Committee approves secondary plan for Riverside South

A graphic with Ottawa City Hall is in the background. A vertical grey stripe and a horizontal yellow stripe are in the foreground with " Planning and Housing Committee update" in the centre.

The Planning and Housing Committee on April 24 approved amending the City’s Official Plan to add a secondary plan for Riverside South(link is external).

The secondary plan would update and replace the community design plan for Riverside South, which has been in effect since 2005 and was last updated in 2016. By repealing and replacing the community design plan and making it part of the Official Plan, the new secondary plan would carry greater weight and enforceability in guiding the continued development of Riverside South.

Riverside South was initially planned around a bus rapid transit (BRT) network, but the approval of the O-Train South Extension signaled a change toward LRT. The secondary plan updates community design plan guidelines to help deliver a transit-oriented community that is designed around both LRT and BRT, outlining a range of housing options and non-residential land uses. The secondary plan places the densest development around O-Train stations, medium density development near BRT stations and the lowest densities in areas farthest from transit.

A vibrant, high-density, mixed-use and transit-oriented town centre is proposed around Limebank Station, and the plan identifies opportunities for housing and jobs, as well as a school, a large park, a community centre and a public library branch. The plan forecasts about 9,000 jobs, with nearly 1,400 in the town centre and more than 7,600 jobs outside of it, primarily within the lands south of the airport.

The Committee approved a plan to amend zoning related to two residential subdivisions in Barrhaven. The revision to the Conservancy East(link is external) subdivision, southwest of Borrisokane Road and Strandherd Drive, and the Conservancy West(link is external) subdivision, southeast of McKenna Casey Drive and Highway 416, would facilitate development of more than 1,900 dwelling units. In both cases, the amendments seek primarily to change the zoning to allow residential development. The amendments would only come into effect if the City and applicant agree on cost sharing for a BRT corridor through these lands. That corridor is identified in both the Official Plan and Transportation Master Plan.

The Committee approved zoning(link is external) and heritage(link is external) applications that could soon see a nine-storey apartment building beside the former All Saints Anglican Church in Sandy Hill. The former church building at Laurier Avenue and Chapel Street is a designated heritage property and the new 113-unit building would be built around the church apse. Brick and aluminum cladding, coloured glass and decorative metalwork would help unite the design of the two buildings and ensure the former church remains visible from Laurier Avenue. The new building would be primarily residential, but the zoning would allow for possible hotel rooms on floors two, three and four, along with a ground-floor hotel lobby.

The Committee approved a zoning amendment to facilitate development of a six-storey building on Bank Street(link is external), in Old Ottawa South. Three ground-floor commercial units are proposed, along with 45 dwelling units. The amendment does not change the current parent zoning but provides relief from some of the required setbacks, reduces required resident parking while increasing minimum bike parking, and increases permitted height by five metres.

If Council approves, the land-use permissions that the Committee recommended today will help put applicants in a position to build 1,626 new dwellings in Ottawa. To help address the housing challenge, Council committed to providing home builders enough opportunities to build 151,000 quality market homes by 2031. Visit for a graphic showing quarterly progress towards Ottawa’s housing pledge targets.

Recommendations from this meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, May 1.

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