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  • Candice Vetter

Local First - Special community service announcements

Hello, bonjour, and welcome to Local First on Carlsbad-Vars Radio, CJRO, at 107.7 and 107.9 FM and online, at CJROradio.com.

I’m Candice Vetter, coming into your home from mine.

Today on Local First I’m highlighting news from the City of Ottawa, because there is too much of it for the regular News broadcast. Also, CJRO has received a small grant for equipment and reporting, so I’ll be able to conduct telephone interviews with better audio recording soon.

As expected, the City of Ottawa voted to expand the urban boundary on May 27th, as per the ARAC and Planning Committee vote, which recommends adding 1680 hectares (over 4000 acres) to land to be developed, as set out in a City staff report.

The report included a recommendation to maintain a one-kilometre buffer around villages which are adjacent to the urban area to keep them distinct from evolving suburban areas. This means the suburbs can creep up to one kilometre away from villages like Navan or Vars.

The exception is Notre-Dame-des-Champs, which is already surrounded by development.

Also excluded to lands being considered for urban or village designations are lands in an Agricultural Resource Area. They are not to be evaluated, considered or ranked in any way that would allow them “to be even remotely associated or considered for inclusion.”

However, land can be removed from that definition if it abuts the boundary of a General Rural Area, Rural Natural Feature, or another rural land use designation, and there is justification to change the designation. Who decides what is justified is the sticking point, and it is based on scoring criteria.

Scoring is supposed to take into account existing agricultural or livestock operations. The report also says Agricultural Resource Area lands are not to be used for urban infrastructure. This includes storm water ponds, water and wastewater infrastructure, sports fields, or other uses that support new suburban communities. Also mentioned are parcels within 200 metres of Bedrock Resource or Sand and Gravel Resource Areas.

Also any rural parcels approved for development should be within the catchment area of an already-planned transit station, and will need Council confirmation of a funding source or mechanism for transit extensions or other municipal infrastructure.

Finally, staff in Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development will further consider and detail secondary plans for greenfield development, as part of the new draft Official Plan to be tabled by the end of 2020. So it appears greenfield development is likely to take place on the City’s diminishing natural spaces.

Considering much of the transit and infrastructure is not yet built the plan to immediately start the 60 per cent of development in rural areas seems impractical, especially in a 26-year-plan.

Proposed schedule:

Timeframe Urban Units Intensification % Built-up Area Units Greenfield % Greenfield Units

2021-2026 38,800 40% 15,500 60% 23,300

2026-2031 35,800 40% 14,300 60% 21,500

2031-2036 31,200 40% 12,500 60% 18,700

15-year total 105,800 40% 42,300 60% 63,500

Balanced scenario 82,400 75,100

Post-2036 surplus 11,700

On June 1st the City of Ottawa announced it has replaced its summer camp programs with a new program reformatted around COVID-19 public health measures. There will be smaller camp groups, additional staff for maintaining physical distancing and sanitization, and screening protocols for campers and staff.

If your child is already registered for a camp, the program will be automatically cancelled and a credit will be placed on your account. The credit can be used to register for the newly formatted camp or other program; you can save the credit for future use; or you can login to ottawa.ca and request a full refund. If payment was by post-dated cheques, the cheques will be returned. Unprocessed credit card payments will be cancelled.

More details will be announced soon.

The Committee of Adjustment for the City of Ottawa has made application materials available online. Comments on applications to be heard June 17, 2020 should be submitted by June 10, 2020.

Application materials online include the Public Notice and Circulation Map, as well as Surveys, Site Plans and Elevation Drawings. If you have comments, or wish to be notified of a decision of the Committee, submit your request in writing to cofa@ottawa.ca, or to 101 Centrepointe Drive, 4th Floor, Ottawa, K2G 5K7.

Although in-person hearings have been postponed the general public can participate in electronic hearings. Contact cofa@ottawa.ca or call 613- 580-2436 to get the link.

To make visual presentations to the Committee make a request by email. Delegates will be given the Zoom hearing details. Meeting video and audio for Android 3.x and older, and Blackberry are not supported. Silverlight is required for the meeting. It is available as a free download from Microsoft.

Do you have news that matters to our area? If yes, contact me by emailing newsCJRO@gmail.com.

CJRO – Last on the dial, first for local news.

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