Ontario Changes the Planning Act and Ottawa’s Official Plan

via Heather…

The attached text is excerpted from Jeff Leiper’s Kitchissippi Ward Newsletter. For an excellent synopsis of the impact on Ottawa of the changes made by the Province to the new Official Plan, please click on the link to Glen Gower’s assessment (highlighted). Many will have heard the term “exclusionary zoning” applied to the concept of R1 zoning. I believe that the term originated in the U.S. It is inaccurate within Ontario’s and consequently Ottawa’s Planning contexts, where all residences in R1, R2 and R3 zones have for many years been encouraged to have secondary dwelling units (apartments) or garden suites (replaced by Coach Houses in 2016). In Champlain Park and many older residential neighbourhoods, many of the small, original homes had (and still have) basement or upstairs apartments.

Excerpt from Jeff Leiper’s Kitchissippi Ward Newsletter, November 8, 2022

Good morning, Kitchissippi.

Below I’ve provided links to a few of the documents that might help navigate the multiple changes to city planning coming from Queen’s Park. Since the Province dropped the housing bill just a short bit ago – which effectively ends single-detached-only (R1) zoning and makes multiple other changes besides – it has also sent the City’s Official Plan back with modifications that have immediate impacts in our ward with respect to heights on minor corridors as well as essentially removing rental stock protection out of Council’s hands. It’s a lot. See the item below for some documents and links that might help.

Official Plan approved with changes

Ottawa’s Official Plan approved last year by Council has been approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing – but with some big changes. One of the key changes affecting our ward is that minor corridors will be allowed to build up to six storeys rather than the four proposed by Council. In our ward, these minor corridors are Churchill, Kirkwood, Holland, McRae, Gladstone and Parkdale north of the highway. A major change causing alarm is the removal from our Official Plan of the section that would have seen us eventually implement measures to protect existing rental stock. Another disappointing change is the addition of hundreds of new hectares to the urban boundary while keeping the Tewin development in the plan. This will exacerbate urban sprawl and the cost of that to taxpayers and increased climate-changing emissions. The full Ministerial decision is here.

I want to thank Councillor Gower for an excellent post that he published a few days ago that explores some of the biggest impacts arising from Bill 23, the new Provincial housing legislation. It’s well worth a read here. As Glen as pointed out to me, these are 10 big changes that don’t even touch on the lightning-rod issue: the elimination of R1 zoning (which allows only single-detached homes – albeit with secondary dwelling units or coach houses).

City staff have compiled a few documents that might help analyze the impact of Bill 23 that I’ve posted here.