law:
Official plan amendment;
Zoning by-law amendment;
Non-conforming use application to Committee of Adjustment.
Proposed Division of Land
The following applications are made to divide land and create new lots:
Plan of subdivision (including condominium approval);
Part lot control exemption.
Proposed Site Development
The following applications control design and what is built:
In most situations, the development application applies to only one site-specific property. The affected lands may range in size from a single-dwelling residential lot to a redevelopment site in the downtown of the city or a vacant parcel of land of tens of hectares in area. A development application is usually submitted by one of three groups of applicants:
Individual homeowner or landowner – e.g., a minor variance for a house addition or rural severance application;
Developer or builder – e.g., a rezoning for a shopping plaza or an application for a new subdivision;
Public agency – e.g., a site plan for a new school, city community centre or fire hall.
The nature of the development application and the location of the property to which it applies are the two main factors that determine which of the policies, studies and assessments have to be addressed in the application submission.
4.1 - Site-Specific Policies and Secondary Policy Plans
There are a number of policies in the official plans or secondary plans of the former municipalities now making up the City of Ottawa that have been included in Volume 2. These plans contain the more detailed policies needed for the orderly and planned development of larger areas or site-specific properties. The site-specific policies found in these plans address unique situations requiring policy direction for an area or neighbourhood. These policies complement the policies in this Plan and will provide more detailed policy directions for areas and neighbourhoods in the city. Annexes 6 and 7 show the areas that are subject to secondary plans, Village plans and site-specific policies. These plans can be more restrictive than this Plan but they must conform to the policies of this Plan. The plans in Volume 2 cannot permit uses that are not permitted in this Plan.
Prior to amalgamation of the new City, other plans such as neighbourhood plans, concept plans and design guidelines were prepared by the former municipalities. These plans are a rich source of information that the City will use as the basis for any future planning studies, including the preparation of community design plans.
Secondary plans, villages and urban areas and site-specific policies found in Volume 2 provide more detailed policy directions for specific areas or neighbourhoods. The policies and plans in Volume 2 must conform to the policies and plans in Volume 1 of the Plan, except where policies in Volume 1 indicate otherwise. Secondary Plans and site specific policies in Volume 2 may be more restrictive than the policies in Volume 1 of the Plan. [Modification #150, LPAT October 22, 2018]
4.2 - Adjacent to Land-Use Designations
Some of the policies set out in Section 3 and Section 4 of the Plan apply to lands not only in the designation but also to adjacent lands. The table below summarizes the policies that apply to lands adjacent to land-use designations shown on Schedules A and B. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Policy for Adjacent Designation
2.5.5 and 184.108.40.206
Site Plan approval may be required
Cultural Heritage Impact Statement Required
Required for development including residential development of one or more dwellings on lots that abut the Rideau Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site
[Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, July 21, 2011.]
Pre-consult with TransCanada Pipelines
For development that will be located within 200 metres of a TransCanada Pipeline right-of-way or within 750 metres of a TransCanada Pipeline compressor station. [Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
Environmental Impact Statement required
For development within 120 metres of a Significant Wetland designated on Schedule A or B.
[Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification # 47, July 21, 2011.]
Environmental Impact Statement required
Any proposed development within 120 metres of a Natural Environment Area designated on Schedule A or B. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification # 47, July 21, 2011.]
Environmental Impact Statement required
Within 30m of Urban Natural Feature designated on Schedule B. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, July 21, 2011.]
Environmental Impact Statement required
Any proposed development within 120 metres of a feature of the natural heritage system found within Rural Natural Feature. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification # 47, July 21, 2011.]
Cultural Heritage impact statement required [Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
Site on or adjacent to the Greenbelt or Central Experimental Farm designated on Schedule B
Environmental Impact Statement required
Any proposed development within 120 metres of a feature of the natural heritage system found within the General Rural Area. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification # 47, July 21, 2011.]
Ensure development proposals do not limit potential expansion of the Village
Within an area 1 kilometre outside of a Village boundary
Minimum Distance Separation
Adjacent to farms – all rural designations on Schedule A
No development permitted where development conflicts with future extraction
Within 500 metres of a Limestone Resource Area or 300 metres of a Sand and Gravel Resource Area designated on Schedule A or B [Ministerial Modification #34, November 10, 2003]
Seek advice of Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and the Ministry of Natural Resources [Ministerial Modification #35, November 10, 2003]
Within 450 metres of Lot 20, Concession 3, former City of Kanata
Impact Assessment Study required
Development proposals for land within 500 metres of a licensed quarry or within 300 metres of a licensed pit where there may be conflict with existing extraction operations. [Ministerial Modification #34, November 10, 2003]
3.8 [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, July 21, 2011.]
Demonstrate that there will be no impact on the proposed use or continuing landfill operations
Development proposals within 500 metres of an active or closed solid waste disposal site or other appropriate influence area. [Ministerial Modification #36, November 10, 2003]
Environmental Impact Statement
Any development within 120m of the boundary of identified significant habitat of endangered and threatened species. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification # 47, July 21, 2011.]
Environmental Impact Statement
Any development within 50m of an Earth Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest on Schedule K. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification # 47, July 21, 2011.]
Environmental Impact Statement
Any proposed development within 120 metres of a natural heritage system feature not designated in the Plan in the rural area; and any development proposed within 30 metres of a natural heritage system feature not designated in the Plan in the urban area. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification # 47, July 21, 2011.]
[Amendment #167, February 23, 2016]
Noise Control Feasibility Study and/or, Noise Control Detailed Study
For noise sensitive land uses within 100 metres of lands designated Employment Lands
4.3 - Walking, Cycling, Transit, Roads and Parking Lots
Roads and Parking Lots
Land use and transportation are closely interrelated. In particular, the City, when reviewing development applications, will assess the adequacy of the transportation network to meet the needs of the proposed development. Individual building sites, subdivisions and plans for large areas must be easy to get to and travel through on foot, by bicycle and transit, and by automobile. Supporting walking, cycling and transit means more than the simple provision of sidewalks and pathways. A logical network must be created, connecting origins and destinations along direct and well-marked routes. Landscaping, the positioning of buildings, and other features of adjacent development can be further organized to support pedestrians and cyclists. In its review of development applications, the City will utilize the transportation policies that follow, together with any required transportation studies/assessments indicated in the table below.
Protection of right-of-way
Designated on Schedules E, F, G & H and Annex 1
O-Train Network Proximity Study [Amendment #226, February 26, 2019]
May be required for plan of subdivision and site plan applications within the Development Zone of Influence for the O-Train Network, as shown on Annex 17 [Amendment #130, May 27, 2014] [Amendment #226, February 26, 2019]
Transportation impact study
May be required for subdivisions, rezoning and site plans where there may be a transportation impact on the transportation network in the surrounding area
The road network in new plans of subdivision will provide the opportunity for direct transit routes through the community and for all buildings to be within 400 metres walking distance of a transit stop. [OMB decision #2649, September 21, 2006]
The road network in new plans of subdivisions, particularly in Villages, will be designed to accommodate the potential future extension of the road system to adjacent properties, including those lands beyond an existing urban or village boundary. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
The City encourages proponents of new development or redevelopment in close proximity to existing and proposed future transit stations to take into consideration and to demonstrate how the City’s Transit Oriented Development Guidelines have been addressed. To promote increased transit usage, private and/or public proponents of any development or redevelopment within 600 metres of a transit station or major transit stop along the rapid transit network shown on Schedule D will: [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
Ensure that convenient and direct access between the proposed development and the transit station is provided or maintained; rapid-transit stations and where possible, transit stops are integrated into the development; and that in such cases, extended hours of public access through the buildings and quality linkages from stations and building entrances to sidewalks on nearby streets are provided;
Locate any proposed high-density employment and residential development close to transit stations;
Provide a pedestrian-friendly, weather-protected (where possible) environment between the access point(s) of the rapid-transit station or major transit stop and the principal entrances to adjacent buildings;
Minimize walking distances from buildings to stations/major transit stops;
Provide adequate, secure and highly visible bicycle parking at rapid-transit stations/major transit stops.
The City may, in keeping with the direction in Section 2.3, establish maximum requirements for on-site parking and reduce or eliminate minimum requirements in:
intensification target areas; or
within 800 metres walking distance of a rapid transit station; or
within 400 metres of the Transit Priority Network, inside the Greenbelt; or
within 400 metres of a Traditional Mainstreet, inside the Greenbelt;
and in particular where the small size, dimensions and other characteristics of existing lots preclude the ability to provide on-site parking for a change in use or small-scale intensification. [Amendment #150, LPAT. July 29, 2019]
The City may reduce parking requirements for uses located within 600 metres of a rapid-transit station and for uses where the need for on-site parking can be balanced with efforts to reduce reliance on the automobile. The City may use the zoning by-law and cash-in-lieu of parking agreements as tools to reduce parking requirements. Furthermore, as referenced in Policy 44 of Section 2.3.1, the zoning by-law may establish maximum parking requirements that would apply to development within 600 metres of a rapid transit station/service. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
The City will require a transportation impact assessment report, which may be a community transportation study, transportation impact study, or transportation brief to be submitted where the City determines that the development may have an impact on the transportation network in the surrounding area. The transportation study or brief will be undertaken in accordance with the City of Ottawa Transportation Impact Assessment Guidelines. The scope of the study or brief will vary depending on the nature of the development. Under most circumstances, a study or brief will not be required for minor infill development in areas where the road network is fully established. The transportation study or brief will, in general: [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
For the lands to be developed and the surrounding community, identify the required road, parking, transit, pedestrian, and cycling facilities necessary to support the proposed development, referencing the required timing or staging of such. It will also identify and address potential impacts on the local neighbourhood that would occur as a consequence of these required facilities;
Determine the method and means by which the development, as well as adjacent areas, can be efficiently and effectively serviced by transit;
Utilize the policies of this Plan as well as any applicable City design guidelines and/or practices when developing recommended modifications to transportation infrastructure;
Assess the impact of development traffic on the capacity of adjacent and nearby roads, accounting for the anticipated growth in levels of background traffic;
Take into account both the influence of anticipated future development in the surrounding area, as well as any planned infrastructure modification, e.g., future roads, road widenings;
Concurrent with the need for a transportation impact study, there may be a requirement to undertake a noise study as outlined in Section 4.8, Protection of Health and Safety.
New development or redevelopment of land abutting a Cross-Town Bikeway identified on Schedule C – Primary Urban Cycling Network will be designed to minimize vehicle access across the Cross-Town Bikeway and where possible having such access relocated to a side street or rear lane. Development approval should generally include a condition requiring the provision of or upgrading of a cycling facility to the standard identified in the Ottawa Cycling Plan. [Amendment #140, April 30 2018]
The City will require that parking for bicycles be provided in highly visible and lighted areas, sheltered from the weather wherever possible. The zoning by-law will set standards and regulations for land uses that normally generate demand for bicycle parking.
The City will require that parking areas for motorized vehicles be screened from the street with low shrubs, trees, landscaped berms, decorative walls and fences.
During the review of development applications and as part of road construction and reconstruction projects, the City will require the provision of pedestrian facilities on all existing, new and reconstructed roads, as follows:
On both sides of arterial, major collector and collector roads in the urban area and in villages.
On at least one side of all arterial and collector roads passing through the Greenbelt;
On both sides of all roads that carry transit services in the urban area and Villages;
On local roads that lead directly to transit stations and bus stops, schools, public parks, recreation centres, public buildings and institutions, neighbourhood and regional commercial, retail or employment centres;
Within and between neighbourhoods, and from local roads to arterial and collector roads at sufficient intervals to create permeable walkable communities;
Wherever identified by the Ottawa Pedestrian Plan, a secondary plan or a community design plan;
In road corridors where the context is appropriate, a multi-use pathway may be used in lieu of a sidewalk and must be maintained year-round. [Amendment #150, LPAT, July 29, 2019]
Where large areas of surface parking are required, they will be designed to:
Avoid one extensive parking area and instead have several smaller-sized parking areas defined by circulation patterns, landscaping, lighting, and other elements;
Ensure that the layout of the parking lots and adjacent buildings will be such that public roads may be defined in the future as part of more intensive redevelopment of the site.
On new, and reconstructed roads where possible, the City will require the provision of sidewalks as follows:
On both sides of arterial, major collector and collector roads in the urban area and arterials in Villages. A multi-use pathway instead of a sidewalk may be provided on one side for a collector in a Village or on one side of an urban arterial if determined to be appropriate by the City;
A sidewalk or multi-use pathway on at least one side of all:
arterial roads passing through the Greenbelt;
collector roads in villages;
roads, other than arterial/collector, in the urban area that serve transit.
Wherever the Ottawa Pedestrian Plan or Community Design Plan has identified discontinuities in the pedestrian network. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Where parking structures are proposed as a means of accommodating on-site parking, these structures and the entrances thereto, will be designed to maintain continuity of the street edge and the pedestrian environment, as well as the function of the street. This may be achieved by one or a combination of the following:
a. Locating parking structures away from the street;
b. Including other uses along the street, at grade, to support pedestrian movement;
c. Providing landscaping, art, murals, or decorative street treatments; or
d. Reducing the number, and width, of vehicle entrances that interrupt pedestrian movement. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
The City will ensure that sidewalks and crosswalks are made of smooth, well-drained walking surfaces of contrasting materials or treatments to differentiate the pedestrian areas from vehicle areas and provide marked pedestrian crosswalks at intersection sidewalks. In addition, sidewalks and open space areas will be easily accessible through such features as gradual grade transitions, depressed curbs at street corners and convenient access to extra-wide parking spaces and ramps.
The City will require that new plans of subdivision and other developments include adequately spaced inter-block/street cycling and pedestrian connections to facilitate travel by active transportation. Furthermore, the City will ensure that new developments are linked to the existing or planned network of public sidewalks, multi-use pathways and on-road cycle routes, which connect parks and other open spaces, transit stations and transit stops, and community services and facilities. Where public sidewalks and multi-use pathways intersect with roads, consideration will be given to providing traffic control devices to give priority to cyclists and pedestrians.[Amendment #97, February 22, 2012]
At main entrances to buildings the City will require safe, direct and attractive pedestrian access from public sidewalks through such measures as:
Reduction of distances between public sidewalks and major building entrances;
Provision of pedestrian walkways from public streets to major building entrances;
Within individual sites, on-site pedestrian walkways along the front of adjoining buildings, between adjacent buildings, and connecting areas where people may congregate, such as courtyards and transit stops;
Wherever possible, protection from the weather is provided through canopies, colonnades, and other design elements. [OMB decision #2649, September 21, 2006]
Ottawa Road 174
The eastern portion of Ottawa Road 174 is a busy rural arterial road that is located along the Ottawa River in between Orléans and the City’s border. This roadway traverses the village of Cumberland and leads to the neighbouring municipality of Clarence-Rockland. The speed and volume of traffic create safety issues for vehicles turning to/from existing driveways and streets accessing this roadway. Section 2.3.1 policy 23 directs that individual access from new development along this roadway will generally not be permitted, particularly when shared or joint access points with existing development are possible, or alternative road access via nearby streets or a service road might be provided for. In the long term, public streets and private driveways that currently access Ottawa Road 174 may be subject to consolidation or relocation of access points if roadway modifications occur at some future date. [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
4.4 - Water and Wastewater Servicing
Ensuring that there is a reliable supply of good quality water and the safe disposal of wastewater is an important consideration in the development review process. Proponents are required to demonstrate that the servicing proposed for the development is adequate. The servicing requirements for water and wastewater services for Public Service Areas and areas to be developed on private systems are set out in the sections below.
The following table indicates the studies/assessments that are required to assess a development application with regard to water and wastewater services.
