Development Adjacent to Rural Natural Features (OMB Decision, 2006)

One of the provisions of the 2003 Ottawa Official Plan that the Greenspace Alliance appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board regarded section 3.2.4, on Rural Natural Features.

Certain lands on Schedule A of the Plan are designated RNF. They roughly correspond with lands that were identified as of Medium or higher significance in the former Region’s Natural Area Evaluation published in 1997. Development is allowed in them, but an Environmental Impact Statement is required.

As part of its efforts to stop country lot estate development (more on that here), the Alliance proposed that, like near Natural Environment Areas and Provincially Significant Wetlands, an EIS should also be required for development adjacent to an RNF.

A 2-day hearing took place on May 9 and 10, 2006. In Decisions issued in June 2006 and March 2007, the Board:

  • ordered the City to negotiate with the Alliance a definition of “adverse impact” as it applies to RNFs;
  • ordered a clarification in the City’s Official Plan policies regarding information and study requirements when development adjacent to RNFs is proposed.

Last November, Council approved a definition of “adverse impact” which is now included in the Glossary of the Plan.

Progress on the ordered clarification will be reported under this topic of the General Discussion Forum.

26 March 2007

A report on the May 9-10 hearing:
from the Yahoo archive, #2829
OMB Decision #1754 (June 20, 2006), PL031324,
OMB Decision #0724 (March 21, 2007), PL031324,
A report on the March 21 Decision:
from the Yahoo archive, #3360