Committee recommends extending timeline to prepare and seek feedback on new Zoning By-law

The City’s Planning and Housing Committee today recommended approval of a revised timeframe for developing a new Zoning By-law for Ottawa.

Under the revised timelines, staff would deliver the final draft of the new by-law to Council six months later than initially planned – in Q4 of 2025 instead of Q2 that year. The first and second drafts would also be delayed by six months, with plans for release in Q1 2024 and Q1 2025. The public would have significant opportunities to provide input for each draft.

The additional time is needed because the Province took longer than anticipated to approve the City’s new Official Plan, which came into effect on November 4, 2022. The revised timeline would ensure the City complies with legislated requirements to enact new zoning provisions within three years of that date.

In approving the new Official Plan, the Province also revised it. The proposed workplan would give staff time to review the work done to date on the new Zoning By-law to ensure it is consistent with the revised Official Plan, that new zoning provisions do not inadvertently eliminate existing development rights and that zoning remains sensitive to neighbourhood context. The adjusted timeline would also give staff time to consider complexities introduced through Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act and the Act’s potential impacts on the new Zoning By-law.

The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee will consider this matter on Thursday, February 24 before it rises to Council on Wednesday, March 8.

The Committee approved a zoning amendment to permit auto dealerships northwest of Dealership and Strandherd drives. Auto dealerships at this site were prohibited under the South Nepean Secondary Plan, but that was repealed when the new Official Plan came into effect. Dealerships are no longer prohibited, and the amendment would retain the Business Park Industrial zoning while permitting dealerships to operate on the property.

In Sandy Hill, the Committee approved changes to certain standards of the existing zoning for a site on Chapel Street, between Mann Avenue and Templeton Street. The applicant proposes to add an extra storey to the existing 2.5-storey, four-unit apartment building that would include four new bachelor apartments. The proposal is within the allowable height for a low-rise apartment. A fifth bachelor proposed in the basement would bring the total number of apartments to nine, including the existing two three-bedroom and two one-bedroom units.

Unless otherwise indicated, recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, February 8.

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