Assessment of adequacy of public services
Development application in a Public Service Area
Water, wastewater and storm water impact study
Where services are found to be limited in Public Service Areas
Hydro geological analysis; Registration of each phase (no more than 40 lots) supported by a servicing study; Well inspection report as condition of approval
Terrain analysis; Registration of each phase (no more than 40 lots) supported by a servicing study
Demonstrate in accordance with City guidelines that the site can be adequately serviced with private services; Well inspection report as condition of approval
Hydro geological and terrain analysis including an impact assessment for nitrates; Responsibility agreement with the City; Wellhead protection plan [Ministerial Modification 37, November 10, 2003]
Institutions such as schools, seniors homes
4.4.1 – Servicing in Public Service Area
Development in Public Service Areas is primarily on the basis of public services, with exceptions described in Section 2.3.2. When reviewing development applications, the City will require an assessment of the adequacy of public services to support the development.
The City will require development applications in Public Service Areas to be supported by an assessment of the adequacy of public services. Where services are found to be limited, the proponent will be required to submit a water, wastewater and storm water impact study detailing how public services will be provided to support the development. The study will:
Determine the extent to which the area will support development without further, unplanned upgrading of the networks in addition to the assessment of specific network improvements;
Determine the method and means by which the area as well as adjacent areas can best be serviced by the networks, taking into consideration the City's functional planning guidelines;
Identify specific network improvements deemed necessary and timing or staging of such improvements;
Assess any social, economic and physical environmental impact on the local neighbourhood and adjacent areas resulting from anticipated network improvements;
Take into account the effect of known development potential of other lands, which will utilize the networks;
Indicate the proposed location for connection to central services, if more than one option exists.
When considering development on urban lands, located inside the Greenbelt, that have the potential to reduce the capacity of the water and/or sewage systems or contribute to overland flow, the City will ensure that anticipated impacts can be adequately mitigated or otherwise addressed by means that include but are not limited to the following:
On-site retention and storage;
Water efficiency measures;
Flow control measures;
Flow removal projects;
Other measures such as compensation projects, as outlined in the document “Managing Capacity to Support Intensification and Infill”, which is included as Section Section 6 of the 2008 Infrastructure Master Plan Update.
[Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
4.4.2 – Private Water and Wastewater Servicing
Some parts of the rural area are subject to the policies of Section 4.4.1 above and Section 2.3.2 because they have public systems. However, new development in the City’s rural area will occur primarily on the basis of private individual services. There are also some existing lands within the Public service areas that are developed on private individual services. Private individual services will mean a privately-owned and maintained well-water supply and a privately-owned and privately-maintained wastewater disposal system that services the development on the lot upon which they are located and which will remain under one ownership. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Anywhere development is proposed on the basis of private individual services and requires an application for an Official Plan or Zoning By-law amendment or involves a plan of subdivision, plan of condominium, severance or site plan approval, the City will require sufficient information with the application to assess the likelihood that:
Sufficient quantity of groundwater exists on site to service the development;
A water well can be constructed on the proposed lot(s) that will not be impacted by identified potential sources of groundwater contamination in the area;
The quality of the groundwater meets or exceeds the Ontario Drinking Water Standards, Objectives and Guidelines;
The operation of the on-site wastewater system on the new lot(s) will not adversely impact on a well to be constructed on the proposed lot(s) and on the wells of neighbouring properties;
The development is within the reserve capacity of the municipal sewage system for hauled sewage.
[Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Specific information requirements for plans of subdivision, plans of condominium and severances are described in more detail in the following sections.
2. Requirements for private services in Public Service Areas, where no public services exist, are described in Section 2.3.2.
[Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
3. Proposals for buildings that do not require approval under the Planning Act, and that will be serviced by a private well, must be supported by a well inspection report, satisfactory to the City, provided in conjunction with the building permit and inspection process.[Amendment #150, September 10, 2018]
Where a plan of subdivision or condominium is proposed on private individual services, a servicing study of sufficient detail to establish evidence of site suitability will be required. The study must conform to the City’s guidelines. An integrated hydro geological and terrain analysis, report is required to confirm sustainability of the water supply and suitability of the terrain. This report will include an impact assessment of nitrates on the groundwater, to confirm sustainability of sewage disposal. The study will also be of sufficient magnitude to consider the impact of the proposal on the operation of existing wells and septic systems in the vicinity. [Amendment #150, April 19, 2018]
Applications for subdivisions on private individual services that exceed 40 lots will not be approved for registration unless it is broken into discreet phases of no more than 40 lots. In such cases, registration of the second and subsequent phases will be conditional upon the completion of a satisfactory servicing review study of wells and wastewater disposal systems in the previous phase or phases of the subdivision. The servicing review study will confirm whether continued development is appropriate and identify any additional requirements. [Amendment #14, September 8, 2004] [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
As a condition of approval, development on private wells must be supported by a satisfactory well inspection report in conjunction with the building permit process.
As a condition of approval of plan of subdivision, the developer will be required to dedicate a monitoring well, at no cost, to the City. The City will have unlimited access to this well to monitor groundwater conditions. Where the subdivision has a number of phases one monitoring well may be required for each phase of development. The City, at its discretion, may determine to not require a monitoring well where there are sufficient wells already provided to satisfy the City monitoring program. [OPA 76, OMB File # PL100206, November 25, 2011]
Prior to the approval of a severance, the proponent must demonstrate, in accordance with City guidelines, that the site can be adequately serviced with private services. Where lot creation by severance is proposed on private services, the City requires proof that the lot can be serviced with potable water and an in-ground sewage disposal system. The City will grant provisional consent subject to a condition that a servicing study of sufficient detail to establish evidence of site suitability is undertaken prior to a certificate of consent being issued. The study must conform to the Ministry of the Environment and City guidelines. The study will include the drilling and testing of at least one well and an assessment of the impact of the sewage system on groundwater. The study will also be of sufficient magnitude to consider the impact of the proposal on the operation of existing wells in the vicinity. [Amendment #150, September 10, 2018]
As a condition of approval of any lot where a production well does not exist, development on private wells must be supported by a satisfactory well inspection report in conjunction with the building permit and inspection process. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
220.127.116.11 Development of Two to Five Units on Shared Water or Wastewater Systems
Development of two to five units on the basis of shared water and/or wastewater systems will only be permitted where:
The property, including the units, is in single ownership;
All of the requirements in the policies above in this section for private individual services have been met.
18.104.22.168 Small Water and Wastewater Works
Small water and wastewater works are servicing systems for small scale development that are operated and managed by a single owner, for a single building or complex of buildings. [Amendment #150, April 20, 2018]
The City may consider small water and wastewater works for development that comprises commercial or industrial uses that do not contain any residential uses. [Amendment #150, April 20, 2018]
Notwithstanding policy 1, small water and wastewater works, being systems that are owned, operated and managed by a single owner for a single building or complex of buildings, may be considered for commercial uses, without the requirement of an agreement between the City and the proponent provided the development does not contain any residential uses. [Amendment #150 April 20, 2018]
The City may also consider small water and wastewater works to service development that comprises an institution, such as a school or a retirement home only where the owner has entered into a responsibility agreement with the City. The responsibility agreement will contain, but is not limited to, the following components:
A detailed description of the design criteria for the small water and wastewater works that must meet standards agreed to by the City;
The details of the monitoring, operation and maintenance requirements of the small water and wastewater works;
The complete financial plan, which provides assurance in the form of a letter of credit or equivalent, equal to the operating and capital reserve fund for the system.
The proponent of any development that includes a small water or wastewater works is required to submit the following additional information at the time of application:
Hydrogeology and terrain analyses that demonstrate the long-term sustainability of water supply and wastewater disposal;
A vulnerability assessment in accordance with the terms of reference as specified at the time of a pre-application consultation;
A Reasonable Use Study to determine the impact from the sewage system(s) on the groundwater, as described by the Ministry of the Environment guidelines; and
The identification of any risk to the water supply and the mitigation necessary to protect that supply. [Amendment #150, April 20, 2018]
Notwithstanding policy 1 and 2, small water works that are owned and operated and managed by the single owner of 6139 and 6143 Perth Street and its related addresses for the complex of buildings may be considered for institutional, multiple attached residential and low rise residential uses. [Amendment #209, May 9, 2018]
4.5 - Housing
Applications to amend the zoning by-law to introduce or delete residential uses must be reviewed with reference to policies 23 and 24 of Section 2.2.2, Managing Growth Within the Urban Area. All applications for residential development must also consider the requirements of policy 17(l) in Section 2.2.2 regarding alternative development standards and the requirements of Section 2.5.2 Affordable Housing. The policies in this subsection are designed to maintain existing housing stock in the city.
The conversion of rental housing with six or more rental units to condominium ownership or to free hold ownership as a result of applications such as, but not limited to, applications for severance of properties, is premature and not in the public interest unless the following two criteria are satisfied: [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
The rental vacancy rate by dwelling/structure type for the City of Ottawa as defined and reported yearly through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Rental Housing Market Survey has been at or above 3 per cent for the preceding two-year reporting period;
The existing market rents of the units proposed for conversion are at or above the average market rent levels for the corresponding CMHC survey zone in the City of Ottawa, as reported yearly by the CMHC Survey for rental units of a similar dwelling/structure and bedroom type.
The City shall notify tenants in units approved for a conversion of their rights under the Provincial Tenant Protection Act or any successor legislation.
Heritage buildings individually designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act and Category 1 and 2 buildings designated under Part V of the Act, which contain rental units, are exempt from the rental conversion policy.
The maintenance and rehabilitation of the existing housing stock will be ensured through enforcement of the property standards by-law and support for residential rehabilitation assistance programs.
The City will study the use of demolition control throughout the urban area as a means of maintaining the supply of affordable rental housing. [Amendment #13, September 8, 2004]
4.6 - Cultural Heritage Resources
Cultural heritage resources may include the following: buildings, structures, and sites; archaeological resources; rural and urban cultural heritage landscapes; heritage conservation districts areas and environments that include river and canal corridors; Scenic-Entry Routes and Multi-Use Pathways. The table below indicates where studies/assessments regarding cultural heritage resources may be required to assess a development application. [Ministerial Modification 40, November 10, 2003] [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Cultural heritage impact statement
When a development has the potential to adversely affect any designated heritage resource [Amendment #76, June 24, 2009]
Demonstrate that the proposal is compatible with the heritage resource
All planning applications adjacent to or across the street from a heritage resource [Amendment #76, June 24, 2009]
Archaeological resource assessment
Areas with archaeological resource potential
Some land uses restricted;Require land dedication at waterfront
River corridors- all major rivers and streams
Cultural heritage impact statement
Rideau River and Canal
Scenic-Entry Routes designated on Schedules I & J
Assess potential for connections
Multi-Use Pathways designated on Schedule I & J [Amendment #76, June 24, 2009]
4.6.1 – Heritage Buildings and Areas
Heritage buildings and areas are buildings, structures, sites, landscapes, areas or environments which may have cultural, architectural, historical, contextual and/or natural interest, and which may warrant designation under the Ontario Heritage Act, and/or may warrant other means of cultural heritage recognition , for example, by the federal government. Heritage significance does not only flow from recognition but is dependent on a property’s inherent values.
These policies are based on the presumption in favour of the retention of heritage resources in their original location and construction. Demolition of a cultural heritage resource and the rebuilding on a facsimile of all or part of the building is not considered to be heritage conservation.
For the purposes of this section, adjacent means contiguous to.
[Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
Where a structure designated under Part IV of the OntarioHeritage Act is to be altered, added to, partially demolished, demolished or relocated, the approval of City Council, after consultation with its municipal heritage committee, currently known as the Ottawa Built Heritage Advisory Committee (OBHAC), is required. If the alteration, addition, partial demolition, demolition or relocation has the potential to adversely affect the designated resource, the City will require that a cultural heritage impact statement be conducted by a qualified professional with expertise in cultural heritage resources to do the following: [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010] [Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
Describe the positive and adverse impacts on the heritage resource that may reasonably be expected to result from the proposed development; [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Describe the actions that may reasonably be required to prevent, minimize or mitigate the adverse impacts in accordance with the policies below[Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
Demonstrate that the proposal will not adversely impact the defined cultural heritage value or the heritage attributes of the property. [Amendment #13, September 8, 2004] [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Where a structure designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act is to be altered, added to, partially demolished, demolished, relocated, or where new construction in a district designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act is proposed, the approval of City Council, after consultation with its municipal heritage committee, currently known as the Ottawa Built Heritage Advisory Committee (OBHAC) is required. If the alteration, addition, partial demolition, demolition or relocation or new construction has the potential to adversely affect the heritage conservation district, the City will require that a cultural heritage impact statement be conducted by a qualified professional with expertise in cultural heritage resources to do the following: [Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
Describe the positive and adverse impacts on the heritage conservation district that may reasonably be expected to result from the proposed development;
Describe the actions that may reasonably be required to prevent, minimize or mitigate the adverse impacts
Demonstrate that the proposal will not adversely impact the cultural heritage value of the Heritage Conservation District,
When evaluating an alteration or addition to a building located in Heritage Conservation District, the impact statement will address the heritage conservation district study or the Council-approved “Heritage District Plan” of that district for design guidance. If no such plan exists, the impact statement will address the heritage study of the area for design guidance.
[Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
Where development is proposed on a property that is adjacent to or within 35 metres of the boundary of; a property containing an individually designated heritage building (Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act), a heritage conservation district (Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act) or a federally-recognized heritage property, the City may require that a cultural heritage impact statement be conducted by a qualified professional with expertise in cultural heritage resources. The cultural heritage impact statement will do the following: [Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
Describe the positive and adverse impacts on the heritage resource or heritage conservation district that may reasonably be expected to result from the proposed development;
Describe the actions that may reasonably be required to prevent, minimize or mitigate the adverse impacts in accordance with the policies below;
Demonstrate that the proposal will not adversely impact the defined cultural heritage value of the property, Heritage Conservation District, and/or its streetscape/neighbourhood.
[Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
Where relocation of a structure designated under the OntarioHeritage Act is proposed, the City will require that the cultural heritage impact statement demonstrate that relocation is the only way to conserve the resource. The City may consider the option provided that: [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010] [Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
The building is retained on site, but moved to another part of the property for integration into the new development, or, if that is not possible;
The building is relocated to a site appropriate to its cultural heritage value outside the proposed development or property.
Where an owner of a designated heritage property applies for approval to demolish the property, the City may require a cultural heritage impact statement that, in addition to the regular requirements, will demonstrate that the rehabilitation and reuse of the property is not viable. The City may consider acquisition of the property where it determines that it is in the public interest to do so, and the property is considered to be of sufficient cultural heritage value to the community. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
When a development involves the retention of all or part of a cultural heritage resource and its integration into a larger development the cultural heritage resource shall be retained in situ during the construction process. Where the retention of the cultural heritage resource in situ is determined to be impossible by an engineer specialized in the preservation of cultural heritage resources, the City may permit the temporary removal of the resource during the construction process followed by its restoration. [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
In the rare instances that a designated heritage property is approved for demolition the City will require that the property be thoroughly documented for archival purposes at the expense of the applicant prior to demolition or alteration in accordance with accepted heritage recording guidelines, for deposit in the City of Ottawa archives. [[Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
The City may permit the transfer of density potential from one site to another to facilitate the retention of particular cultural heritage resources in those areas which have an established floor space index under the zoning by-law, subject to: [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
A concurrent, equivalent down-zoning and up-zoning of donor and recipient sites, respectively;
Maintaining compatibility of scale and architectural treatment between the heritage resource(s) and the new development and between the recipient site and its existing environs;
Where a density transfer is to take place in the central business district of the Central Area, conformity will be required with policies regarding building heights and the visual integrity and symbolic primacy of the Parliament Buildings and other national symbols, as referred to in Section 3.6.6.
