Pre-hearing conference of October 22, 2018

In a session that lasted less than two hours, the City presented two settlements that had been reached with various appellants: One party’s appeal of OPA 180 and a large number of OPA 150 appeals by the Greater Ottawa Homebuilders Association (GOHBA) and the Building Owners and Management Association (BOMA).  The settlements had previously been presented to Planning Committee and approved by Council on October 10.  (Also recall the related Urban Design Guidelines for High-Rise Buildings, approved by Council on May 23.)

The OPA 180 appeal and settlement with Taillefer Estates regards two vacant lots in the South Orleans Industrial Park.  The owners want to establish recreational, athletic and health-related facilities there, complementary to the Orléans Health Hub planned by Hôpital Montfort.  The City now agrees to a site-specific policy to allow that.

The settlement with GOHBA/BOMA regards issues of building heights and related policies.

Among other things the changes as a result of the settlement relate to changing the word “requirements” of minimum density back to “targets” as it was before; the various definitions of building height; parking policies; policies on Secondary Plans (SPs) and Community Design Plans (CDPs); and policies on Mixed Use Centres and Mainstreets.

Noteworthy regarding SPs and CDPs is that they are now a requirement if building heights are proposed that are greater than what Volume 1 of the OP provides.  At the same time, the general OPA 150 policy that SPs may be more restrictive than the policies in Volume 1 is maintained.

Regarding Mainstreets the new policy states that in Traditional Mainstreets the policies apply to lots up to 200 m deep, whereas in Arterial Mainstreets they apply up to a depth of 400 m.

Various other parties had withdrawn their appeals in light of the settlement. The section on Urban Design policies (Item 285, section 4.11 of the Official Plan) remains under appeal.

Exhibit 4” (7 MB) shows side by side the provisions in OPA 150 and the terms of settlement.

Tribunal Member Chantelle Bryson expressed satisfaction with the submissions.  Formal Orders are expected shortly.

One wrinkle in the GOHBA/BOMA settlement will not be part of the Order, namely a provision that changes the mix of residential housing in new communities.  OPA 150 specified that 45 to 55% of the units had to be single-family housing (SFH).  The settlement terms change that to 30 to 55%.  Apparently this was actually not appealed so it is not before the Tribunal.  City counsel indicated that an Official Plan Amendment will be brought forward when the new Council is constituted to formalize this change.

Comment: That change from minimum 45 to minimum 30% SFH is a bit of good news as it may help relieve pressure to expand the urban boundary in the next round of Official Plan review.


It was announced that Cavanagh Ltd. has withdrawn its appeal of one OPA 150 item related to mineral aggregate lands.  The hearing set for October 23-24 was therefore cancelled.


There will be another pre-hearing conference on May 22, 2019 regarding other GOHBA/BOMA appeals and possibly other settlements that may come about by then.