By Ward 21 Councillor Scott Moffatt
From the Manotick Messenger
The City of Ottawa’s Official Plan review process is a multi-year process. We launched the review at the end of 2019 and the Plan is intended to come to Council at the end of 2021. That is not the only part, however, as the City’s Planning Department will then embark on a review of the various Secondary Plans, including Richmond, Manotick and North Gower. Those reviews will likely begin in 2022.
With a multi-year review, things generally move slow and there is plenty of time to consider what is being proposed and what is being changed. My last two columns and three consecutive episodes of our Twenty One Podcast show that the last three weeks have not exactly followed a path of slow, diligent consideration. Plenty of changes since the report was first released a month ago. Allow me to summarize.
To begin, the proposed Gold Belt will not move forward. For those who supported the idea, the policies surrounding agriculturally designated lands remain in place. The position City staff attempted to put forward was that the City could expand in the future without needing to absorb agricultural land. That fact remains. The Gold Belt, for all intents and purposes, was a map highlighting our existing land designations to best illustrate where we could grow the city and which directions we could do so. Unfortunately, confusion about its intent led to many unintended concerns. At the end of the day, it was easier to alleviate the confusion by removing the Gold Belt title and map.
Keeping on the topic of agricultural lands, Council did decide to ensure that any lands that are currently designated as prime farmland, but proposed for potential growth, must undertake a soils evaluation study to get on the ground information to determine whether or not these parcels of land are, in fact, prime agricultural lands. I believe it is important that Council makes their decision on any piece of land with all the available data. This Official Plan sets forward a path for the next 25 years. We must evaluate all decisions with as much evidence to support our positions as possible because of the long-term impact.
On the matter of the Tewin/new community proposal, Council also provided clear direction to Planning staff to report back to Council on key concerns relating to that proposed community. This, too, is about ensuring Council has all the available information before we make a final decision on these and other matters in the fall of 2021. Prior to the Council meeting, that direction was cloudier. It seemed as though Council was being asked to approve of something that we did not have a full understanding of. To me, that was cause for concern. I am hopeful that we will get more answers before September 2021 when the Official Plan comes back to Committee and Council.
Richmond Development Public Meeting
The City of Ottawa will hold a Public Meeting on March 9, 2021 at 6:30 pm in an on-line Zoom format to discuss a proposed plan of subdivision in the Western Development Lands. This is a development plan that has been discussed previously in this column. There are three parts to it. One portion abuts the Richmond Oaks community, another abuts Queen Charlotte and Ottawa Street and the other is surrounding the Richmond BMR location.
This public meeting will be help on Zoom. Those wishing to take part can use the following information to log in.
Meeting ID: 920 2113 7224
As previously discussed, Caivan is proposing to develop a 554-unit residential subdivision, in a mix of detached and townhouse units. A new municipal park is proposed as part of the subdivision. We are expecting an updated proposal to be available prior to the meeting. That new proposal should help to address concerns that have been raised previously.
If you have any questions specific to this application, they can be sent to the Planner for this file, Sarah McCormick. Sarah can be reached by calling 613-580-2424 ext. 24487 or by email: Sarah.McCormick@ottawa.ca.
Recently, our office received an inquiry about what an elderly couple should do if one is required to self-isolate. In a one-bathroom home, this could prove challenging. We asked Ottawa Public Health for a response. They provided us with the following:
From the perspective of preventing spread beyond this couple, both need to self-isolate:
- The case until they’re no longer infectious (10 days from start of symptoms)
- The contact for 14 days from break of contact with the case. By the time the case is diagnosed, the contact may already have become infected but won’t know that for a while since incubation period takes days. The more days of cumulative exposure to the case, the higher the probability the contact will get infected.
In this circumstance it will be quite difficult to effectively isolate the person who doesn’t yet have COVID from their partner if they stay in the same apartment. While it will depend upon individual circumstances, one of them should consider going to the voluntary isolation centre. The VIC takes both cases and contacts. Whoever stays behind needs support since they can’t leave, and they will need food delivered. Again, based on individual circumstances, it may make sense for them to also go to the VIC if they don’t have family supports to bring food, but they would stay in a different room.
If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Ward 21 issues, please visit TeamTwentyOne.ca.