When reviewing applications for zoning amendments, site plan control approval, demolition control, minor variance, or the provision of utilities affecting lands/properties adjacent to or across the street from a designated heritage resource, adjacent to or across the street from the boundary of a heritage conservation district, or within heritage conservation district, the City will ensure that the proposal is compatible by: [Amendment 14, September 8, 2004] [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
Respecting the massing, profile and character adjacent to or across the street from heritage buildings; [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Approximating the width of nearby heritage buildings when constructing new buildings facing the street;
Approximating the established setback pattern on the street;
Being physically oriented to the street in a similar fashion to existing heritage buildings;
Minimizing shadowing on adjacent heritage properties, particularly on landscaped open spaces and outdoor amenity areas;
Having minimal impact on the heritage qualities of the street as a public place in heritage areas;
Minimizing the loss of landscaped open space;
Ensuring that parking facilities (surface lots, residential garages, stand-alone parking and parking components as part of larger developments) are compatibly integrated into heritage areas;
Requiring local utility companies to place metering equipment, transformer boxes, power lines, conduit equipment boxes, and other utility equipment and devices in locations that do not detract from the visual character or architectural integrity of the heritage resource.
Where development affects cultural heritage resources, the City may enter into registered agreements with the owners of designated heritage properties when it deems that financial securities are necessary to ensure the retention and conservation of heritage properties as part of a development. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Where development is proposed adjacent to or across the street from a building on the Heritage Reference List (but not designated under the OntarioHeritage Act) the applicant shall demonstrate the proposal’s compatibility with that heritage resource and its streetscape. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010] [Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
In undertaking its public works, the City will provide for the conservation of heritage buildings and areas in accordance with these policies.
The heritage integrity of cemeteries will be given careful consideration at all times. The City will ensure that:
Cultural heritage impact statements, prepared by qualified heritage conservation professionals, are required for development proposals on lands adjacent to or across the street from cemeteries;
Impacts and encroachments associated with development will be assessed and mitigated;
The relocation of human remains will be avoided.
[Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
4.6.2 – Archaeological Resources
Archaeological resources are the remains of any building, structure, activity, place, or cultural feature or object, which, because of the passage of time, are on or below the surface of land or water and are of significance to the understanding of the history of a people or place. Archaeological resources may also include significant Native and non-Native cemeteries or unmarked burials. The City has undertaken an Archaeological Resource Potential Mapping Study and the results of the study form the basis for determining the archaeological potential. [Ministerial Modification #43, November 10, 2003]
Where development is proposed on land where archaeological potential exists, as identified on the City of Ottawa map, Areas of Archaeological Potential, the City will require an archaeological resource assessment to be conducted by an archaeologist licensed under the Ontario Heritage Act, as a condition of development approval. The archaeological resource assessment report will: [Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
Be provided by the developer to the City and submitted to the Ministry of Culture;
Be carried out to the satisfaction of the Ministry of Culture and communicated to the City;
Include conservation-related recommendations, such as documentation, removal and/or preservation in situ for heritage integrity purposes, if significant archaeological resources are discovered on a subject property;
Ensure that a plan for protection or salvage of any significant archaeological site(s) found during the course of the assessment is implemented prior to any disturbance of the land.
When reviewing plans of subdivision and condominium, site-specific official plan amendments and site plans involving large parcels of undisturbed land, the City will determine whether any portion of a proposal has the potential for the discovery of archaeological resources. The City’s Archaeological Resource Potential Mapping Study will form the basis for determining the archaeological potential.
When reviewing consent and lifting of part lot control applications, the City will consider that archaeological potential exists only when the application would:
Contain or directly affect a registered archaeological site, or directly affect a federal, provincial or municipal historic landmark, monument or designated property; or
Lead to impacts (any soil disturbance) upon undisturbed lands (woodlot, pasture ploughed land) that are located within 100 metres of the top of bank of the Ottawa, Rideau, Carp, Mississippi or Jock Rivers when two or more new building lots are created.
When a consent or a lifting of part lot control application proposes to sever existing units, there is no requirement for an archaeological resource assessment.
While the Archaeological Resource Potential Mapping Study shows the historic core of the city (as defined by the city limits at the time of its incorporation in 1855) as having archaeological potential, an archaeological resource assessment will not be required as part of the development review process. However, if archaeological resources are discovered during the course of construction in the city’s historic core area, the site must be protected from further disturbance until a licensed archaeologist has completed an archaeological resource assessment and any necessary mitigation has been completed. The City will develop information to assist developers, contractors and on-site workers in the recognition and reporting of potential archaeological resources discovered during the course of construction. A site monitoring assessment process for deeply buried remains will also be considered if significant archaeological resources are identified. Where new additional information within the urbanized city core indicates there is a high likelihood for archaeological remains to exist, a licensed archaeologist shall be retained for monitoring purposes and/or assessment prior to any major ground disturbances resulting from construction activities. [Ministerial Modification 42, November 10, 2003]
Where marked and unmarked cemeteries and burial places are encountered during assessment or any excavation activity, the provisions of the Cemeteries Act and its regulations will apply. Council shall ensure adequate archaeological assessment by a licensed archaeologist is conducted and consult appropriate government agencies, including the Ministry of Culture (MCL) and the Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services (SBCS) [Ministerial Modification #43, November 10, 2003] [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
In undertaking public works, the City will conserve archaeological resources in accordance with these policies.
Council may maintain the integrity of archaeological resources by adopting zoning by-laws under Section 34 of the Planning Act to prohibit or restrict any land use activities or the erection of buildings or structures on land which is a site of a significant archaeological resource. [Ministerial Modification #44, November 10, 2003]
4.6.3 – River and Canal Corridors
[Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Ottawa’s defining natural features are its rivers. The Ottawa and Rideau Rivers and Rideau Canal and their tributaries have historically determined the location of communities and continue to define their boundaries. In the past, the Ottawa River served as the principal highway into the Canadian Shield for aboriginal people, explorers, loggers and settlers. Its cultural heritage, natural environment resources and recreational opportunities contribute to the tourism potential of the communities along its shore.
The Rideau River and Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Site, and a Canadian Heritage River. Its value lies in the combination of historic engineering works and buildings, open spaces, natural features, the canal itself, and adjacent diverse landscapes, which together constitute a cultural heritage resource of outstanding national significance and universal heritage value. Parks Canada owns the bed of the Rideau Canal and land at lock stations along the canal.
The City will ensure that the shoreline of the Ottawa River, Rideau River and Canal, and other shorelines in the city remain accessible and that the river landscapes, which include farms and wooded areas, are maintained and improved, in terms of their cultural heritage, scenic quality, and recreation and economic benefits. The natural environment functions of rivers and streams are protected through provisions elsewhere in this Plan for planning on a watershed basis, environmentally-sensitive development practices, and other measures.
The City will conserve the natural environment, cultural heritage, scenic qualities, and recreational potential of the Ottawa River, Rideau River and Rideau Canal World Heritage Site by:
Reviewing development applications adjacent to these rivers and canal to ensure that the visual quality of the waterway and view from the waterway, as well as natural and cultural features, are evaluated. In this respect, a cultural heritage impact statement, as described in Section 4.6.1, will be required for any development application under the Planning Act within 30 metres of the Rideau Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site and its landscaped buffer in the urban area, which will be reviewed in consultation with Parks Canada and the National Capital Commission; [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
Requiring an assessment of the potential impact of the development on boating safety in parts of the Rideau Canal experiencing boating congestion and other impediments to safe navigation; and on the aquatic environment where significant aquatic natural features are known to exist. The study will be reviewed in consultation with Parks Canada;
Prohibiting pits and quarries along the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers;
Prohibiting land uses that require outside storage or large paved areas or that produce noise, fumes and dust;
Ensuring, for development outside Villages in the General Rural Area adjacent to the Rideau River and Rideau Canal upstream from Roger Stevens Drive, notwithstanding the provisions of policy 22.214.171.124(b), or any other policy in this Plan, a minimum lot size of 5 hectares and a minimum of 200 metres of waterfront for the severed parcel, and a minimum lot size of 10 hectares for the remnant parcel, unless an alternate design has the same or less impact, as assessed by a cultural heritage impact statement. [Amendment #13, September 8, 2004] [Amendment #58, December 07, 2007]
For lots that abut the Rideau River and Canal the City may also require site plan approval for all non-agricultural buildings, which may include one or more dwellings and their accessory buildings that have not been subject to another approval under the Planning Act and in which the matters, identified in Section 2.5.5 have been addressed. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
When reviewing development and public works adjacent to or over the canal system the City will ensure that:
the development or public works will not interfere with safe and efficient navigation on the Canal;
no development or site alteration will alter the size, shape, depth, or configuration of the slackwater sections of the canal system;
all development, works or site alteration on lands adjacent to the lock stations and the canal takes into consideration and conserves the Cultural Heritage Resources of these areas; and
Environmental Assessments required for new bridge or public utilities that cross or are located within 30 m of the canal, address and mediate their impact on the function and heritage character of the canal in manner acceptable to the City and Parks Canada; and
e. all other applicable provisions of the plan will be addressed. [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
Public access to shorelines will be pursued through various means, as described in Section 2.4.5. For plans of subdivision abutting the shoreline, the City will secure public access along the shoreline of all waterways in the urban area and Villages, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so. This will be accomplished by requiring that land dedicated for public purposes be located at the shoreline or adjacent to environmental constraints. The dedicated lands should be accessible from a public road. [Amendment #14, September 8, 2004]
In addition, the City will use such measures as public acquisition, conservation easements or other appropriate means to secure public access to the shoreline where there is agreement of the property owner.
The City recognizes the importance of waterways and islands in the history and culture of aboriginals. Waterways provided a primary means of movement for these people and islands in the waterways served as gathering and hunting places, burial grounds, etc. Accordingly, the City will engage with First Nations, in particular with the Algonquins of Ontario, the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario on matters related to the utilization of islands in the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers. [Amendment #76, July 07, 2011.]
4.6.4 – Scenic-Entry Routes
Scenic-Entry Routes form a network that links major tourist, recreation, heritage and natural environment destinations in and beyond Ottawa. Some of them follow historic routes, while others follow rivers and many are attractive to cyclists and pedestrians. Scenic-Entry Routes include a variety of roads, such as highways, parkways, arterial roads and local streets. This system of Scenic-Entry Routes is under the jurisdiction of the federal government plus provincial and municipal governments in Ontario and Québec. Most Scenic-Entry Routes can be enjoyed by a variety of modes, including bus, bicycle, and in many areas of the network in the urban area and Villages, foot. Many Scenic-Entry Routes, such as Riverside Drive or the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway, contribute to the continuity of the Green space Network through the design of their corridors. Key Scenic-Entry Routes are also the principal roads used by visitors and business travellers arriving in Ottawa and the National Capital Region. Signage along these roads must orient travellers and provide direction to the City’s attractions, while the overall pattern of development along the routes must create a favourable first impression of Ottawa. [Amendment #201, March 14, 2018]
Scenic-Entry Routes are designated on Schedules I and J.
Guidelines for Scenic-Entry Routes that elaborate on the more general Arterial Road Corridor Design Guidelines, as updated from time to time, will be developed and implemented by the City. While respecting the primary function of the road, the guidelines will promote:
The creation of a safe and attractive environment for travellers including, where appropriate, such amenities as lay-bys, scenic lookouts, information, and directional signs to important urban and rural cultural, heritage, environmental and tourism destinations;
Attention to such matters as building orientation, outside storage, access and egress, landscaping, fencing, lighting and signage to create an aesthetically pleasing streetscape;
The protection of views to natural and cultural heritage features, mature trees, and roadside vegetation along and beyond the right-of-way;
Coordination of landscaping, berming, pathways and other features within the rights-of-way with the creation of such features on adjacent land, including the potential to locate these features on adjacent property;
Any other items determined by the City.
Until such time as the guidelines for Scenic-Entry Routes are prepared, development applications adjacent to these routes will be assessed against the criteria listed above, in addition to other requirements of this Plan.
The City will undertake a study to determine criteria for the identification and protection of roads with cultural heritage value. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010
4.6.5 – Multi-Use Pathways
Multi-Use Pathways provide a primarily off-road network for pedestrians and cyclists in green and open settings/corridors. In the rural area, they may be on-road or within their own or shared off-road corridors. The pathways are part of the Green Space Network and provide connections among communities and major tourism, cultural heritage and green space features. The plans and design standards for Multi-Use Pathways are based on municipal plans and the study, Pathway Network for Canada’s National Capital Region, which is updated periodically. Many pathways are owned and maintained by the National Capital Commission. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010
Multi-Use Pathways are designated on Schedules C and J. The system shown on the schedules is conceptual and the location of pathways may be refined without amendment to this Plan as a result of further study by the City or through the provisions of a development agreement, provided that continuity is maintained within the system, that destinations within the system continue to be connected, and the same general area is served. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
The Multi-Use Pathways Network designated on Schedules C and J is an essential part of an integrated sustainable transportation network. The system shown on the schedules is conceptual and the location of pathways may be refined as a result of further study by the City or through the provisions of a development agreement. Such refinement will not require amendment to this plan, provided that: continuity is maintained within the system, destinations within the system continue to be connected, and the same general area is served. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
The City may require pathway corridors to be dedicated for public purposes through a plan of subdivision and funding for pathway construction related to new growth may be included as part of Development Charges. [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
Multi-Use Pathways are generally located in open spaces, parkland and natural lands where broad green and open corridors can be provided. Multi-Use Pathways may be co-located with other land uses and infrastructure such as: rapid transit corridors, parkway-type road corridors, utility and infrastructure corridors, storm water management facilities, and cultural and institutional facilities, where the overall open and green landscape character can be retained. [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
When reviewing community design plans, development proposals, and public works that include multi-use pathways, the City will ensure that pathways are designed and located to be safe and efficient transportation, recreation and environmental corridors. This will be achieved by:
ensuring there is sufficient tree and other vegetative screening between the travelled portion of the pathway and adjacent land uses to provide a green landscape setting;
ensuring that the route of the pathway avoids existing adjacent land uses that generate excessive noise, involve outside storage or generate air pollution and where this cannot be prevented by ensuring these intrusions are mitigated to the greatest possible extent in the pathway design;
providing for good pathway corridor visibility, safety and way finding by using such methods as:
paralleling other well-travelled public rights-of-way;
providing frequent connections to adjacent communities and alternative travel routes; and
ongoing management of signage programs.
[Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
6. In undertaking public works, the City will seek opportunities to construct Major Recreational Pathways and connections to them. [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
4.7 - Environmental Protection
Land can be developed in ways that support natural features and functions on individual sites and across large new development areas. The development requirements in this subsection serve the following objectives in the rural and urban areas:
Increasing forest cover across the city;
Maintaining and improving water quality;
Maintaining base flows and reducing peak flows in surface water;
Protecting and improving the habitat for fish and wildlife in stream corridors;
Protecting springs, recharge areas, headwater wetlands and other hydrological areas;
Managing resources by using low-maintenance, natural solutions.
The development review requirements in this section are based on design with nature principles. Development sites have natural characteristics (vegetation, topography, watercourses) and related functions, which must play a fundamental role in site design. Sensitive environmental design can result in increased protection for the environment and wildlife, and more effective green space provisions for residents. It can also lead to less energy-intensive solutions as natural approaches to storm water management or heating and cooling in buildings reduce the need for expensive and energy consumptive infrastructure.
Design components will be considered as basic inputs into the development process and must be assessed and considered prior to establishing an initial design or lot pattern. This process will be implemented through application of the integrated environmental review process described below and through a number of specific policies in Sections 3.2, 4.2, 4.6 and 4.7, including those related to tree saving, slope protection, environmental impact statements, watercourse setbacks, and landform protection. All development applications will indicate the location of treed areas, watercourses, poorly drained and wetland areas, rock outcrops, and significant changes in elevation.
The following table indicates where studies/assessments may be required, depending on characteristics of the site, to assess a development application.
Integrated environmental review to assess development applications
Subdivision, site plan and rezoning applications requiring an environmental impact statement, or tree retention and protection plan or landscape feature assessment.
