A municipality may pass many by-laws under the authority of the Planning Act without mentioning them in the Official Plan. These include interim control, demolition control, temporary use and others. Some implementation tools, however, must be included in this Plan, as required under the Planning Act, in order for the municipality to implement such measures.
5.2.1 – General
Provincial Policy Statement
- The Province issues Provincial Policy Statements from time to time to provide direction on matters of provincial interest. The City will ensure that the intent of any such policy statements are adequately reflected and implemented through this Plan. Where Provincial Policy Statements are in effect, the decisions of the City and the Committee of Adjustment shall be consistent with the policies of this Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement that is in effect on the date of the decision. [Amendment #150 December 21, 2017]
2. The City will not undertake any public work, nor pass any by-law, for any purpose that does not conform to the intent and policies of this Plan. The phasing of the public works projects will be coordinated through a capital works program that will be reviewed annually as part of the capital budget procedure. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
3. As a priority measure, the City will prepare a new comprehensive zoning by-law that implements this Plan. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
Acquisition and Holding of Land
4. The City may acquire or hold land within its boundaries for the purposes of implementing any policy of the Plan. The City will secure lands to meet its objectives through such means as acquisition and conditions of development approval depending on the circumstances and relevant legislation. Any land so acquired or held may be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of by the City when no longer required. Before disposition of any surplus lands they will be considered in terms of such matters as their adequacy for the provision of affordable housing, their value as a natural area and the need for transportation corridors.
5. The City has a particular interest in ensuring that lands in the following designations are secured in a way that is consistent with their greenspace values: Natural Environment Areas, Significant Wetlands, Urban Natural Features, and Major Open Space. A similar interest may apply to any lands along waterways in a Village or Urban Area. [Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
a. The City will consider methods other than acquisition to meet its objectives for the preservation of lands with greenspace values, including exchanging lands of similar value, negotiating conservation easements, entering into agreements with other public bodies concerning land management or maintenance, partnering with a land trust and other methods that may be proposed from time to time;
b. The City may initiate the purchase of lands in any of the above-noted designations where acquisition of the land is critical to the achievement of its objectives;
c. Except for those lands that are identified as flood plain, steep or unstable slopes, significant wetland, or significant habitat of endangered or threatened species, the city will acquire land that is in private ownership at the request of the landowners under the following conditions:
i. The land is designated Natural Environment Area or Urban Natural Feature by this Plan; or
ii. An EIS identifies the land as being part of the City’s Natural Heritage System in the urban or rural area and clearly demonstrates that none of the development as defined in Section 4.7.8, that is otherwise permitted under the Official Plan and is not otherwise constrained by any legislation or regulation, cannot occur without negative impact on the natural heritage system or its functions, then the area on which development cannot occur is to be acquired. [Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, April 26, 2012]
d. Where land that is designated Major Open Space is not otherwise identified as flood plain or steep or unstable slopes, the City will acquire the land at the request of the landowner;
e. When acquiring these lands:
i. The City will negotiate a purchase price based on an independent market value appraisal, but, if after six months, an agreement has not been reached, the City will offer to acquire the lands under Section 30 of the Expropriations Act and compensation may be determined in accordance with the provisions of the Act; or
ii. At the request of the landowner, the City will acquire the property through expropriation in accordance with the Expropriations Act.
iii. Improvements will not be acquired unless requested by the landowner,
iv. The acquisition may be limited to a part of a property, provided that the size of the part not acquired satisfies the requirements of this Plan; [OMB decision #952, March 30, 2006]
f. Where land in a Natural Environment Area, Urban Natural Feature, or Major Open Space designation is in the ownership of a public body or agency, such as the National Capital Commission or a Conservation Authority, and where this property is not required to achieve their interests as expressed in their plans, and where this public body seeks to have the City acquire these lands, the City will proceed in accordance with policies c) and d) above. [OMB decision #952, March 30, 2006]
6. When the City receives an application for a zoning by-law amendment to permit development on lands that are in private ownership and where the land is currently zoned in an open space or leisure zone, the City will consider the need to acquire the land to secure its greenspace interests. [OMB decision #952, March 30, 2006]
Site Plan Control Area
7. The entire City of Ottawa is a Site Plan Control Area. However, in order to avoid undue restrictions, certain classes of development will be exempted from Site Plan Control, as defined through the Site Plan Control By-law. The City may request elevation drawings and other design-oriented studies for development applications within the urban area and Villages. The City will require the fulfilment of conditions and agreements respecting road widening, landscaping, parking and loading areas, pedestrian walkways, sewer and water easements, fire routes and other design elements.
