The City of Ottawa is poised to add new wetland areas to the Goulbourn Wetland Complex after the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee approved Official Plan and zoning amendments revising the complex’s boundaries.
The move follows more than a decade of exhaustive research and public discussion, driven by the Government of Ontario requirement that municipalities protect provincially significant wetlands and prohibit development or site alteration on them. City-led studies of the area concluded that the wetlands are natural, long-standing features and that man-made causes, such as changes to drainage or improper ditch maintenance, did not add to the wetlands.
The City needs to designate the lands as wetland in the Official Plan and the Zoning By-law to be compliant with provincial policy and the Official Plan, and to preserve their environmental benefits. While the wetlands designation prohibits future development, existing uses on those lands can continue.