Greenspace Alliance submission on draft Official Plan

The City of Ottawa released the first draft of its new Official Plan on November 20, 2020. After years of high level discussion papers, strategic policy directions, deferred growth management decisions, we would finally see what the City concretely intended to put in the new Official Plan. It wasn’t easy to discern however as the draft OP is a massive 264 page document, plus schedules and annexes. A deadline of February 17 for a response was set, which was subsequently extended to March 12 in response to public pressure.  The Greenspace Alliance worked closely with other organizations under the umbrella of the People’s Official Plan to produce detailed policy language level input for consideration by City staff. This input covered the entire document, from the high level introduction, to the schedules and annexes, and almost every chapter in between (11 high level policy sections).  The result is essentially a 117-page alternate official plan drafted from a greenspace, environmental and climate change perspective, in line with our submissions throughout the process.  You can download it here (pdf, 1.4Mb)

The published draft really was a first draft and will likely to be rewritten in a second draft, which we are hearing might be available in June 2021, leading to a public meeting at the end of August. The formal section 26 meeting, the only mandatory public consultation under the Planning Act, is scheduled for September 13, 14 and 15, in the form of a joint meeting of Planning and Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committees.

You may wish to read through the entire Technical Input document but if you want to focus solely on greenspace protection policies, here is a summary table that organizes them into a comprehensive framework, with references to specific policy provisions and numbering. We have proposed that this table be included as a new annex to the Official Plan.

We will continue to collaborate with the many organizations which have come together on the co-creation of an official plan for Ottawa’s climate emergency, principally Ecology Ottawa, CAFES, the FCA and Walkable Ottawa, and many others listed in our Technical Submission.