Tree Conservation Report
All plans of subdivision, plans of condominiums, and site plans
Determine appropriate setback from rivers, lakes, streams and other surface and water features
Adjacent to rivers, lakes, streams, and other surface water features
Erosion and sediment control plan
All development proposals
Demonstrate no negative impact on fish habitat; if there is impact- review by Department of Fisheries and Oceans
In or adjacent to fish habitat
Environmental impact statement to demonstrate no impact on the significant habitat of endangered and threatened species or on its ecological functions
On lands adjacent to significant habitat of endangered and threatened species.
Groundwater impact assessment
Groundwater resources areas (to be defined in future studies)
Wellhead protection study
Wellhead Protection Area designated on Schedule K
Stormwater site management plans
Site plan, subdivision and zoning applications
Assessment of landform feature / environmental impact statement to demonstrate no negative impact on earth science areas of natural and scientific interest
Geomorphic, geological and landform features / earth science ANSIs (designated on Schedule K)
Environmental Impact Statement
On or adjacent to elements of the natural heritage system, as required in Section 2.4.2, or to designated Significant Wetlands, Natural Environment Areas, Urban Natural Features and Rural Natural Features as required in Sections 3.2.1 through 3.2.4
[Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
4.7.1 – Integrated Environmental Review to Assess Development Applications
A comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the natural environment and the built environment is the foundation of site design and subdivision planning, as well as planning for the larger areas subject to community design plans. The integrated environmental review considers as a whole the significant findings from individual support studies (ie, tree preservation and protection plans, environmental impact statements, stormwater site management plans, Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments). It also ensures that development proceeds in keeping with the analysis and recommendations of any watershed and subwatershed studies and federal or provincial environmental assessments documents, where applicable. The integrated environmental review ensures that development design complies with the environmental policies contained in Section 4, and that the principles of design with nature have been applied. [Amendment #13, September 8, 2004]
Subdivision, and site plan and rezoning applications requiring an Environmental Impact Statement, Tree Conservation Report or landform feature assessment, will be accompanied by an integrated environmental review statement demonstrating how all the studies in support of the application influence the design of the development with respect to effects on the environment and compliance with the appropriate policies of Section 4. The appropriate policies and studies will be identified through pre-consultation at the beginning of the design and review process. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification # 48, April 26, 2012.]
The integrated environmental review statement will provide:
A brief overview of the results of individual technical studies and other relevant environmental background material;
A graphic illustration, such as an air photo, summarizing the spatial features and functions (e.g. natural vegetation, watercourses, significant slopes or landform features, recharge/infiltration areas) as identified in the individual studies;
A summary of the potential environmental concerns raised, the scope of environmental interactions between studies, and the total package of mitigation measures, including any required development conditions and monitoring, as recommended in individual studies;
A statement with respect to how the recommendations of the support studies and the design with nature approach have influenced the design of the development;
An indication that the statement has been reviewed and concurred with by the individual sub consultants involved in the design team and technical studies.
A description of how the principles of Design Objective 7 (Section 2.5.1) to maximize the energy-efficiency of development and to promote sustainable design that reduces consumption, energy use and carbon footprint of the built environment have been considered. A sustainable design checklist will be prepared to assist in this description. [Amendment #150 December 21, 2017]
4.7.2 – Protection of Vegetation Cover
Preserving vegetation on sites subject to development not only contributes to the urban and rural forest and the overall environmental health of the area, but also helps improve the visual appeal of newly developed areas. However, development proposals may necessitate removal of existing vegetative cover in some instances. Development proposals will be required to preserve vegetative cover or propose compensation measures, through the following policies. [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006]
In order to support the Official Plan objective for 30 per cent tree cover, applications for subdivision, condominium, site plan approval affecting vegetation cover on site, will be supported by a Tree Conservation Report and a Landscape Plan. [Amendment #150 December 21, 2017]
The Tree Conservation Report constitutes part of a complete application and may be submitted early in the design and development review process. It should be submitted before any tree removal occurs on development lands. The report will be completed in keeping with the Tree Conservation Report guidelines and in summary will: [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Retain as much natural vegetation as feasible, especially along surface water features, on steep slopes, in valued woodlots and in areas linking green spaces, with a particular emphasis on high quality or rare vegetative communities; [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006] [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012.]
Identify the presence of endangered or threatened species or their habitat as identified in the Endangered Species Act, 2007 and provide recommendations for protection measures to be used. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012.]
Demonstrate how components of the proposed development, such as grading plans and the location of buildings, roads, and infrastructure, support tree conservation. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012.]
Determine which stands of trees or individual trees warrant retention based on a preliminary assessment;
For those trees or stands of trees being retained, outline measures for their protection during construction and over the long term;
Describe the area and nature of tree loss and compensation measures proposed;
Where there is substantial alteration of the natural vegetation cover on the site, the impact on fauna or rare species during and after construction will be considered and mitigation measures proposed.
Provide strategic recommendations to guide the landscape plan. [Amendment #76, June 24, 2009] [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010
The landscape plan will:
Indicate tree planting or vegetation cover required to provide protection for surface water features or steep slopes;
Investigate the appropriateness of the use of native species in vegetation planting strategies; [Amendment #150 December 21, 2017]
Provide a reference document for future residents on the importance and care of trees on their property.
[Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
4. The City will promote the use of native species in public projects and private tree planting and land conservation wherever appropriate. [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006]
5. On-site and adjacent natural features/functions will be protected and enhanced by incorporating them into public open spaces and recreational pathways.
6. Streetscapes will be designed to include the provision of trees.
4.7.3 – Erosion Prevention and Protection of Surface Water
Protecting stream corridors and the surface water environment serves the dual purpose of preserving and enhancing the environmental quality of stream and river corridors and their aquatic habitat, as well as reducing risks from natural hazards associated with watercourses. Ensuring that development is set back an appropriate distance from watercourses helps serve these purposes by ensuring a healthy, natural riparian zone and providing a margin of safety from hazards associated with flooding and unstable slopes.
Council has adopted Slope Stability Guidelines for Development Applications in the City of Ottawa, 2004, to guide slope stability assessments and requirements for setbacks. Slope stability assessments identify the geotechnical limit of the hazard lands, which includes the stable slope allowance plus, where appropriate, an allowance for future erosion and in some cases, an additional allowance to permit access in the event of future slope failure. Sites where slope stability issues are a concern were identified in the report, Slope Stability Study of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, 1976 (Ontario Misc. Paper MP 68) and are shown on Schedule K. Schedule K provides for early identification of slope stability concerns but is not sufficiently detailed to assess constraints on specific sites. [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006] [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, July 21, 2011.]
Except as otherwise provided for in this section, Council will establish minimum setbacks from rivers, lakes, streams and other surface water features in watershed, subwatershed and environmental management plans and in these plans identify any additional studies needed to refine the setback through the development review process as well as any site-specific measures needed to protect the setback. [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006] [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, July 21, 2011.]
Where a Council-approved watershed, subwatershed, or environmental management plan does not exist, the minimum setback will be the greater of the following:
Development limits as established by the regulatory flood line (see Section 4.8.1);
Development limits as established by the geotechnical limit of the hazard lands;
30 metres from the normal high water mark of rivers, lakes and streams, as determined in consultation with the Conservation Authority; or
15 metres from the existing top of bank, where there is a defined bank. [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006]
The setback provided for in policies 1 and 2 will be implemented through the zoning by-law and any change in the setback will require a zoning by-law amendment or variance that is consistent with the policies in this section of the Plan. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012.]
No site alteration or development is permitted within the minimum setback, except as otherwise provided for in this section. Site alteration is defined as activities, such as fill, grading and excavation that would change the landform and natural vegetative characteristics of a site. Development is defined as the creation of a new lot or the construction of buildings and structures requiring approval under the Planning Act or the issuance of a Building Permit under the Building Code Act. Exceptions to this policy are:
Activities that create or maintain infrastructure within the requirements of the environmental assessment process or works subject to the Drainage Act;
Alterations necessary for recreation, environmental restoration, or slope stability works that are approved by the City and the Conservation Authority. [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006]
The geotechnical limit of hazard will be determined in keeping with the Slope Stability Guidelines for Development Applications in the City of Ottawa 2004. Sites where slope stability issues are a concern were identified in the report, Slope Stability Study of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, 1976 (Ontario Misc. Paper MP 68) and are shown on Schedule K. Schedule K provides for early identification of slope stability concerns but is not sufficiently detailed to assess constraints on specific sites. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, July 21, 2011.]
Exceptions to the setbacks in policy 2 will be considered by the City in consultation with the Conservation Authority in situations where development is proposed:
On existing lots where, due to the historical development in the area, it is unreasonable to demand or impossible to achieve minimum setback distances because of the size or location of the lot, approved or existing use on the lot, or other physical constraint;
Adjacent to a minor tributary that serves primarily a surface water function and that may have only an intermittent flow. This provision includes situations where a watershed, subwatershed or environmental management plan exists but does not provide guidance on a minor tributary;
Adjacent to an existing top of bank where the regulatory flood line and the geotechnical limit of the hazard lands are within 15 metres from the existing top of bank [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006]
Where an exception to the setback is requested under Policy 6, an alternate setback will be considered by the City in consultation with the Conservation Authority on the basis of a study that addresses the following criteria: [Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
Slope of the bank and geotechnical considerations related to unstable slopes, as addressed in Council’s Slope Stability Guidelines for Development Applications in the City of Ottawa, 2004;
Natural vegetation and the ecological function of the setback area;
The nature of the abutting water body, including the presence of a flood plain;
The need to demonstrate that there will be no negative impacts on adjacent fish habitat. [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006]
Notwithstanding policy 4, lot creation by subdivision may be considered which includes land within the required setback in Villages adjacent to a minor tributary that serves primarily a surface water function and that may have only an intermittent flow, subject to the following criteria:
Where slope stability is an issue, the lot area outside the geotechnical limit of hazard is sufficient to meet the required minimum lot size and Council’s Slope Stability Guidelines for Development Applications in the City of Ottawa, 2004 are satisfied; and
The lot area outside the setback is sufficient to accommodate all structures and water and wastewater services. [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006]
Notwithstanding policy 4, lot creation by subdivision may be considered which includes land within the required setback in the rural area outside Villages, subject to the following criteria:
Where slope stability is an issue, the lot area outside the geotechnical limit of hazard is sufficient to meet the required minimum lot size and Council’s Slope Stability Guidelines for Development Applications in the City of Ottawa, 2004 are satisfied; and
The lot area outside the setback is sufficient to accommodate all structures and water and wastewater services. [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006]
Notwithstanding policy 4, a lot created by severance in the rural area may include land within the required setback provided the criteria in policy 9 are satisfied. The new lot created by severance in the rural area should be located outside the setback to the extent possible. [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006]
Under the Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation, pursuant to the Conservation Authorities Act of Ontario, the approval of the Conservation Authority is required for works such as site grading, the placement of fill, the alteration of existing channels of watercourses, and certain construction projects. The Conservation Authority should be consulted for any project near a lake, river, stream or wetland regarding the need for a permit. The Rideau Canal is a federal waterway and as such all shoreline and in-water works along the canal system will also require approval of Parks Canada. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, July 21, 2011.]
Where development is proposed on private services, no septic tank or distribution piping may be located closer than 30 m from the normal high water mark of a river, lake or stream or other watercourse unless an alternative setback has been permitted by the City in consultation with the Conservation Authority, for example, as may be required for existing lots in the rural area. [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006]
An erosion and sediment control plan will be provided that shows how erosion on the site will be minimized during construction through application of established standards and procedures. Measures to maintain vegetative cover along the slope during and after construction will be addressed.
Natural watercourses should be maintained in their natural condition. Where an alteration is assessed as being environmentally appropriate and consistent with an approved subwatershed plan, environmental management plan or a storm water site management plan or, in the case of public projects, through a Class Environmental Assessment, watercourse alterations must follow natural channel design. Watercourse alterations must also meet any other applicable provincial and federal regulations, as amended from time to time, such as the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act, Public Lands Act and Fisheries Act and may require written approval from the appropriate Conservation Authority under the Fill, Construction and Alteration to Waterways regulations.
Development and site alteration will not be permitted in fish habitat except in accordance with federal and provincial requirements. Development applications near or adjacent to water bodies that provide fish habitat will be required to demonstrate that the proposed development will not have a negative impact on fish habitat. Fish habitat is defined as those areas on which fish depend directly or indirectly to carry out their life processes. Fish habitat includes spawning grounds, nursery and rearing areas, areas that supply food, and features that allow migration. In the event that a negative impact is unavoidable, the proposal must be reviewed and authorized by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, or its designate, which may or may not, under the federal Fisheries Act, authorize the work depending on development circumstances and type of habitat. [Ministerial Modification 45, November 10, 2003] [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, July 21, 2011.]
In addition to the provisions for setbacks described in this section, development proposals adjacent to municipal drains and other works under the Drainage Act must also maintain clear access to the legal working space adjacent to the drain. This working space is defined in the Engineer’s Report adopted through a By-law approved by Council under the Drainage Act for the construction and future maintenance of drainage works. Many drains also provide fish habitat. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, July 21, 2011.]
In support of the policies of this Plan, the City will:
Support initiatives of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Rural Affairs, other provincial ministries, farming organizations, Conservation Authorities and others, which encourage sound agricultural land management and soil conservation practices and other measures that minimize or eliminate the amount of pesticides, nutrients, silt and other contaminants that can enter the ground and surface water systems of Ottawa; [Ministerial Modification 46, November 10, 2003] [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, July 21, 2011.]
Investigate means to control land alteration in significant wetlands and natural areas, and the removal of top soil and peat extraction, by applying the provisions of the Conservation Authority Act, or the Municipal Act as amended from time to time, in partnership with the Conservation Authorities;
When reviewing its own practices, serve as a model and ensure that the development of its properties and the provision of its infrastructure take advantage of opportunities to design with nature;
Initiate an annual recognition program to recognize innovative projects that design with nature.
4.7.4 – Protection of Endangered and Threatened Species
Endangered and threatened species are those species listed under the regulations of the Endangered Species Act 2007. The significant habitat of these species is protected through Endangered Species Act 2007 and through the policies of this Plan. Wildlife habitat generally is protected through environmental policies in this Plan.
Butternut (Juglans cinerea) is an endangered tree whose main threat is a fungal disease that kills the infected trees. Butternut trees have special policies under the Ontario Regulation 242/08 of the Endangered Species Act 2007, administered by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The identification of butternut (and other trees) on a site will be required under the policies in Section 4.7.2 of this Plan. Where butternut is identified, the health of the tree(s) will be assessed by a certified Butternut Health Assessor and a permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources is required to remove a healthy tree.
Endangered and threatened species are those listed under Ontario Regulation 230/08 of the Endangered Species Act, 2007.
Significant habitat of endangered and threatened species is defined as the habitat, as approved by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, that is necessary for the maintenance, survival, and/or recovery of naturally occurring or reintroduced populations of endangered species or threatened species, and where those areas of occurrence are occupied or habitually occupied by the species during all or any part of its life cycle. Significant habitat of endangered and threatened species will be identified by:
Regulations made under the Endangered Species Act, 2007;
An Environmental Impact Statement in areas where there is potential for significant habitat to exist; or,
Other studies as approved by the City and Ministry of Natural Resources (e.g., subwatershed studies or environmental management plans).
The Ministry of Natural Resources has mapped areas with potential for significant habitat, based on known occurrences of endangered and threatened species. These maps will be consulted during pre-consultation to determine the need for an EIS and its scope as described in Section 4.7.8. The requirements of the Environmental Impact Statement will vary depending on such matters as the scale of proposed development, the nature of the site, the availability of comprehensive studies for the area and other matters identified in Section 4.7.8.
Environmental Impact Statements that address the potential for significant habitat of endangered or threatened species will be reviewed by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Ministry of Natural Resources will approve the extent of significant habitat for endangered and threatened species.