8. In order to ensure that the design provisions of this Plan are addressed, building elevations provided to the City in support of applications submitted for approval under the provisions for Site Plan Control in the Planning Act may be required to show exterior architectural details and design features. Drawings and elevations will be of sufficient scope, quality, clarity and detail to ascertain detailed design, materials, and finishes and the treatment of the public realm. Drawings and elevations will serve to illustrate matters of compatibility with adjacent buildings or sensitivity to local area place, context and setting, to address the relationship between buildings and between buildings and the street, to incorporate sustainable design features, and to illustrate scale, transitions in form, massing, character and materials. To this end, submissions may need to include indication of any or all of the following:
a. Treatment of the public realm;
b. Views of the entire block, so that proposed buildings may be seen in their context;
c. Finish, texture, materials, patterns and colours of all building exteriors, including roofs;
d. Location, size, colour, and type of all building exterior signage and lighting;
e. Number, placement, type and finishing of all exterior doors and windows;
f. Finish, texture, materials patterns and colours of functional elements attached to or forming part of the exterior of buildings such as entrance elements, walls, stairs, gates, railings, balconies,planters, awnings, alcoves, canopies, bays, seating, parking decks and ramps;
g. Any sustainable design features to be incorporated, such as green roofs or walls, sun traps, reflective or permeable surfaces;
h. Placement, finish, colour, size of any exterior mechanical systems such as heating and air conditioning, electronic transmission / receiving devices, and all above ground utilities (whether stand-alone or attached to the building) including any screening materials associated with the foregoing;
i. Integration of elements such as mechanical equipment, elevator machine rooms, communication devices and visible temporary devices (window washing equipment), together with any building parapet that constitute the roofscape design;
j. Incorporation of adequate guarantees to maintain the original architectural and design quality as approved and to ensure that inferior details and materials are not substituted at a later date.
The Site Plan By-law will be amended accordingly.
[Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
9. In addition to the provisions of policy 8 above, the City may require the submission of drawings, elevations, and/or 3-D plans for the approval of high-rise buildings that will be of appropriate scope, quality, clarity and detail to assess:
a. Architectural quality;
b. Effect on the immediate and wider context;
c. Appearance of the building from significant near, middle and distant views, including the public realm and streets around the base of the building;
d. 360 degree views within the context of proposed and approved projects, where known, as well as the existing situation;
e. Appearance of the building in a range of weather and light conditions including night-time views;
f. Visual and microclimatic impacts (shadowing and wind);
g. The effect on the skyline of the design of the top of the building.
[Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
10. Notwithstanding the provisions of policy 7 above to the contrary, The Site Plan Control By-law may require elevation drawings and other design-oriented studies for development on any land that abuts the Rideau River and Rideau Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site, including development for residential purposes that involves one or more dwellings.
[Amendment #76, OMB File #PL100206, August 18, 2011]
Increase in Height and Density By-law
11. Pursuant to Section 37 of the Planning Act, the City may authorize increases in the height and density of development above the levels otherwise permitted by the zoning by-law in return for the provision of community benefits. However, no increase in height will compromise any of the Capital Views Protection policy of the National Capital Commission. Public consultation will be included in the development and approval of such a by-law. Limited increases will be permitted in return for the provision of such community benefits as are set out in the by-law and shall be secured through an agreement as authorized by Section 37 of the Planning Act. Such community benefits must be over and above those facilities and services that would otherwise be required as part of the City’s standard development review process, standard budgeting process or that may be provided through the Development Charges By-law. The community benefits that may be authorized include, but are not limited to: [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
a. Public cultural facilities;
b. Building design and public art;
c. Conservation of heritage resources;
d. Conservation/replacement of rental housing;
e. Provision of new affordable housing units; land for affordable housing, or, at the discretion of the owner, cash-in-lieu of affordable housing units or land; [Amendment 10, August 25, 2004]
f. Child care facilities;
g. Improvements to rapid-transit stations;
h. Other local improvements identified in community design plans, community improvement plans, capital budgets, or other implementation plans or studies;
i. Artist live-work studios.
