ARAC approves zoning for Caivan robotic manufacturing facility in Rideau-Goulbourn

The City of Ottawa Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee has approved the rezoning to allow for a manufacturing plant in Rideau-Goulbourn south of Barrhaven.

Last Thursday, the committee approved a proposal by Caivan Communities to build a 137,000-square-foot manufacturing plant at 3713 Borrisokane Drive. The property falls within the former Drummond/Costello gravel pit, outside the city’s current urban boundary.

The development is proposing to include offices, a home building design centre, and a manufacturing and assembly facility. This land use would employ over 250 full-time jobs and provide a noteworthy contribution towards the home-building industry in Ottawa through the robotic manufacturing of home-building components, such as roof trusses and wall panels.  Caivan’s plans also include a two-storey office building that would feature a showroom and design centre, as well as a daycare for employees’ children.

According to city staff, a facility of this nature, with over 250 employees associated with both office and manufacturing, would benefit greatly from municipal services, which are available at the abutting urban properties. The City’s Official Plan permits extension of urban services in unique economic circumstances, and the Provincial Policy Statement supports this where it can be demonstrated the extension into rural lands is for economic purposes; is feasible as demonstrated through a comprehensive servicing study; is financially viable; and can optimize existing infrastructure. 

One of the details that needs to be worked out is the servicing for the building. According to the city report on the project, a facility of this nature, with over 250 employees associated with both office and manufacturing, would benefit greatly from municipal services, which are available at the abutting urban properties. The city’s Official Plan permits extension of urban services in unique economic circumstances, and the Provincial Policy Statement supports this where it can be demonstrated the extension into rural lands is for economic purposes; is feasible as demonstrated through a comprehensive servicing study; is financially viable; and can optimize existing infrastructure.

The project has the green light to proceed if Caivan drills a well and installs a septic system. However, Caivan wants the plant and a future office building connected to the city’s sewer and water system. In their favour is the fact that the city just voted to extend its urban boundary, which would likely include the site of the Caivan manufacturing facility and offices.

Also of concern to the councillors was the proximity to the Trail Road Landfill Facility, located across Hwy 416 immediately west of the site. The location has raised concerns that development disrupting the groundwater regime could alter the landfills leachate plume flow, pose risks to the City’s compliance with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and pose operational risks. The landfill is designated ‘Solid Waste Disposal Site’ within the Official Plan, and policies require that adjacent development demonstrate no adverse impact on these types of facilities or on the proposed development.

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