No development or site alteration, as defined in Section 4.7.8, will be permitted in significant habitat of endangered and threatened species. [Ministerial modification #50, December 24, 2009]
Development and site alteration will not be permitted within 120m of the boundary of identified significant habitat of endangered and threatened species unless the ecological function of the adjacent lands has been evaluated and the Environmental Impact Statement demonstrates that there will be no negative impact (as defined in Section 4.7.8) on the significant habitat of endangered and threatened species or on its ecological functions. [Ministerial modification #50, December 24, 2009]
[Amendment #76, June 24, 2009]
4.7.5 – Protection of Groundwater Resources
In order to safeguard the integrity of groundwater resources, the City will ensure that new development can be accommodated within the system without affecting supplies available to other users. Some uses however, are not appropriate in areas where residents rely on groundwater and are more appropriately located in a fully serviced industrial park probably within the urban area.
[Amendment #76, August 04, 2010
When reviewing development applications, the City will consider the potential for impact on groundwater resources.
A groundwater impact assessment may be required where the City has identified that the lands play a role in the management of the groundwater resource or the need is indicated in other available information such as subwatershed plans or local knowledge, and
A groundwater impact assessment may be required where the proposed use has the potential to negatively impact the groundwater resource. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
In either case, the proposed use will not be permitted without a favourable impact assessment.
2. When evaluating a non-residential land-use in a rural land-use designation reliant on private, individual services, Council will consider whether or not it would be better located in a fully serviced part of the City because of its potential impact on groundwater quality and quantity. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010
3. Regardless of the provisions in policies 1 and 2 above, an application to amend the zoning by-law to permit a high risk industrial use will not be permitted in the rural area. In this regard, high risk means an industrial use;
a. Which requires the use of water in an processing operation and;
b. Which has as a by-product water-borne wastes requiring municipal waste treatment.
[Amendment #76, August 04, 2010
4. Where wellhead protection areas have been identified, the policies in Section 4.8.2 will apply.
4.7.6 – Stormwater Management
The City’s commitment to plan on a watershed and subwatershed basis is outlined in Section 2.4.3. The City will implement the recommendations of the watershed, subwatershed and environmental management plans through the implementation mechanisms of this Plan or other appropriate mechanisms. In reviewing applications, the City will require that stormwater site managements plans be submitted in accordance with the guidance set out in the environmental management, subwatershed and watershed plans.
A stormwater site management plan will be required to support subdivision and site-plan applications.
Stormwater site management plans will be prepared in accordance with the guidance set out in a subwatershed or watershed plans (see Section 2.4.3). Generally, stormwater site management plans will include details on subdivision management, specific best management practices for stormwater, erosion and sediment control, and details for enhancement and rehabilitation of natural features. Where no subwatershed plan or environmental management plan exists, the City will review stormwater site management plans to ensure that:
Flows are not altered in a way that would increase the risk of downstream flooding or channel erosion in the receiving watercourse or municipal drain; [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Base flow in the watercourse is not reduced;
The quality of water that supports aquatic life and fish habitat is not adversely affected;
The quality of water that supports water-based recreational uses is not affected;
Natural habitat linkages that are located in or traverse the site are maintained or enhanced;
Groundwater is not negatively impacted;
Any other impacts on the existing infrastructure or natural environment are addressed in a manner consistent with established standards and procedures;
Objectives related to the optimization of wet weather infrastructure management are realized.
In areas of intensification the City will encourage new development or redevelopment to incorporate on-site stormwater management and/or retention measures. Where onsite measure cannot be provided other alternative measures identified in the document ‘Managing Capacity to Support Intensification and Infill’ contained in section 6 of the Infrastructure Master Plan may be considered. [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
Where insufficient stormwater and/or sewer capacity is available to support the development the proponent may be required to contribute to the advancement of any relevant sewer rehabilitation project of the City and/or undertake the rehabilitation of the sewer system on the City’s behalf. [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
4.7.7 – Landform Features
Landform features are geomorphic, geological and other landform features that are distinctive to Ottawa. Many of these features were described in a 1975 study Geological Sites and Features in the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, undertaken in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources. The MNR has identified some of these features, such as Hog’s Back Falls as provincially significant Earth Science Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest that are part of the City’s natural heritage system. Geomorphic, Geological and Landform Features are shown on Schedule K. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
When reviewing development proposals or when designing or reviewing public works, the City will ensure that the educational, scientific and landscape value of the Geomorphic, Geological and Landform Features, as shown on Scheduled K, will not be impaired. Only permitted development that is sympathetic to the unique characteristic of the resource, its setting and its interpretation value will be considered. Earth Science ANSIs are subject to the policies of Section 2.4.2 [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Development and site alteration within provincially significant Earth Science Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest or on land within 50m of these features will not be permitted unless it is demonstrated through an Environmental Impact Statement that there will be no negative impact on the feature or its ecological functions. These features are shown on Schedule K. Definitions of these terms and the policies regarding Environmental Impact Statements are provided in Section 4.7.8. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification # 51, July 21, 2011.]
The City will encourage the protection of other significant landform features, such as rock outcrops, escarpments, knolls, valley or other features identified in municipal subwatershed studies and community design plans. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
When considering subdivision or site plan applications, the City will ensure the protection of landform features by encouraging owners or developers to implement such measures as:
Selective grading to minimize topographic change;
Orienting buildings and roads parallel to topographic contours;
Setting back development from the bottom and top of steep slopes;
Providing flexibility for road layouts and right-of-way requirements.
4.7.8 – Environmental Impact Statement
Development within or adjacent to woodlands, wetlands, and other natural features has potential to impact the feature and its functions by removing vegetation, increasing the amount of paved or other impermeable surfaces, changing the grading of the site, or making other changes. The Environmental Impact Statement serves to identify the natural features of a site early in the development process and consider ways to avoid or mitigate these impacts, and enhance natural functions. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012.]
Almost all of the city’s natural heritage system, defined in Section 2, is contained within areas designated as Rural Natural Features, Urban Natural Features, Significant Wetland, and Natural Environment Areas. The requirements for an Environmental Impact Statement for development proposed within Rural Natural Features or on lands adjacent to these designated areas are described in Section 3. An Environmental Impact Statement is also required for development proposed within or adjacent to significant woodlands, significant valley lands, significant wildlife habitat and other components of the natural heritage system, regardless of their designation in the Plan. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification #52, April 26, 2012.]
An Environmental Impact Statement is required for development and site alteration proposed within and adjacent to natural heritage features designated as Rural Natural Features and adjacent to land designated as Urban Natural Feature, Significant Wetland, and Natural Environment Area. It is also required for development and site alteration within or adjacent to other elements of the natural heritage system, as required in Section 2, that are not designated on Schedule A or B. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
No development or site alteration will be permitted within the natural features described in policy 1 above, where permitted by the policies of this Plan, or on adjacent lands unless an Environmental Impact Statement indicates it will have no negative impact, defined as degradation that threatens the health and integrity of the natural features or ecological functions for which an area is identified due to single, multiple or successive development or site alteration activities. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, July 21, 2011]
Development is defined as creation of a new lot, a change in land use, or the construction of buildings and structures, requiring approval under the Planning Act, but does not include activities that create or maintain infrastructure authorized under an environmental assessment process; or works subject to the Drainage Act. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
Site alteration is defined as activities, such as grading, excavation and the placement of fill that would change the landform and natural vegetative characteristics of a site. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
Ecological function are defined as: the natural processes, products or services that living and nonliving environments provide or perform within or between species, ecosystems and landscapes, including biological physical and socio-economic interactions. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification #53, April 26, 2012]
The requirements for an EIS adjacent to natural heritage features designated on Schedule A and B in this Plan are described in Section 3. The requirements for an EIS adjacent to the significant habitat of endangered and threatened species and Earth Science Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest are described in Section 4. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
Where significant woodlands, significant wildlife habitat, significant valley lands or other natural heritage features are not designated, development and site alteration will not be permitted for:
any development permitted under the policies of this Plan within the feature;
any development permitted under the policies of this Plan within 120 metres of the feature in the rural area;
any development permitted under the policies of this Plan within 30 metres of the feature in the urban area;
unless an Environmental Impact Statement demonstrates that there will be no negative impacts as defined in Section 4.7.8 on the natural features or their ecological functions. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification #53, April 26, 2012]
8. The need for an Environmental Impact Statement and its scope will be confirmed through pre-application consultation with the City early in the development review process, based on a preliminary screening for natural environment features within and adjacent to the study area. Schedules L1, L2 and L3, aerial photographs, watershed and sub-watershed studies, field investigations and other information sources such as the Natural Heritage Information Centre may be consulted. The screening should consider the potential for endangered or threatened species habitat, significant woodlands, valley lands, wetlands and wildlife habitat that are not designated in the plan, in accordance with the Provincial Policy Statement definition of significant and the relevant identification and evaluation factors specified in the Natural Heritage Reference Manual for the Provincial Policy Statement. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
9. There are different types of Environmental Impact Statements:
a. Full site-impact statements to assess the effects of large-scale development proposals, such as a subdivision proposal. They are prepared by a qualified professional with expertise in assessing impacts on the natural environment, but reviewed and approved by the municipality;
b. Impact statements for lands adjacent to Urban Natural Features where the emphasis will be on managing the interface or transition zone between urban developments and natural features in an urban context. This would include such concerns as surface drainage adjacent to the feature; natural infiltration and soft edges adjacent to features such as wetlands, wet meadows and moist forests; protection of woodland edges (drip-line setbacks, soil compaction, removal and stock-piling); and management of access and other potential issues related to uses along the edge of the feature;
c. Scoped site-impact statements to assess the potential impacts of smaller development proposals, such as single-lot severances, where impacts would be minor. A scoped impact study can be as simple as a checklist of matters to be addressed as part of the application process, and can be completed by the applicant. Scoped site-impact studies may also be appropriate to address the potential impacts of larger proposals if more detailed studies, such as a comprehensive impact study, are available. [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, April 26, 2012]
10. Environmental Impact Statements will include:
a. A map drawn to scale identifying the location and extent of the feature, a description of the environmental values within the environmental feature or designation which could potentially be adversely affected by the proposed development, a description of the terrain/topography, vegetative cover and types, soil type and depth, and surface water movement patterns;
b. Where the potential for significant habitat of endangered and threatened species has been identified, a description of the habitat present on the site and its suitability for the specific endangered and threatened species that potentially may use the area, as required in Section 4.7.4. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
c. A description of the proposed development;
d. A description of the impacts on the environmental feature that might reasonably be expected to result from the proposed development;
e. A description of the actions that may be reasonably required to prevent, change, minimize or mitigate impacts on the environmental feature as a result of the proposed development, including the identification of opportunities for ecological restoration, enhancement and long-term conservation of the feature;
f. A description of the flora and fauna present on the site and how the development may impact on the flora and fauna within the site or natural feature and proposed mitigation measures to be taken during and after construction;
g. An evaluation of the cumulative effects of the proposed development and other existing or proposed activities or development within or adjacent to the study area. For the purpose of this policy ‘proposed activities or development’ refers to applications that have been lodged with and which are waiting or have received City approval. The evaluation will assess residual effects following mitigation on the natural features and ecological functions identified in the area; [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
h. A professional opinion on whether negative effects on the natural features and ecological functions will occur, and the significance of these impacts in the context of the evaluation of the natural area (i.e., the natural features and functions for which the area was originally identified as significant and the residual impact of the proposed development on the general significance rating of the larger natural area);
i. Identification of monitoring needs and recognition of parties to be responsible for assessing and reporting on these needs over a prescribed period of time.
4.8 - 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. These hazards include contaminated sites, mine hazards, and land affected by noise. This Plan includes measures to protect people and new development from the impacts of these natural and human-made conditions. Lands impacted by these environmental conditions or constraints are identified on various schedules of this Plan. Some conditions, such as noise, may have impacts beyond the site and this Plan includes provisions designed to reduce off-site impacts as much as possible. In other cases, it is necessary to buffer specific land uses, such as airports and the transitway, which generate noise or vibration, from incompatible development on adjacent land in order to maintain the function of these areas.
Consideration will be given both to the site of a specific development proposal and other areas affected by the constraint when reviewing applications. The following table provides a summary of the studies/assessments required to assess a development application for sites that may be affected by development constraints.
3.8 [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Within 500 metres of a former landfill [Ministerial Modification 47, November 10, 2003]
Flood plains designated on Schedule K
Protection of aquifer
Wellhead protection area designated on Schedule K
Everywhere to demonstrate the soils are suitable for development
Unstable soils designated on Schedule K or unstable bedrock [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Phase 1 ESA
All subdivisions; all sites with potential contamination [Ministerial Modification 47, November 10, 2003]
4.8.5 [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Evaluation safety hazard
On or adjacent to mine hazards and abandoned pits and quarries
4.8.6 [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Noise control feasibility study; Noise control detailed study; Airport zoning requirements [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Ottawa Airport Operating Influence Zone and Ottawa Airport Vicinity Development Zone designated on Annex 10 [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010] [Amendment #233, October 23, 2019]
[Amendment #167, February 23, 2016]
[Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Noise Feasibility Study and/or Detailed Noise Study
Where noise-sensitive development is proposed within a Mixed Use Centre, Town Centre, Central Area or Mainstreets as identified on Schedule B.
Where noise sensitive development is proposed within 100 metres of:
a) the right-of-way of an existing Arterial, Collector or Major Collector Road identified on Schedules E and F ; or
b) light rail transit corridor; bus rapid transit, or
c) transit priority corridor identified on Schedule D.
Where noise sensitive development is proposed within 250 metres from the right-of-way of an existing or proposed highway or Secondary Main railway line;
Where noise sensitive development is proposed within 500 metres from the right-of-way of a 400-series Provincial highway, Freeway or Principle Main railway line.
Where noise sensitive development is proposed within 100 metres:
a) of lands designated as Employment Lands identified on Schedules A or B;
b) zoned for industrial use, or
c) an existing stationary noise source.
Where noise sensitive development is proposed within 300 metres of a pit licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act or
Where noise sensitive development is proposed within 500 metres of a quarry licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act.
Where a new source of stationary noise is proposed within 100 metres of an existing noise sensitive land.
Where a new or expanded pit licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act is proposed within 300 of an existing noise sensitive land use.
Where a new or expanded quarry licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act is proposed within 500 metres of an existing noise sensitive land use.
Where a new noise sensitive land use is proposed within 100 metres of lands designated as Employment Lands identified on Schedules A or B or zoned for industrial use or an existing stationary noise source;
Where a new noise sensitive land use is proposed within 300 metres of a pit licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act
Where a new noise sensitive land use is proposed within 500 metres of a quarry licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act
Where a new noise-sensitive land use is proposed in areas affected by noise from existing stationary sources
[Amendment #167, February 23, 2016]
[Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
For developments within 75 metres of a railway right-of-way or light rail transit corridor. [OPA 43, May 24, 2006]
[Amendment #167, February 23, 2016]
Where an existing stationary noise source in proximity to a noise sensitive land use is proposed for expansion or a change of use is being proposed which could result in increased noise.