j. Energy conservation and environmental performance measures; [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
k. Conservation of existing greenspace or the creation of new greenspace. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
12. The City may utilize a holding symbol (h), in conjunction with any use designation in the zoning by-law to specify the use to which lands shall be put to in the future, but which are now considered premature or inappropriate for immediate development. [Amendment #96, February 22, 2012]
Temporary Use Zones
13. The City, in a zoning by-law, may authorize the temporary use of lands, buildings or structures for any purpose set out therein that is otherwise prohibited by the comprehensive zoning by-law. A by-law authorizing a temporary use shall prescribe a period of time for the temporary use, which shall not exceed 20 years for a garden suite, and shall not exceed three years for all other uses. Council may grant further periods of not more than three years. [OMB decision #2649, September 21, 2006]
Demolition of Designated Heritage Farm Buildings
14. Notwithstanding the Ontario Building Code, which allows the demolition of a building located on a farm without a permit, the owner of a designated property must, as per the Ontario Heritage Act, apply in writing to City Council and receive written consent prior to proceeding with demolition. [Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
5.2.2 – Amendments to the Official Plan
- When considering amendments to this Plan, the City will have regard to, among other things, the following criteria:
- The impact of the proposed change on the achievement of the policies expressed in this Plan;
- The effect of the proposed change on neighbouring communities;
- The effect of the proposed change on the need for water, wastewater and transportation services.
- When considering amendments that affect the use of specific site or sites, the City will also consider whether there is a need to add the site or sites to the lands already designated for the proposed use.
5.2.3 – Public Notification
The Planning Act contains provisions that allow municipalities to provide notice of the required public meetings for Official Plan and zoning by-law amendments and Community Improvement Plans in a different manner than those prescribed in the Act and its regulations, provided that an alternative method is spelled out in the municipality's Official Plan. [Amendment #40, April 26, 2006]
The City will use these provisions so as to ensure that notification and consultation regarding these types of amendments and plans occurs early in the review process, rather than relying only on the notice of the public meeting. This notification and consultation, well in advance of the required public meeting, will provide the public and public bodies with sufficient mechanisms and time to provide input and allow opportunities for issue resolution well before decisions are made by City Council. Notification and consultation will be provided in a bilingual environment in a cost-efficient, consistent and effective manner. [Amendment #40, April 26, 2006]
Notification and Consultation
- The measures for informing and obtaining the views of the public and public bodies on proposed Official Plan and zoning by-law amendments and Community Improvement Plans will be as follows:
- A bilingual sign will be posted on the affected site and a notice will be sent to community organizations in the affected area as well as those public bodies that are considered to have an interest in the proposed amendment; or
- If the proposed amendment or plan affects a large area or the posting of an on-site notice is, for whatever reason, not appropriate, notification in both official languages will either be given directly to targeted stakeholders or published in a city newspaper. [Amendment #40, April 26, 2006]
Notice of the Public Meeting
2. Notice of the public meeting at a Committee of Council will be:
a. Published in one English-language and one French-language daily newspaper or a newspaper having general circulation in the city, a minimum of five calendar days before the scheduled public meeting; [Amendment #128, November 13, 2013]
b. Sent to individuals and public bodies who provided written comments or requested notice of the public meeting, at least ten calendar days before the meeting by prepaid first class mail, facsimile or electronic-mail.
3. In the case of technical amendments to this Plan or the City of Ottawa Zoning By-law, notification to and consultation with the public or public bodies, as set out in Policy 1 above, will not be required. The requirements of Policy 2(b) above will also not apply, however notice of a proposed technical amendment will be published in the newspapers in accordance with Policy 2(a). This approach will be restricted to correcting the following anomalies:
a. where further amendments are required to fully implement an approved recommendation of City Council to amend the Official Plan or Zoning By-law;
b. to carry forward in the Zoning By-law, the regulations of the former municipalities’ zoning by-laws, where required, to accurately harmonize those regulations;
c. to amend the language of a provision so as to clarify its intent; and,
d. to eliminate unnecessary redundancies and out dated references.
[Amendment #76, August 04, 2010]
5.2.4 – For Future Use
5.2.5 – Community Improvement
[Amendment #40, April 26, 2006]
The Community Improvement provisions of the Planning Act allow municipalities to prepare Community Improvement Plans for designated Community Improvement Project Areas that require community improvement as the result of age, dilapidation, overcrowding, faulty arrangement, unsuitability of buildings or for any other environmental, social or community economic development reason. Once a Community Improvement Plan has been adopted by a municipality, approved by the Province, and is in effect, the municipality may offer incentives to encourage private sector investment. The municipality may also undertake a wide range of actions for the purpose of carrying out the community improvement plan.
