On Monday, October 23, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced the Province is reversing changes it made to the Official Plans, including Ottawa’s Official Plan. The reversal includes changes to urban boundaries, except where construction has begun or where doing so would contravene existing provincial legislation and regulation.
Beyond this announcement no further information has been provided by the Province. As a reminder there were 30 provincial modifications to Ottawa’s Official Plan, of which 19 were policy modifications and 11 schedule modifications to add six urban expansion parcels, and the Village of Greely expansion parcel. These changes were made by the former Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to the Council adopted Official Plan.
The Ministry is asking impacted municipalities, including Ottawa, to submit changes and updates to their plans within 45 days of the October 23 annoucement – December 7, 2023. This would include information on projects already underway.
Staff are awaiting further details from the Province on the scope of the 45-day submission period and potential timing of the proposed legislation. It is not yet clear if impacted municipalities can only submit changes and updates related to the provincial modifications or if additional changes could be requested. During this period staff will also consider what related planning and staffing costs were associated with the modifications. More information will be provided to City Council once more information has been received from the Province.
Staff have started a review of development projects that rely on any of the past modifications and their status. No construction has begun on any of the urban or village expansion areas. Staff have also moved forward to implement the directions of the approved Official Plan through the Infrastructure Master Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Development Charge by-law update, new Zoning By-law, and even the Urban Transit Area tax that will be tabled with the 2024 budget.
Staff will review what implications the proposed legislation and Official Plan changes will have on these projects. Until further information is received from the Province the Infrastructure Master Plan scheduled to be considered at a Joint Committee meeting on October 31, 2023, will be postponed for a few weeks.