*Note for interpretation purposes, reference to light rail transit corridor or bus rapid transit corridor applies to any rail or bus corridor shown on Schedule D of this Plan, excluding Transit Priority corridors. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
4.8.1 – Flood Plains
The purpose of these policies is to reduce the potential for public cost or risk of injury, loss of life, property damage, and economic and social disruption, which may result directly or indirectly from development and other activities in flood plains. The policies also recognize the significant role that flood plains play in support of natural drainage systems. The overall intent is to limit development within the flood plain. In a few established communities, provision is made for some development within the flood fringe, where it has occurred in the past. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification #54, April 26, 2012]
Limits of the Flood Plain
The flood plain for river, stream and small inland lake systems, means the area, usually low lands adjoining a watercourse, which has been or may be subject to flooding during the one in 100-year flood and are designated on Schedule K. High points of land within a flooded area are considered part of the flood plain. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
The extent of the one-in-100-year flood will be determined by consulting flood plain maps prepared by the Mississippi Valley, Rideau Valley, and South Nation Conservation Authorities and, in conjunction with the conservation authorities, by considering other information such as land surveys and engineering drawings that provide detailed site-specific geodetic elevation information prepared by an Ontario Land Surveyor or a qualified Professional Engineer. The City will map the most up to date information as the flood plain overlay in the Comprehensive Zoning By-law. The flood plain information on Schedule K of the Official Plan will be updated at the time of a comprehensive review or at the time technical corrections are made to the Plan, through an omnibus Official Plan amendment. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012] [Amendment #170, June 16, 2016]
The policies for flood plains also apply to areas where flood plains exist but are not mapped by the conservation authorities and therefore may not be identified on Schedule K or as an overlay in the Comprehensive Zoning By-law. Applicants may be required to undertake the necessary studies as part of the development review and approvals process to delineate the extent of the one-in-100-year flood plain in these instances. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012] [Amendment #170, June 16, 2016]
Development Restrictions in the Flood Plain
4. The zoning of flood plains will reflect the restricted use of these lands as described in these policies. Development in the flood plain is regulated under the Conservation Authorities Act and, will require written permission from the appropriate Conservation Authority prior to a building permit from the municipality under the Building Code Act. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification #54, April 26, 2012]
5. The City will not permit site alteration, meaning activities such as grading, excavation and the placing of fill that would change the landform and natural vegetative characteristics of a site, or development, meaning the creation of a new lot, a change in land use, or the construction of buildings and structures in the flood plain except for:
a. Facilities which by their nature must locate in the flood plain, such as bridges, flood and/or erosion control structures; [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
b. Minor additions and/or renovations to existing structures which do not affect flooding, and which are approved by the appropriate Conservation Authority; [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification #54, April 26, 2012]
c. The replacement of a dwelling that was in existence at the date of adoption of this plan with a new dwelling where:
a. the new dwelling is generally the same gross floor area and footprint as the existing building; and [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
b. the new dwelling, in conjunction with any site alteration does not result in a negative effect on flooding; and [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
c. the new dwelling and any associated site alteration are approved by the appropriate Conservation Authority. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, Ministerial Modification #54, April 26, 2012]
d. Passive non-structural uses which do not affect flood flows. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
e. Uses permitted in the flood fringe or areas of reduced risk in accordance with Policy 10 in Two-Zone Flood Plain Policy Areas below. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012] [Amendment #170, June 16, 2016]
f. The severance of a lot containing a surplus farm dwelling, as permitted by the provisions of Section 3.7.3 polices 7 and 8, provided that safe access to the dwelling or the retained parcel is not eliminated during the regulatory flood event. [Amendment #140, December 29, 2017]
6. Development, as defined in Policy 5, is prohibited in the flood plain for:
a. Uses associated with hospitals, nursing homes, pre-school, school nurseries, day care and schools, where there is a threat to safe evacuation of the sick, the elderly, persons with disabilities or the young during an emergency as a result of flooding or failure of floodproofing measures or protection works, or erosion; [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
b. Essential emergency services such as fire, police, ambulance stations and electrical substations that could be impaired in the case of flooding or failure of flood protection works and/or erosion;and [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
c. Uses associated with the disposal, manufacture, treatment or storage of hazardous substances and outdoor industrial storage. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
Two-Zone Flood Plain Policy Areas
7. A limited number of Two-Zone Flood Plain Policy Areas are designated on Schedule K. In these areas, the flood plain is divided into two zones: a floodway and a flood fringe. The use of the two-zone concept may allow for some new development within the identified flood fringe areas of the flood plain that can be safely developed with no adverse impacts. An area of reduced risk, which is an area protected by flood control works, may also be identified in a Two-Zone Flood Plain Policy Area in this plan and will be subject to the same policies applying to the flood fringe in a Two-Zone Flood Plain Policy Area. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012] [Amendment #170, June 16, 2016]
8. Under the Two-Zone concept, the floodway and the flood fringe are defined as follows:
a. The floodway is the hazardous portion of the flood plain where flood depths and/or velocities are considered to be such that they pose a significant threat to life and/or property. The floodway is generally defined as the area required for the safe passage of flood flows. In all circumstances, the delineation of the floodway will be approved by the relevant Conservation Authority based upon depth and velocity parameters and the required technical studies. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
b. The flood fringe means the portion of the flood plain outside the floodway as defined by the relevant Conservation Authority, where depths and velocities of flooding are generally less severe than those experienced in the floodway. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
9. The City may consider the designation of additional Two-Zone Flood Plain Policy Areas. This would normally be initiated by the City in consultation with the Conservation Authority and as part of a comprehensive land-use and watershed based planning process. Also, this would only be in areas of existing flood prone development, and provided all of the following are demonstrated through the appropriate technical studies: [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
a. Development and site alteration is carried out in accordance with floodproofing standards, protection works standards, and access standards; [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
b. Vehicles and people have a way of safely entering and exiting the area during times of flooding, erosion and other emergencies; [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
c. New hazards are not created and existing hazards are not aggravated; and [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
d. No adverse environmental impacts will result. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
10. Once the Two-Zone Flood Plain Policy Area is designated, development and site alteration as defined in Policy 5, but excluding lot creation, may be considered in the flood fringe in accordance with the underlying Official Plan designation shown on Schedules A and B of the Official Plan, provided that the conditions in Policy 9 are met to the satisfaction of the City and the relevant Conservation Authority. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
11. Permitted uses in the floodway portion of the Two-Zone Policy Areas shall be the permitted uses identified in Policy 5. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
12. Notwithstanding policy 5 above, parking and drive aisles, and associated site alteration may be considered within the regulatory flood plain of the Carp River for the properties municipally known as 3725 (3719, 3715, 3711) Carp Road in order to permit redevelopment in accordance with the Community Design Plan (CDP) for the Village of Carp. Measures will be taken to ensure existing impacts to the riparian corridor are improved to the satisfaction of the City of Ottawa and the Conservation Authority. [Amendment #76, OMB File # PL100206, April 26, 2012]
4.8.2 – Source Water Protection
Within the city, the urban area and a number of rural communities rely on municipal drinking water systems. Areas contributing ground or surface water to those municipal drinking water systems are referred to as Wellhead Protection Areas or Intake Protection Zones. Wellhead Protection Areas and Intake Protection Zones are identified on Schedule K of this plan. Consistent with the Clean Water Act and the Mississippi Rideau Source Water Protection Plan and the Raisin South Nation Source Water Protection Plan, water resources contributing to the municipal water systems will be protected from incompatible development and/or threats to water quality. [Amendment #141 April 28, 2018]
Planning applications for new development or a change of use within the Wellhead Protection Areas and the Surface Water Intake Zones identified on Schedule K will be reviewed in the context of vulnerability to the associated municipal water supply. As more information becomes available through the Source Water Protection Plans or subsequent technical studies the mapping of these protection areas and zones and the policies of this section will be updated.
The City is required to implement the approved Source Water Protection Plans in this Plan, the Zoning By-law and through development review. Certain land use activities that pose a threat to municipal drinking water within Wellhead Protection areas or Intake Protection Zones identified on Schedule K may be restricted or prohibited.
The Zoning By-law will restrict land uses that have the potential to cause contamination of the groundwater resources and surface water supply in the areas identified on Schedule K as Wellhead Protection Areas or Intake Protection Zones consistent with approved Source Water Protection Plans. [Amendment #141, April 28, 2018]
Wellhead protection areas, for municipal wells located in the municipalities of Mississippi Mills and North Grenville, project in to the City of Ottawa and are shown on Schedule K. As part of the review of any development requiring approval under the Planning Act, within these areas, the City will consult with the concerned municipality. . [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
4.8.3 – Unstable Soils or Bedrock
Unstable soils or bedrock could be unsafe or unsuitable for development and site alteration due to natural hazards or risk of damage to the structures built on these soils or bedrock. Unstable soils include organic soils, sensitive marine Leda clays and unstable slopes. Unstable bedrock includes Karst topography. Steep slopes are often associated with unstable soils. Organic soils are identified on soils maps prepared by the Ontario Institute of Pedology. Areas affected by the environmental constraints of Organic Soils are designated on Schedule K. There are other areas where unstable soils and unstable bedrock may exist but that are not designated on Schedule K. The policies apply in either case.
This Plan contains policies to:
Minimize the hazard risk from threat of injury and loss of life, property damage and distress caused by unstable soils resulting in foundation stress caused by differential settlement, or slope failure or landslide, and
Facilitate safe and compatible land uses and development on sites where hazard risk has been minimized.
[Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
Applications for site plan, plan of subdivision, condominium and consent shall be supported by a geotechnical study to demonstrate that the soils are suitable for development.
The City will not permit development, meaning the creation of a new lot, an amendment to the zoning by-law, change in land use, or the construction of buildings and structures in areas with Unstable Soils or Unstable Bedrock where the use is:
an institutional use associated with hospitals, nursing homes, pre-school, school nurseries, day care and schools, where there is a threat to the safe evacuation of the sick, the elderly, persons with disabilities or the young during an emergency associated with soil instability;
essential emergency services such as that provided by fire, police and ambulance stations and electrical substations that could be impaired in the case of soil instability;
uses associated with the disposal, manufacture, treatment or storage of hazardous materials; or
outdoor industrial storage
[Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
3. Notwithstanding policy 2 above, for uses other than those listed in policy 2, the City will review applications for site plan, plan of subdivision, condominium and consent in areas designated as having unstable soils, or in other areas where there is evidence of unstable soils or unstable bedrock, using the following criteria:
a. There is sufficient soils and engineering information (obtained using established standards and procedures) to indicate that, although the site is identified as having unstable soils or unstable bedrock, it is in fact suitable or can be made suitable for development;
b. Alterations to the site will not cause adverse environmental effects or aggravate the hazard elsewhere.
c. Vehicles and people have a way of safely entering exiting the area during times of erosion and other emergencies; and [Ministerial Modification 48, November 10, 2003]
[Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
4.8.4 – Contaminated Sites
[Amendment #40, April 26, 2006]
Potentially contaminated sites are sites where the environmental condition of the property (soil and/or groundwater) may have potential for adverse effects on human health, ecological health or the natural environment. In order to prevent these adverse effects, it is important prior to permitting development on these sites, to identify these sites and ensure that they are suitable or have been made suitable for the proposed use in accordance with provincial legislation and regulations.
While the identification of potentially contaminated sites is important in the planning application review process, the policies in this section should not be interpreted as a commitment on the part of the City of Ottawa to identify all contaminated sites or properties. Rather, the objective of the City of Ottawa is to responsibly utilize available information in the development application review process in order to help ensure that development takes place only on sites where the environmental conditions are suitable for the proposed use of the site.
The City will require applicants to document previous uses of a property or properties that are subject of a development application and/or properties that may be adversely impacting the property that is subject of a development application in order to assist in the determination of the potential for site contamination.
The City will require an affidavit from a qualified person as defined by provincial legislation and regulations, confirming that a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) has been completed in accordance with Ontario Regulation 153/04, as amended from time to time, as follows:
For all applications for proposed plans of subdivision;
For all other development applications under the Planning Act where a property or properties have been identified through the City’s development review process as potentially contaminated due to previous or existing uses on or adjacent to the property.
A Phase I ESA documents the previous uses of the property and provides an assessment of the actual or potential soil or groundwater contamination on the site.
3. Where a Phase 1 ESA indicates that the property or properties that are subject of a development application under the Planning Act may be contaminated, the City will require the application to be supported by an affidavit from a qualified person as defined by provincial legislation and regulations, confirming that a Phase 2 ESA has been completed in accordance with Ontario Regulation 153/04, as amended from time to time. A Phase 2 ESA provides a sampling and analysis of the property to confirm and delineate the presence of soil or groundwater contamination at the site or confirm the absence of contamination at the site.
4. For a property or properties that have been identified through the City’s development review process as potentially contaminated due to previous or existing uses on or adjacent to the property and where the City determines that there is a proposed change in land use to a more sensitive use, the City will:
a. Require as a condition of development approval, verification to the satisfaction of the City from a qualified person as defined by provincial legislation and regulations, that the property or properties in question are suitable or have been made suitable for the proposed use in accordance with provincial legislation and regulations, including where required by the City, or provincial legislation and/or regulations:
i. Filing by the property owner of a Record of Site Condition (RSC) signed by a qualified person in the Environmental Site Registry,
ii. Submission to the City of a Declaration signed by the qualified person acknowledging that the City may rely on the statements in the RSC, and,
iii. Submission by the property owner to the City of proof that the Ministry of Environment (MOE) has acknowledged receipt of the RSC;
b. Establish conditions of development approval to ensure receipt of satisfactory verification of suitable environmental condition as per Policy 4 a.;
c. Where applicable, utilize the holding provisions of the Planning Act to ensure receipt of satisfactory verification of suitable environmental condition as per Policy 4 a.
5. Where an RSC has been made a condition of planning approval, a building permit may be issued in regard to a property or properties on a phased basis to allow for site assessment and remediation/risk management.
6. Where the City is deeded land for public highways, road widenings, parks, stormwater management, easements, or for any other purpose, the City may require, as a condition of transfer, verification to the satisfaction of the City from a qualified person as defined by provincial legislation and regulations, that the property or properties in question are suitable or have been made suitable for the proposed use in accordance with provincial legislation and regulations, including where required by the City or provincial legislation and/or regulations, filing by the property owner of a Record of Site Condition (RSC) signed by a qualified person in the Environmental Site Registry, and submission by the owner to the City of proof that the MOE has acknowledged receipt of the RSC.
7. For instances where contamination from a property or properties extends onto a City right-of way and filing of a RSC in the Environmental Site Registry is not possible, the City may issue a building permit in regard to this property or properties on a phased basis contingent on the execution and implementation of an Off-Site Management Agreement or Remedial Action Plan that remediates/manages contamination in the right-of-way to the satisfaction of the City.
8. Where a gasoline station site is being redeveloped and there is no change in use to a more sensitive use, the City will require that a letter of continued use from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority be provided. For instances where contamination extends onto a City right-of way, the City will require that an Off-Site Management Agreement and Remedial Action Plan be implemented to the satisfaction of the City prior to issuance of the building permit.
9. The City will not consider an RSC as acknowledged by the MOE until either:
a. It has been confirmed that the RSC will not be audited by the MOE; or,
b. It has been confirmed that the RSC has passed the MOE audit. [Amendment #40, April 26, 2006]
4.8.5 – Mine Hazards and Abandoned Pits and Quarries
Mine hazards are any feature of a mine defined in the Mining Act or any related disturbance of the ground that has not been rehabilitated. These hazards may pose a threat of injury and loss of life if they are not rehabilitated or mitigated. Abandoned pits and quarries are defined as an area of land not previously licensed or permitted under the Aggregate Resources Act from which aggregate has been removed, leaving it in a form that is derelict, unproductive or incompatible with the surrounding landscape.
This Plan contains policies that require development on or abutting lands affected by Mine Hazards and Abandoned Pits and Quarries to address and mitigate known or suspected hazards. [Amendment #58, December 07, 2007]
The City will require applicants for site plan, plan of subdivision and consent to indicate that they are satisfied that the previous uses of the property have been assessed and have not identified any former mine sites or abandoned pits and quarries on or adjacent to the site. Any assessment of the property will include reference to the Abandoned Pits and Quarries Inventory completed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and information regarding abandoned mine sites documented by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.