- The City will maintain and promote an attractive and safe living and working environment through community improvement. To this end, community improvement will be accomplished through the:
- Designation by by-law of Community Improvement Project Area(s), the boundary of which may be part or all of the urban area of the City of Ottawa, and/or part or all of one or more Villages as defined in this Plan, and as amended from time to time;
- Preparation, adoption and implementation of a Community Improvement Plan(s) within a designated Community Improvement Project Area(s), pursuant to the Planning Act and the community improvement policies set out in this Plan;
- Ongoing maintenance, rehabilitation, redevelopment and upgrading of areas characterized by deficient/obsolete/deteriorated buildings, deficient municipal recreational or hard services, and social, community, or economic instability; and,
- Establishment of programs to facilitate municipal and private sector rehabilitation and redevelopment that addresses identified economic development, land development, environmental, energy efficiency, housing, and/or social development issues/needs.
Community Improvement Project Areas
2. The designation of Community Improvement Project Areas shall be based on one or more of the following conditions being present:
a. Known or perceived environmental contamination;
b. Vacant lots and underutilized properties and buildings which have potential for infill, redevelopment or expansion to better utilize the land base or the public infrastructure;
c. Other barriers to the repair, rehabilitation or redevelopment of underutilized land and/or buildings;
d. Buildings, building facades, and/or property, including buildings, structures and lands of heritage and/or architectural significance, in need of preservation, restoration, repair, rehabilitation, energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements, or redevelopment;
e. Absence of an adequate mix of uses;
f. Deficiencies in physical infrastructure including but not limited to the sanitary sewer system, storm sewer system, and/or watermain system, streetscapes and/or street lighting, municipal parking facilities, sidewalks, curbs, or road state of repair;
g. Poor overall visual quality, including but not limited to, streetscapes and urban design and/or overhead wiring;
h. A concentration of obsolete or aging low-density land uses, vacant lots, surface parking lots and/or abandoned buildings;
i. High commercial vacancy rates;
j. Deficiencies in community and social services including but not limited to public open space, parks, indoor/outdoor recreational facilities, and public social facilities and support services;
k. Opportunities to improve the mix of housing types;
l. High commercial vacancy rates;
m. Any other environmental, energy efficiency, social or community economic development reasons.
3. Priority for the designation of Community Improvement Project Areas and the preparation and adoption of Community Improvement Plans shall be given to those areas:
a. Targeted for growth and intensification in Section 2.2.2 Managing Growth Within the Urban Area, in particular, the Central Area, Traditional and Arterial Mainstreets, Mixed Use Centres and the vicinity (within an 800 metre walking distance) of existing or planned rapid transit stations; and/or
b. Where the greatest number of conditions (as established in Policy 2) are present; and/or,
c. Where one or more of the conditions (as established in policy 2) is particularly acute; and/or,
d. Where one or more of the conditions (as established in policy 2) exists across the urban area of the city. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
Community Improvement Plans
5. Community Improvement Plans may be prepared and adopted to:
a. Facilitate the renovation, repair, rehabilitation, remediation, redevelopment or other improvement of lands and/or buildings;
b. Facilitate the preservation, restoration, adaptive reuse and improvement of buildings with historical, architectural or other heritage significance;
c. Facilitate the development of mixed-use buildings, or the introduction of a wider mix of uses in areas that are deficient in mixed uses;
d. Facilitate the restoration, maintenance, improvement and protection of natural habitat, parks, open space and recreational amenities;
e. Facilitate residential and other types of infill and intensification;
f. Facilitate the construction of a range of housing types and the construction of affordable housing;
g. Upgrade and improve municipal services and public utilities such as sanitary sewers, storm sewers, watermains, roads and sidewalks;
h. Improve pedestrian and bicycle circulation;
i. Facilitate public transit supportive land uses and improve the quality of, and accessibility to, transit facilities;
j. Contribute to the ongoing viability and revitalization of the Central Area, Mainstreets, and other areas that may require community improvement;
k. Improve environmental and energy consumption conditions;
l. Improve social conditions and support services;
m. Promote cultural development;
n. Facilitate and promote community economic development; and,
o. Improve community quality, safety and stability.
6. During the preparation of a Community Improvement Plan and any subsequent amendments, the public will be informed and public input will be obtained in keeping with the policies for Public Notification contained in this Plan.
7. In order to implement a Community Improvement Plan in effect within a designated Community Improvement Project Area, the City of Ottawa may undertake a range of actions as described in the Community Improvement Plan, including:
a. The municipal acquisition of land and/or buildings within the Community Improvement Project Areas where a Community Improvement Plan has been adopted, approved and is in effect, and the subsequent:
i. Clearance, grading, or environmental remediation of these properties,
ii. Repair, rehabilitation, construction or improvement of these properties,
iii. Sale, lease, or other disposition of these properties to any person or governmental authority,
iv. Other preparation of land or buildings for community improvement.
b. Provision of public funds such as grants, loans and other financial instruments;
c. Application for financial assistance from senior level government programs;
d. Participation in senior level government programs that provide assistance to private landowners for the purposes of community improvement;
e. Provision of information on municipal initiatives, financial assistance programs, and other government assistance programs;
f. Support of heritage conservation through the Ontario Heritage Act.
