Aug 292018

Its opponents say that spot zoning should not be permitted. that developers factor it in when negotiating land prices. Others say it allows the city an opportunity to negotiate community benefits — more height for more dollars.
How will the new rules and processes in planning and appeals affect the occurrence of Spot Zoning?
Can we carry on a discussion, point to some pertinent documents in an attempt to shed some light on this topic?

Apr 182016

A weekend workshop at Tom Brown Arena on the morning of Saturday April 23 to bring community representatives together to share thoughts on civic issues and to encourage community  members to participate in future public engagement initiatives with the City. 160423

Motion adopted at the general meeting held March 3, 2016

 Bulletin Board, FCA General Body, FCA to Members, Gen - Decision, Issue Forum  Comments Off on Motion adopted at the general meeting held March 3, 2016
Mar 072016



The FCA requested and hosted a presentation given by Emily Davies, Planner, City of Ottawa, at the February 3 General Meeting held at the Glebe Community Centre. The brief presentation, titled “Coach Houses are Coming to Ottawa”, elicited many questions and aroused significant concern amongst FCA members, both at and subsequent to the meeting.

Community Associations were not adequately consulted, nor advised directly by the Planning and Growth Management Department (PGM), of the Coach House proposal. An online survey conducted last fall by PGM resulted in only 467 responses. Feedback to questions was lacking. The February 29, 2016 deadline for providing comments on the resulting draft proposal and the subsequent presentation to the FCA, is too short.

Extensive consultation was undertaken in Vancouver and Toronto, to develop and implement Coach House policies related to laneways. Comprehensive consultation has not been undertaken for Ottawa’s proposal, which goes much further.

FCA Members collectively have contributed many thousands of hours to the Infill 1 and Infill2 projects, with the goal of creating a vibrant, sustainably-developing City of Ottawa. The Intent of the Infill 2 Rear-yard provisions is to protect a key characteristic of mature neighbourhoods, which feature rear yard greenspace and mature trees. The current Coach House proposal promotes increased lot coverage by building throughout the urban area. It gives no consideration to protecting the characteristic mid-block greenspace and mature trees. It applies to all urban communities equally, without regard to individual community character or if this type of use would be suitable for a particular property. Thus, as proposed, it conflicts with the Intent of the Infill II rear yard provisions.

FCA members are participating in developing a City of Ottawa urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP). Current urban forest cover is well-below the Official Plan’s 30% target. Rear yards in Ottawa’s mature neighbourhoods contain a substantial portion of Ottawa’s remaining, and still shrinking urban forest. The current Coach House Proposal may limit the City’s ability to produce a viable UFMP.

The current proposal has the potential to increase hard-surfaced areas in mature neighbourhoods where infill policies and new construction already have resulted in major loss of green space. This will further limit the City’s ability to meet Official Plan and other Master Plan policies, including the Air quality and climate change management plan.

We understand that a Coach House By-law, once adopted by Council, is not appealable to the OMB.
We believe that this particular proposal will contribute little to providing affordable housing, but could have other major negative consequences.

Therefore, Be it resolved that:

1. FCA advise the City of Ottawa PGM, Planning Committee and City Council of the need for full Consultation with all community associations regarding the proposed Coach House By-laws.

2. FCA support instituting a full, city-wide Consultation to identify project goals and parameters, identify locations where Coach Houses could be viable, and develop appropriate zoning provisions that take community character into consideration, prior to proceeding with the Coach House proposal.

3. The Planning and Growth Management Department (PGM) place this initiative on hold until full and open consultation is undertaken and the issues responded to.

Adaptive uses to make up Ottawa’s community centre shortfall?

 Bulletin Board, FCA to Members, Issue Forum, Issues - Place Making, Resources for CAs  Comments Off on Adaptive uses to make up Ottawa’s community centre shortfall?
Dec 152015

Compared to Edmonton, for instance, one of several smaller sized Canadian cities, Ottawa suffers a huge shortfall in community centres for building communities instead of sprawl, reducing loneliness, resulting in a city of strangers.  By taking over official buildings and running them with professional staff directly, Ottawa’s expensive practice cannot afford more. Current policy as was raised at the Manotick/Osgoode meeting, the City is pricing scarce space out of reach of volunteers giving their time to community service and development.

Can school downsizing help inside the Greenbelt, as Alex reminded the Overbrook General Meeting, City policy used to encourage repurposing of schools and other buildings declared surplus.  Can adapting Ottawa’s historic farm legacies outside the Greenbelt help villages and former towns — and new populations?  Could adapted community centres link occasionally through Webinar, Skype, for efficient issue-meetings?  Let’s help Ottawa revisit and rebuild its adaptive use policy — get on with facilitating effective centres of consultation across vastly separated communities. A coffee clatch?  Curious? see Edmonton Strategy: (look for sidebar at )



Oct 182015

Place Making for downtown communities and local neighbourhoods

Ottawa’s squares and plazas and other summer open spaces are useless to pedestrians during snow-months: Confederation Square for instance. Le Breton Flat’s big spaces are sealed off limits for almost half the year as are the NCC parklands along the River. Beyond the Green Belt and in the suburbs local people have few or no places to meet, to get to know neighbours, enjoy life in common.

Please click on this update on Jane Jacob’s “Place Making” — something more than spaces — would it make sense for our City to adopt Place Making as a desirable goal and standard? More info? Here’s a source:

Oct 152015

One of the items which emerged from an earlier survey of community leaders was a need for improved measures to control traffic.

The recent adoption of Complete Streets is seen by many as a move in the right direction. Others may disagree for reasons of increased congestion or budget considerations.

We would welcome your comments on this topic. Is this an issue for your community? If you don’t have any comments you wish to make on this subject, but wish to contribute to the discussion, you could take this brief survey by following this link here

Share your views on the need (or not) for traffic calming measures in your community in particular, and the city, in general with your fellow community leaders and we will share them back. You can either comment directly in the comment box below, or by doing the survey, or by doing both.