Where a Mine Hazard or Abandoned Pit or Quarry exists, the City will require development applications to be supported by a study that:
Identifies any potential safety hazard;
Demonstrates that the site can be rehabilitated to mitigate the known or suspected hazard;
Establishes measures to address and mitigate known or suspect hazards; [Amendment #58, December 07, 2007]
Development on or abutting lands affected by mine hazards may be permitted only if measures to address and mitigate known or suspected hazards are underway or have been completed. [Amendment #58, December 07, 2007]
4.8.6 – Land-Use Constraints Due to Airport and Aircraft Operations
[Amendment #193, December 5, 2018]
The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport is fundamental to the economic well-being of the City, National Capital Region, the Outaouais and Eastern Ontario by providing a full-service, round-the-clock, commercial aviation passenger terminal, airfield system and cargo shipping as well as aviation related businesses and research and development facilities. This plan seeks to ensure the role and function of the Airport is maintained by:
Prohibiting new noise-sensitive uses within the Airport Operating Influence Zone (AOIZ) as illustrated on Annex 10; [Amendment #233, October 23, 2019]
Implementing the Shared Vision for Economic Development between the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Macdonald - Cartier International Airport Authority;
By ensuring appropriate noise reduction measures are integrated into any new proposed residential or other noise sensitive development between the 25 NEF/NEP and 30 NEF/NEP contours;
Encouraging aviation-based shipping, industry and research to locate in proximity to the airport;
Controlling building heights and natural vegetation within the airport obstacle limitation surfaces as established by federal standards or airport zoning regulations;
Regulating land uses and activities in a manner that will not increase wildlife presence and elevate risks to aviation operation; and
Restricting land uses, activities and the use of building materials that have potential to interfere with the performance of navigation aids and telecommunication.
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Operational Conditions
Transport Canada and Airport Authorities across Canada identify areas around airports that require protection. These areas are defined by noise exposure forecasts and projections, (noise contours), Airport Zoning Regulations, the Ministry of Environment Environmental Noise Guideline - Stationary and Transportation Sources - Approval and Planning (NPC-300), and two federal publications referred to as TP 312 titled Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices and TP 1247 titled Land Use in the Vicinity of Airports. For the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, the 2013 NEF contours, the 2023 NEP contours and the Ottawa Airport Zoning Regulations have been used in this Plan to identify two zones around the airport that are affected by aviation operations: the ‘Airport Operating Influence Zone’ (AOIZ); and the ‘Airport Vicinity Development Zone’ (AVDZ). These contours have also been corroborated through the 2043 NEP contours.
The impacts of airport operations on land use typically result in three categories of constraints on development: aircraft noise; airport zoning regulations; and wildlife management. Policies in this plan relating to development around the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport are summarized in Figure 4.8.6 below.
Figure 4.8.6 a summary of aviation noise control areas and land use restrictions in the vicinity of the MacDonald-Cartier International
Airport (for information purposes only)
General Aviation Airfields
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
Within lands identified as the Airport Vicinity Development Zone (AVDZ) and Ottawa Airport Operating Influence Zone (AOIZ) on Annex 10 the following policies will apply: [Amendment #233, October 23, 2019]
Development within the AVDZ must take into consideration the Council- approved Environmental Noise Control Guidelines and applicable provincial and federal guidelines and regulations.
Within the AOIZ new noise-sensitive land uses will not be approved except where all the following circumstances are met.
Redevelopment of an existing noise-sensitive land use may be permitted if:
the land fronts on an existing public road that is maintained year round;
the land is on a lot that was created under the Planning Act prior to May 14, 2003;
the land use is permitted in the Zoning By-law;
appropriate warning clause(s) are included on title to advise purchasers or occupants of expected noise levels and the necessity of installing and maintaining recommended noise control measures; and
the development is not at or within the 35 NEF/NEP composite noise contour line.
Infill of residential uses may be permitted if the development:
is for a single detached dwelling(s) on a lot(s) created by severance;
a detailed noise study is prepared detailing architectural measures necessary and demonstrating that provincial noise guidelines for interior spaces can be met;
the infill development fronts on an existing public road that is maintained year round;
meets the requirements of the Zoning By-law and all the provisions of this Plan;
appropriate warning clause(s) be included on title to advise purchasers or occupants of expected noise levels and the necessity of installing and maintaining noise control measures;
the development does not require a Zoning By-law amendment to create the lot(s) and;
the development is not at or within the 35 NEF/NEP composite noise contour line.
A Noise Control Study consistent with the Council approved Environmental Noise Control Guidelines is required as part of a complete application for any development proposal within the 25 NEF/NEP composite noise contour line as illustrated on Annex 10. [Amendment #233, October 23, 2019]
Within the AVDZ, noise-sensitive uses may be permitted between the NEF/NEP 25 composite noise contour line and the Ottawa Airport Operating Influence Zone subject to a detailed Noise Control Study or application of the prescribed measures to address airport noise as described in the Environmental Noise Control Guidelines.
New development and redevelopment will comply with the Ottawa Airport Zoning regulations as enacted under the Federal Aeronautics Act.
Development conditions and best practices may be required to reduce the risk of wildlife conflict with airport operations. Proposed land uses, municipal infrastructure projects and activities in the vicinity of the Ottawa International Airport will have regard to the Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport Authority Wildlife Management Plan.
Within the AVDZ the creation of open water habitat areas will be prohibited.
Throughout the city, land uses, activities and the use of building materials with potential to interfere with safe operation of aircraft, the performance of navigation aids, or telecommunication will be prohibited.
LANDS OUTSIDE OF THE BOUNDARY OF THE AIRPORT VICINITY DEVELOPMENT ZONE
The Airport Zoning Regulations also apply to lands outside of the ‘Airport Vicinity Development Zone’ where these lay within the runway approach surfaces. Mapping is available from the Ottawa International Airport Authority to determine the precise location of affected areas.
8. Development within runway approach surfaces will be subject to the overall building height provisions of the Airport Zoning Regulations.
OTHER LOCAL AIRPORTS AND AERODROMES
9. Proposed development in the vicinity of Carp and Rockcliffe airports will comply with TP 312 Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices affecting building heights.
10. Noise-sensitive development will not be permitted within the 30 NEF / NEP contour lines at the Carp or Rockcliffe airports.
11. Development applications that propose noise-sensitive land uses between the 25 NEF / NEP and the 30 NEF / NEP contour lines at the Carp or Rockcliffe airports require a Noise Control Study.
4.8.7 – Environmental Noise Control
[Amendment #43, May 24, 2006]
[Amendment #167, February 23, 2016]
Environmental noise is characteristic of many human activities however the proliferation of this noise has potential to negatively affect quality of life and public health. The objective of this plan is to achieve compatibility between land uses that are noise sensitive and land uses that are sources of noise such as roads, railways, aircraft, employment areas and equipment for building facilities. This objective is achieved through the policies of this section supplemented by the City’s Environmental Noise Control Guidelines.
A noise sensitive land use is any type of land use where environmental noise is likely to cause an adverse effect or material discomfort whether inside or outside of a building. Examples of typical noise sensitive land uses include:
Hospitals, nursing/retirement homes, schools, day-care centres; and
Other land uses that contain indoor and/or outdoor areas and spaces where intruding noise may create an adverse effect.
The best method to address environmental noise is through coordinated planning, engineering and design and it is preferable to do this early in the planning and development process. Potential noise impacts are assessed through the preparation of a noise study or acoustical audit that takes into account existing and future sound levels.
Consideration of environmental noise in the planning of new communities, or the redevelopment and intensification of older communities will contribute to improved and more livable and healthy environments.
Development in the city will comply with the City’s Environmental Noise Control Guidelines which are based on the applicable Provincial noise guidelines [currently NPC – 300, MOEE 2013].
All noise studies prepared in support of development shall be consistent with the City’s Environmental Noise Control Guidelines.
Noise Sensitive Development and Transportation Sources
3. Development proposals for new noise sensitive land uses will require a noise feasibility study and/or detailed noise study in the following locations:
Mixed Use Centre, Town Centre, Central Area and Mainstreets as identified on Schedule B or within:
100 metres from the right-of-way of:
an existing or proposed Arterial, Collector or Major Collector Road identified on Schedules E and F; or
a light rail transit corridor; bus rapid transit, or transit priority corridor identified on Schedule D;
250 metres from the right-of-way of:
an existing or proposed highway, or
a Secondary Main railway line;
500 metres from the right-of-way of:
a 400-series Provincial highway, Freeway or
a Principle Main railway line.
And will require noise mitigation and a warning clause where necessary, as a condition of approval.
Noise Sensitive Development and Stationary Sources
4. Development proposals for new noise sensitive land uses in proximity to sources of stationary noise will require a noise control feasibility study and/or noise control detailed study within:
100 metres of lands:
designated as Employment Lands identified on Schedules A or B;
lands zoned for industrial use; or
from and existing stationary noise source;
300 metres of a pit licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act;
500 metres of a quarry licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act.
And will require noise mitigation and a warning clause where necessary, as a condition of approval.
Class 4 Lands
5. Approved Class 4 stationary noise areas in the city will be identified within the Environmental Noise Control Guidelines.
6. Where new development is proposed within a Settlement Area in proximity to an existing stationary noise source, Council, at its discretion, may amend the Environmental Noise Control Guidelines to identify additional Class 4 stationary noise areas.
7. The identification of Class 4 areas may not be applied retroactively to existing development.
8. If the stationary noise source(s) for which a Class 4 area has been identified ceases, the identification will be deemed to no longer apply.
New Stationary Noise Sources
9. Development proposals that introduce new sources of stationary noise in proximity to existing noise sensitive land uses will require a noise feasibility study and/or noise control detailed study if within the following proximities of noise sensitive land uses:
100 metres for:
new stationary noise sources;
lands to be zoned for a new industrial use;
300 meters for a pit to be licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act;
500 metres for a quarry to be licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act;
and will require noise mitigation where necessary, as a condition of approval.
Where an existing stationary noise source is proposed to expand or a change of use is proposed which could result in increased noise an Acoustic Audit noise study may be required.
Such proposals typically are made in the context of a building permit and require an Environmental Compliance Approval from the Ministry of Environment.
A noise control detailed study will be required where the widening or construction of an arterial road, major collector road or a rapid-transit corridor identified on Schedules D, E, F, G and H is proposed.
Where noise sensitive development exists adjacent to a public road or existing rapid-transit infrastructure as identified on Schedules D, E, F, G and H and; where the residents of this development raise the issue of noise as a concern; the City may consider noise mitigation measures consistent with the Environmental Noise Control Guidelines under its Local Improvement Policy.
Owners of land abutting directly on the local improvement may contribute towards the costs incurred by the City if a sufficient number of affected landowners agree to the work and if the work is approved by City Council.
Noise Attenuation through Urban Design and Acoustic Barriers
The city will consider noise attenuation in the design of communities to improve the quality of the public realm as described in the Environmental Noise Control Guidelines.
Acoustic barriers may only used be where all other noise attenuation methods are considered not feasible. The need for an acoustic barrier must be demonstrated by the proponent and approved by the City consistent with the Environmental Noise Control Guidelines.
The City may require a vibration study for development:
within 75 metres of a railway right-of-way ; or
within 75 metres of an existing or proposed light rail transit corridor;
and will require vibration mitigation and a warning clause where necessary as a condition of approval.
4.8.8 – Personal Security
Everyone in Ottawa should feel safe and be safe in Ottawa’s public spaces, whether they are taking an evening stroll in their neighbourhood, parking in a large parking structure, or cycling along a recreational pathway. The City uses the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design in its review of development applications to enhance personal security in the design of spaces that are accessible to the public. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design is based on the philosophy that the physical environment can be designed and managed to reduce the incidence of crime and fear of crime. Also, community safety audits by community associations and other groups are used periodically to assess the safety of specific locations and to provide guidance to improvements by the City and property owners.
When reviewing development applications, the City will consider measures to enhance safety and security through such means as:
Provision of outdoor lighting in spaces intended for public use after dark that is sufficient to support the activities planned for that space;
An overall pattern of design that avoids creation of enclosed areas or areas such as narrow recesses between buildings that could be used to entrap persons passing through the space;
Preservation of unobstructed sight lines for persons passing through public spaces and opportunities for public spaces to be overlooked by people in adjacent buildings or other public spaces;
Provision of a mix of uses that creates a complementary pattern of activity among users, such as late-night businesses located on transit routes;
Restrictions on the use of overpasses and tunnels for pedestrian and cycling routes and there they are permitted, require provision of a safe, alternative route at grade.
4.9 - Energy Conservation Through Design
Landscaping and the layout of roads and general site design can contribute to energy conservation. For example, south-facing buildings and windows that are designed to reduce summer thermal gain and maximize solar energy potential. Landscaping can provide summer shade and protection from winter winds. When reviewing development applications, the City will require new development to take advantage of energy conservation design techniques. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
When reviewing development applications or community design plans or concept plans, the City will:
Encourage the design of local road layout to provide opportunity for south-facing windows; [OMB decision #1754, May 10, 2006]
Require, where feasible, buildings to be oriented to maximize the potential from solar energy;
Encourage consideration of alternative energy systems. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
Design and orientation of subdivisions and developments should maximize the opportunity for use of alternative and renewable energy systems by:
Maximizing solar exposure through street and building orientation.
Ensuring that opportunities presented by access to sunlight are not impaired on adjacent properties. [Amendment #76, Ministerial Modification # 56, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
4.10 - Greenspace Requirements
[Amendment #72, March 11, 2009]
The City is committed to providing a range of greenspace throughout urban, suburban and rural communities. In particular, the requirements for greenspace (see Section 2.4.5) and for parks and leisure areas (see Section 2.5.4) will apply in the review of development applications. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
As a condition of development or redevelopment, the City will acquire land for park purposes through the provisions of the Planning Act, in a way that best meets park and recreation needs of the community. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
The City shall require the dedication of land for parks in an amount not exceeding 2% of the area of land that is developed or redeveloped for industrial or commercial purposes.
The City shall require the dedication of land for parks in an amount not exceeding 5% of the area of land that is developed or redeveloped for all other purposes except that the City will calculate the park dedication for residential development or redevelopment at densities that exceed 18 units per net hectare using the ‘alternative requirement’ of 1 hectare for every 300 dwelling units as provided in the Planning Act or some lesser amount based upon this requirement. The Parkland Dedication By-law will identify circumstances when a lesser amount will be considered.
The City will determine the parkland dedication for mixed-use development or redevelopment on the basis of the proportion of the site or building occupied by each type of use. When considering a development or redevelopment in which a mix of uses is permitted but the uses have not been finalized, the City will determine the uses that will produce the greatest amount of parkland, in accordance with the Parkland Dedication By-law, for the purpose of determining the amount of parkland to be dedicated.
Notwithstanding policies 2,3 and 4 above, parkland dedication requirements for development or redevelopment on land in:
The South Nepean Town Centre Secondary Plan: the parkland requirement for residential uses will be determined by policies in the Secondary Plan; or
The area of Kanata Lakes defined in the Parkland Dedication By-law: the parkland requirements for all development that is subject to the legal agreement to provide 40% greenspace, will be determined based upon that agreement.
Generally, lands dedicated for park purposes will be located within the land area that is being subdivided, developed or redeveloped. However, the City may consider the dedication of land that is not part of the development where it is satisfied that the parkland provides a benefit to the residents of the land being developed and the community as a whole.
The City may require payment-in-lieu of the parkland dedication: where there is insufficient land within the development; where the lands to be dedicated are not appropriate for park development; or where open space and parkland targets have already been met. Where payment-in-lieu is taken, it will be principally for the acquisition of new parkland or the improvement of existing local, park and recreational facilities accessible to the area being developed. However, the City’s Parkland Dedication By-law will provide a portion of these funds to be used for park and recreation purposes that are city-wide in scale. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
Where a payment pursuant to policy 7 is required, no person shall construct a building on the land proposed for development or redevelopment unless, the payment has been made, or arrangements that are satisfactory to the City for the payment have been made.
The Parkland Dedication By-law will identify those uses that will be exempt from parkland dedication requirements, such as development or redevelopment by the Governments of Canada, Ontario or agencies thereof. The Parkland Dedication By-law will also identify and address all other policies listed above.