8. All developments participating in programs and activities contained within Community Improvement Plans shall conform with the policies contained in this Plan, applicable Community Design Plans, the zoning by-law, maintenance and occupancy by-laws, and all other related municipal policies and by-laws.
9. The City shall be satisfied that its participation in community improvement activities will be within the financial capabilities of the City.
5.2.6- Pre-Application Consultation and Prescribed Information for Planning Applications –
[Amendment #90, October 29, 2010]
[Amendment #71, January 28, 2009]
The Planning Act permits the City to require applicants to consult with the City prior to formal submission of their application. During this consultation, the City will determine which studies and information are required by Council to evaluate the application. Furthermore, staff will identify those studies that must be submitted at the time of application submission submission and refer the applicant to any Council-approved terms of reference or guideline to assist in the preparation of such requirements. While the Planning Act does not require it, proponents are strongly encouraged to consult with the affected community prior to finalizing their application in order to identify potential issues and opportunities. [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017]
Policy 2 outlines the studies that the City may require for complete applications. In addition to the prescribed requirements of the Planning Act, the City may require additional information to allow it to properly evaluate an application. In addition to the requirements prescribed in this section, applicants should also refer to the entire Official Plan, which outlines the circumstances under which specific studies are required when seeking development approvals from the City. The City will consider an application to be complete if it is accompanied by the prescribed requirements identified in the Planning Act, and by the required studies and information listed in the policies below and discussed during pre-application consultation.
- Prior to submitting an application for an Official Plan Amendment, a Zoning By-law Amendment, a Plan of Subdivision, a Plan of Condominium or a Site Plan Application subject to public consultation, applicants are required to meet with the staff of the Planning and Growth Management Department of the City to identify the information that will be required at the time of application submission. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to consult with Planning and Growth Management staff prior to submitting a Site Plan application that is not subject to public consultation. Staff have the authority to waive the requirement for an in-person meeting after being contacted by an applicant. Applicants are strongly advised to meet with the affected community prior to finalizing plans. This service is currently not available in person due to COVID-19 closures.
- Applications to amend the Official Plan, the Zoning By-law, or a Plan of Subdivision, a Plan of Condominium, or a Site Plan Application, will comply with the complete application submission requirements of the Planning Act. The City requires other information and/or reports as listed below, to support the application at the time of submission unless otherwise indicated in writing after pre-consultation.
- Assessment of Adequacy of Public Services/Conceptual Site Servicing Study
- Servicing Options Report
- Hydrogeological and Terrain Analysis
- Erosion and Sediment Control Plan
- Geotechnical Study/Slope Stability
- Impact Assessment of Adjacent Waste Disposal / Former Landfill Site
- Mineral Resource Impact Assessment
- Noise Control Study (Airport)
- Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (Airport Zoning Regulations)
- Noise Control Detailed Study, Noise Control Feasibility Study or Acoustical Audit and/or Vibration Study [Amendment #167, February 23, 2016]
- Transportation Impact Study or Brief or Community Traffic Study
- Cultural Heritage Impact Statement
- Minimum Distance Separation
- Planning Rationale
- Environmental Impact Statement
- Agrology and Soil Capability Study
- Integrated Environmental Review Statement
- Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)
- Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)
- Record of Site Condition
- Wellhead Protection Plan
- Reasonable Use Study
- Groundwater Impact Assessment
- Stormwater Site Management Plan
- Archaeological Resource Assessment
- Tree Preservation and Protection Plan
- Assessment of Landform Feature
- Mine Hazard Study / Abandoned Pit or Quarry
- Plan showing ultimate use of land
- Statement of achievement of the Design Objectives and the Design and Compatibility Principles of this Plan
- Drawings showing plan, elevation and cross-section views of each building
- Design Brief
- Shadow Study
- Wind Study
- O-Train Network Proximity Study [Amendment #130, May 27, 2014] [Amendment #150, December 21, 2017] [Amendment #226, February 26, 2019]
- Applications for Official Plan amendments of city-wide significance will be considered providing the following criteria are met:
- The applicable policies in Section 4;
- The applicable information and reports listed in Policy 2 i. through xxx. above have been submitted; and
- Additional information regarding the appropriateness of the proposed amendment, including a city-wide analysis and evaluation of all alternatives, has been submitted.