Ottawa’s Draft Official Plan – further update.

Ottawa Draft Official Plan Update 2

by Ron Rose

Since the publication of the August Mainstreeter, The City has changed some of the key dates for its consideration of the Draft Official Plan, and has provided some additional information.

The meetings to consider the Draft Official Plan have been postponed by approximately one month. The Public Open House on the Draft Official Plan will take place on Wednesday, September 29th. The special joint meeting of the Planning Committee and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee has been rescheduled to Thursday, October 14th. This joint meeting will be the only opportunity for the public to speak directly to Councillors about their concerns with the Plan. The full Council will consider the Draft Official Plan on October 27th. This postponement is in response to overwhelming concerns expressed by members of the public and community groups about the short time frame originally planned for consideration of this important document.

Residents of Old Ottawa East continue to be concerned that their community will be split between two separate transects, and the City has provided assurances that the entire community, regardless of transact designation, will be covered under a single Secondary Plan, which will take precedence over wording in the new Official Plan. Specifically, Lorraine Stevens, a Planner with the City, wrote in response to a question from the Mainstreeter: “When reviewing development applications, the context and policies of the relevant transect of the parent Official Plan will be considered first. Where the Secondary Plan policies differ from the parent Official Plan (such as for height) the secondary plan policies prevail. Where the Secondary Plan is silent, the parent Official Plan prevails.”

However, despite previous assurances that the new Secondary Plan for Old Ottawa East would cover the same area as the original Secondary Plan, it now appears that a key part of the Community, the Lees Avenue Campus of the University of Ottawa, which is currently included in the Old Ottawa East Secondary Plan, will now be included in the a separate Secondary Plan. According to Ms. Stevenson, “The Lees Avenue Campus of the University of Ottawa is within the Downtown Core Transect and within the boundary of the Central and East Downtown Core Secondary Plan.”
The Mainstreeter will continue to provide updates on the Official Plan as developments occur.

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