Development adjacent to major greenspaces and waterways
10. The City will ensure that the design and character of private development and public works, that are adjacent to major greenspaces being the National Capital Greenbelt or to land that is in a Major Open Space or Urban Natural Features designation, enhances the visibility and accessibility of these public lands and contributes to their connection to the Urban Greenspace Network through such means as:
a. reviewing plans of subdivisions for opportunities to locate proposed major community facilities, parks and public infrastructure adjacent to the Greenbelt or land designated Major Open Spaces or Urban Natural Features, or to link them to these lands by multi-use pathways or other greenspace connections;
b. requiring the design of subdivisions to provide street frontage to adjacent land in the Greenbelt or land designated Major Open Space or Urban Natural Features;
c. requiring proponents to demonstrate, at the time of site plan review, how the building design, building orientation and the external site design and use take into consideration the views of the site from the adjacent greenspaces and how the site and building design enhances the visibility and accessibility of these adjacent greenspaces.
d. The City recognises that any proposed access to major greenspace in federal ownership is subject to federal review and approval.
[Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
11. Recognising the role of the Ottawa River, Rideau River and Rideau Canal, as well as other rivers and streams, in the environmental health of the city, their contributions to cultural heritage, scenic qualities, recreational opportunities and their potential as areas of archaeological significance, the City will endeavour to preserve foreshore lands and facilitate public access wherever possible. This may be achieved in the following ways:
a. Through the review of new development using land dedication, conservation easements, restrictive covenant bonusing or other means deemed appropriate on a site-by-site basis;
b. Public acquisition, land exchanges, land donations or conservation easements acquisition by public land trusts;
c. Retaining existing public land such as opened and unopened road allowances where these may maintain the potential for public access to the shoreline;
d. When designing bridges or other public works at the shoreline, or when providing input on those designed by other public bodies, providing public access to the shoreline.
[Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
12. Applications to amend the zoning by-law for any land in the urban area or Villages currently in a zone intended to promote a conservation, waterway or recreation purpose, to another purpose will be assessed in terms of the parcel’s contribution to local greenspace, its location with respect to the Urban Greenspace Network, and the feasibility of securing the land for public access or ownership. [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
13. Privately-owned open spaces such as marinas, campgrounds and golf courses contribute to greenspaces in Ottawa. When reviewing an application to amend the Zoning By-law in these locations, the City will consider opportunities to maintain the Greenspace Network through the area and otherwise reduce the impact of the loss and may consider acquisition of the land in accordance with Section 5.2.1 policy 7 of this Plan.
[Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
4.11 - Urban Design and Compatibility
At the city-wide scale, issues of compatibility are addressed in the Official Plan through the appropriate designation of land and associated policies that direct where and how certain categories of land use should be permitted to develop. Locational policies are therefore required in order to direct uses that have the potential to generate negative impacts to appropriate locations, most typically at the periphery of residential neighbourhoods. It is recognized that because land use designations such as General Urban Area, Mainstreets and Employment Area contain broad use permissions, it will be necessary for the zoning by-law to establish more specific permitted use lists and development regulations within areas and on individual sites in a manner that achieves compatibility among proximate uses and built forms.
At the scale of neighbourhoods or individual properties, issues such as noise, spillover of light, accommodation of parking and access, shadowing, and micro-climatic conditions are prominent considerations when assessing the relationships between new and existing development. Often, to arrive at compatibility of scale and use will demand a careful design response, one that appropriately addresses the impact generated by infill or intensification. Consequently, the issue of ‘context’ is a dominant theme of this Plan where it speaks to compatibility and design.
The purpose of the policies that follow is to set the stage for requiring high quality urban design in all parts of the city and design excellence in design priority areas. The policies within this Section are the responsibility of the development proponent to implement in the design of their site. The design and compatibility of a development application therefore will be evaluated, at the time of application submission, in the context of this Section, as well as the design objectives in Section 2.5.1. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2018]
A Design Brief will be required as part of a complete application, except where identified in the Design Brief Terms of Reference. The focus of this Brief will vary depending on the nature of the development. The Brief shall evaluate consistency and demonstrate that the following content is considered and/or incorporated into the development proposal with:
The provisions of this Plan that affect the design of a site or building;
Design Guideline(s) approved by Council that apply to the area or type of development; and
The design provisions of a community design plan or secondary plan. [Amendment #150, LPAT July 19, 2019]
Depending on its location, the mass or height of new development may enhance or impact the views visible from public view points, such as public monuments, bridges, civic spaces, landforms, and other valued spaces. View corridors and view planes can be established to guide and regulate the height and mass of development within a defined area, so as to protect the public view.
Development applications for all High-Rise 31+ buildings will demonstrate how the proposed building will contribute to and enhance the skyline of the city and existing prominent views or vistas or create new vistas. Community design plans or other plans approved by Council may identify prominent important views. Skyline is defined in Section 2.5.6, policy 14.
The City will protect the views of the Parliament Buildings from two locations in Beechwood Cemetery. The view area, or viewshed, and the two locations, the Tommy Douglas Memorial and Poet’s Hill, are identified on Annex 12. New buildings or structures should be located to compliment or enhance the view of these important landmark buildings. A building or structure is deemed to obstruct the view if it visually blocks the foreground view or visually changes the background silhouette of the Parliament Buildings when viewed from the identified locations. For each property in the viewshed, no Zoning By-law amendment or minor variance shall be permitted that would permit a proposed building to obstruct the view unless it is demonstrated that the view is already impacted and would not be further impacted by the proposal. Site plan control approval, other regulations and City maintenance practices may also be adjusted to ensure that fences, signs, trees and other elements do not obstruct the view.
Policies to protect views of the Parliament Buildings and other national symbols that apply to development applications in the Central Area are contained in Section 3.6.6 Central Area. [Amendment #150, LPAT July 19, 2019]
Good building design contributes to successful neighbourhood integration and the compatibility of new development with the existing or planned character of its surroundings. The façades of buildings influence the feel and function of public spaces and define the edges of the pedestrian environment. Good building design is required throughout the city. In the City’s design priority areas and areas subject to the design priority policies, building design is intended to support the image of Ottawa as a Capital city and contribute to a positive experience for residents and visitors.
Compatibility of new buildings with their surroundings will be achieved in part through the design of the portions of the structure adjacent to existing buildings and/or facing the public realm. Proponents of new development will demonstrate, at the time of application, how the design of their development fits with the existing desirable character and planned function of the surrounding area in the context of:
Setbacks, heights and transition;
Façade and roofline articulation;
Colours and materials;
Architectural elements, including windows, doors and projections;
Pre- and post-construction grades on site; and
Incorporating elements and details of common characteristics of the area.
The City will require that all applications for new development:
Orient the principal façade and entrance(s) of main building(s) to the street.
Include windows on the building elevations that are adjacent to public spaces;
Use architectural elements, massing, and landscaping to accentuate main building entrances.
The intersections of arterial and collector roads can serve as gateways into communities and can support high levels of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, the greatest density of housing, and other land uses and services, and commercial services and other land uses that are focal points for a community. The City will encourage development proposals at such locations to include the following:
Strong architectural design elements that feature the corner or street axis by: locating buildings close to the street edge, and/or orienting the highest and most interesting portion of a building (e.g. the main entrance) to the corner or axis which has a view of the terminus.
Capitalizing on design possibilities for both street façades (by wrapping the materials used on the front façade around the building where any façades are exposed to the public realm); and
Soft landscaping features, special paving materials, and/or curb extensions to shorten the distance across the street and larger sidewalk area to accommodate sidewalk activity.
To maintain a high quality, obstacle free pedestrian environment, all servicing, loading areas, and other required mechanical equipment and utilities should be internalized and integrated into the design of the base of the building where possible. If they cannot be internalized these services are to be screened from public view (i.e. trees, landscaping, decorative walls and fences etc.) and are to be acoustically dampened where possible. The location and operation these areas and equipment should be designed to maintain a pedestrian friendly environment and not impede public use of the sidewalk.
Roof-top mechanical or telecommunications equipment, signage, and amenity spaces should be incorporated into the design and massing of the upper floors of the building. [Amendment #150, LPAT July 19, 2019]
Massing and Scale
Complementary to building design, the massing and scale of new development also contributes to successful neighbourhood integration and the compatibility of new development with the character of the surrounding community. Massing and scale describe the form of the building, how tall it is, how much of the lot it occupies and how it is positioned in relation to the street and surrounding buildings.
Where a secondary planning process establishes criteria for compatibility of new development or redevelopment in terms of the character of the surrounding area, the City will assess the appropriateness of the development using the criteria for massing and scale established in that Plan. Where there are no established criteria provided in an approved Plan, the City will assess the appropriateness of the proposal relying upon its approved Design Guidelines, as applicable, and the following criteria:
Building height, massing and scale permitted by the planned function of adjacent properties as well as the character established by the prevailing pattern of abutting development and development that is across the street;
Prevailing patterns of rear and side yard setbacks, building separation and landscaped open spaces and outdoor amenity areas as established by existing zoning where that pattern is different from the existing pattern of development;
The need to provide a transition between areas of different development intensity and scale as set out in policy 12 of this section.
The City may require a Shadow Analysis and/or Wind Analysis as part of a complete application, except where identified in the Wind/Shadow Terms of Reference. The study(s) will evaluate the potential impacts of the development on the adjacent properties and pedestrian amenity areas. The intent of each Analysis is to demonstrate how these impacts have been minimized or avoided.
Transition refers to the integration of buildings that have greater height or massing than their surroundings. Transition is an important building design element to minimize conflicts when development that is higher or has greater massing is proposed abutting established or planned areas of Low-Rise development. Proponents for developments that are taller in height than the existing or planned context or are adjacent to a public open space or street shall demonstrate that an effective transition in height and massing, that respects the surrounding planned context, such as a stepping down or variation in building form has been incorporated into the design.
Building height and massing transitions will be accomplished through a variety of means, including:
Incremental changes in building height (e.g. angular planes or stepping building profile up or down);
Massing (e.g. inserting ground-oriented housing adjacent to the street as part of a high-profile development or incorporating podiums along a Mainstreet);
Building setbacks and step-backs. [Amendment #150, LPAT July 19 ,2019]
High-Rise Buildings are a form of high-density development that can contribute to intensification, housing and employment opportunities and provide new view, skyline and landmark possibilities. High-Rise buildings should be designed to achieve the objectives of this Plan and avoid or reduce impacts or disruptions associated with:
pedestrian comfort, safety and usability resulting from changes to wind and shadow patterns in outdoor amenities and adjacent public and private spaces surrounding the building;
public views, including view planes and view-sheds referred to in Policy 3 above
proximity to heritage districts or buildings,
reduced privacy for existing building occupants on the same lot or on adjacent lots,
Generally, High-Rise buildings, which consist of three integrated parts, a base, a middle and a top, can achieve many of the urban design objectives and address the impacts described above in the following ways;
The base of a high-rise building should respect the scale, proportion, and character of the surrounding buildings, adjacent streets, parks, and public or private open spaces and animate such spaces.
The tower, which typically includes a middle and a top, should step back from the base where possible. The tower design can reduce the building impacts identified above by incorporating an appropriate separation from existing or future adjacent towers located on the same lot or on an adjacent lot. The responsibility for providing an appropriate tower separation shall generally be shared between owners of abutting properties where high-rise buildings are permitted. A separation distance of 23m has been the City’s general guidance but actual separation requirements may vary in different parts of the City depending on the context.
Floor plates may also vary depending on the uses and the context. Generally, towers with a larger floor plates may require a greater separation from adjacent towers.
Secondary Plans may provide area-specific directions for the design of high-rise buildings.
The Zoning By-law will establish performance measures such as minimum tower separation distances and yard setbacks and may require minimum lot sizes for High-Rise buildings. Proposals for a high-rise building that include performance measures that deviate from the Zoning By-law shall demonstrate that the impacts identified in policy 14 can be satisfactorily avoided or reduced.
The Urban Design Guidelines for High-Rise Buildings may establish general principles for the design of high-rise buildings, including the design of the base and guidance for tower separation distances. [Amendment #150, LPAT July 19 ,2019]
Outdoor Amenity Areas
Outdoor amenity areas are the private and communal areas of a property that are designed to accommodate a variety of leisure activities.
Applicants will demonstrate that the development minimizes undesirable impacts on the existing private amenity spaces of adjacent residential units through the siting and design of the new building(s). Design measures include the use of transitions or terracing and the use of screening, lighting, landscaping, or other design measures that achieve the same objective.
Applications to develop residential or mixed-use buildings incorporating residences will include well-designed, usable amenity areas for the residents that meet the requirements of the Zoning By-law, and are appropriate to the size, location and type of development. These areas may include private amenity areas and communal amenity spaces such as: balconies or terraces, rooftop patios, and communal outdoor at-grade spaces (e.g. plazas, courtyards, squares, yards). The specific requirements for the private amenity areas and the communal amenity spaces shall be determined by the City and implemented through the Zoning By-law and site plan agreement. [Amendment #150, LPAT July 19, 2019]
Proponents of prominent developments, such as Major Urban Facilities and High-Rise Buildings, are encouraged to include site-specific public art. Public art may be identified as a means to satisfy the policies of Section 5.2.1 where proponents of development are seeking an increase in height and density. Where public art is provided as part of a private development proposal, the City will assist by providing consultation services in adherence with the Municipal Public Art policy. [Amendment #150, LPAT July 19, 2019]
Design Priority Areas
The City has identified target areas for intensification and other prominent areas which are significant destinations in the city and recognized them as design priority areas in Section 2.5.1 of this Plan. Proponents of development within design priority areas must demonstrate, through the design of their building and site, that the following policies have been met.
The portion of the building(s) which are adjacent to the public realm will be held to the highest building design standards by incorporating specific building design features:
Design the building(s) first storey to be taller in height to retain flexibility or opportunity for ground floor uses in the future;
Locate front building façades parallel to the street; however, consideration may be given to allow for interruptions of continuous building facades at strategic locations to provide pocket parks, plazas or other open spaces that provide a supportive function to the street activity or enable views and vistas;
Transparent windows at grade to give views into the building to observe the function of the building and out of the building to enhance natural surveillance;
Using architectural treatments (e.g. projections from continuous building lines, awnings, canopies, alcoves and bays) to soften the interface between buildings and the public realm;
Sufficient lighting sources for public uses after dark and to accentuate and animate buildings, natural features, public monuments and public spaces;
Utilize façade treatments to accentuate the transition between floors and interior spaces to provide visual interest and relief; and
Signage that contributes to the character of the surrounding area and architectural design of the building through appropriate architectural design elements, materials, and colour.
The portion of the development which impacts the public realm will be held to the highest site design standards and should incorporate enhanced public realm improvements, such as:
weather protection elements, (e.g. colonnades, and awnings);
shade trees, median planting and treatments and other landscaping;
wider sidewalks and enhanced pedestrian surfaces;
coordinated furnishings and utilities, transit stops, and decorative lighting; and
memorials and public art commissioned for the location.
To achieve these public realm improvements, coordination with the City will be required in accordance with Section 2.5.1, policy 5(d).
The massing and scale of development will define and enclose public and private spaces (e.g. streets, parks, courtyards, squares) using buildings, structures and landscaping; and relate to the scale and importance of the space they define (e.g. street width to height ratios). [Amendment #150, LPAT July 19, 2019]
First Nations Peoples Design Interests
As First Nation Peoples who first inhabited what is now the City of Ottawa and environs, the Algonquins of Ontario have expressed an interest in streetscaping, landscaping,signage and public art that celebrates Algonquin history and culture. The City will engage and work with the Algonquins where proposals on public lands, such as Chaudière Island/Victoria Island, provide opportunities to incorporate aboriginal history and culture. [Amendment #76, July 07, 2011]
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Dept.