This Monday the City will be launching seven discussion papers relating to the new Zoning By-law. This will be the first opportunity for the public to engage in consultations relating to the new By-law.
Climate Change, Resiliency and Public Health:
This paper examines Official Plan policies and new zoning provisions intended to support climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, resiliency and public health. Zoning provisions for the following topics are discussed: compact urban form and density, food security, preservation of agricultural lands, renewable energy generation facilities, stormwater management, flood plains, extreme heat, preservation of natural systems, access to green space, reduced parking requirements for cars, increased parking requirements for bicycles and electric vehicle charging stations.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:
The new Zoning By-law is an opportunity to advance equity as outlined in the Official Plan. This discussion paper focuses on five key issues: housing affordability and choice, social fragmentation, mobility and access to services, environmental health equity and the climate emergency. By addressing these issues, the Zoning By-law can support the development of communities where everyone has access to essential services, dignity and full participation in all that Ottawa has to offer.
Neighbourhood character is often cited as a principal concern in discussions of new infill development and zoning. “Character” clearly includes a wide range of physical attributes of a neighbourhood and in the context of infill is relevant to its quality. This paper considers aspects of neighbourhood character that can be regulated using zoning provisions, aspects that can’t be regulated using zoning, and how neighbourhood character relates to other planning concerns and priorities.
This paper considers how the new Zoning By-law will implement the density targets in the Official Plan and the Province’s legislated additional dwelling unit permissions from Bill 23 for the Neighbourhood designation. The paper examines how to regulate the quality of infill development, through regulations for density, built form and functional site requirements, while providing the quantity of housing needed over the next twenty-five years.
New approaches to Regulating Land Use:
This discussion paper examines how land uses will be regulated in the new Zoning By-law. The paper considers how land use definitions and land use provisions will allow the commercial market to locate uses that can assist with achieving the goals of creating healthy, livable 15-minute neighbourhoods in Ottawa.
Trees, Intensification and the Urban Forest Tree Canopy:
As Ottawa has grown, infill development has impacted the urban forest tree canopy. The Urban Forest Management Plan, the Official Plan and the Tree Protection By-law all share the goal of achieving urban forest sustainability. The new Zoning By-law will continue this work by developing zoning provisions that address the need to maintain the tree canopy as redevelopment occurs in Neighbourhoods.
Zoning Provisions for the Rural Area:
This paper examines how new policies for the Rural area in the Official Plan can be implemented in the new Zoning By-law. The following policy areas and associated zoning provisions are discussed in the paper:
▪ Commercial Opportunities and Rural Economic Development
▪ Industrial, Logistics and Warehousing Opportunities
▪ Regulation of Renewable Energy Generation Facilities
▪ Setbacks from Watercourses
▪ Environmental Protection
In an effort to keep the community informed on the impacts of Bill 109 and Bill 23, and to provide updates on the approval of the Official Plan, a virtual Public Information Session will be held on March 7 at 6:30 pm. The Information Session offers an opportunity to direct the public to the Engage Ottawa page for the new Zoning By-law to review the discussion papers.
Following release of the discussion papers, further opportunities for public consultation will be available in June 2023 with the release of two reports concerning the revised Urban Design Guidelines for Low-Rise Infill Housing and the Neighbourhood Form and Function report. The urban design guidelines set out best practices for low-rise infill housing. The Neighbourhood Form and Function report examines design-related issues and functional site requirements for infill development.
The public will be invited to provide comments on the discussion papers via surveys available on Engage Ottawa page for the new Zoning By-law. The surveys will remain open through the summer. An As-We-Heard-It report summarizing comments from the public will be released in September 2023.