Ottawa's New Official Plan

...a Rural Workspace during public consultation

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Some feedback we have received.....


Growth Management

The Vision: “Achieve, by the end of its planning period, more growth by intensification than by greenfield development”

  • Intensification in the villages is a good thing but Village Plans must still plan for some well managed growth beyond existing village boundaries.
  • Does focusing rural growth focus on established villages deny the development of estate lots?
  • All Village Plans will need a thorough review to ensure that they are in harmony with a New Official Plan that looks forward for a full generation.
  • How do we intend to develop the rural villages to be more complete communities?
  • How will we address the demand for estate lots/developments?
  • Plans must include the need for improvement to levels of service of First Responders.
  • How can we avoid the death of homesteads outside the villages as the rural population ages?
  • How can we ensure the sustainability of the population outside the rural villages?
  • What new measures will encourage having more than one generation or family on the farm help preserve the rural agricultural community?
  • Any conversation that considers an expansion into the Green Belt must concurrently address considerations of the alternative of expanding the Rural Boundary.
  • Zoning should be refined to better segregate Marginal Land  from Agricultural Lands in order to permit building in those marginal areas
  • Development charges for rural areas needs to be competitive with surrounding municipalities or we will lose economic development opportunities to adjacent municipalities.
  • How will we to deal with the challenges of a declining rural population that will mean less support for businesses?
  • How can new technologies help when older rural villages no longer have the capacity for septic systems?


Sustainable Mobility

The Vision: “By 2046, the majority of trips in the City of Ottawa will be made by sustainable transportation”

  • What is the expectation for the use of ‘sustainable transportation’ in the rural area?
  • What innovative solutions are being considered to improve the transportation options in rural Ottawa?
  • We need a Transportation Plan that helps rural residents get around and access public transportation connections/hubs without such a high dependence on private automobiles.
  • Priority of road use outside the rural villages must go to vehicular needs; ie, cars, trucks and farm vehicles.
  • Transportation policies must recognize the impact of new technologies like Uber, on-demand transit, driverless cars – even outside the urban core.
  • The city must assist rural communities in developing solutions to their transportation needs. 
  • With the foreseeable high dependence on private vehicle and roads in the rural area, how can the City mitigate conflict between the private car, farm machinery and cyclists?


Community and Urban Design

The Vision: “Improve our sophistication in urban and community design and put this knowledge to the service of good urbanism at all scales, from the largest to the very small”

  • How can we protect what is special about a rural village while, at the same time, wanting to grow and benefit from improved services?
  • How can the community’s vision for their development be adequately reflected in the Village Plan?
  • How can we ensure that a Village Plan reflects an acceptable compromise that accommodates growth while maintaining reasonable village boundaries?
  • How can we address rural housing deficiencies in affordable and social housing?
  • We need to improve safe walking and cycling within in rural villages and to local attractions and this should including adequate lighting for safety.
  • Rural villages need to be more ‘complete’ in areas such as more services, grocery, and medical services and incorporate a “main street.”
  • The City must assume a role in helping to resolve rural Ottawa’s need for access to adequate internet and mobile phone services.
  • Can Developers be obligated to contribute to the Internet availability in rural areas?
  • If we are to attract business and housing the Development Charges must be more competitive with those in the adjacent municipalities.
  • What is the ‘tipping point’ beyond which each village cannot rely on well and septic service?
  • While recognizing the challenges inherent in a small and dispersed population, planning must better address the need for social and recreational services. 



The Vision: “Embed public health, environmental, climate and energy resiliency into the framework of our planning policies”

  • Plans must clearly support villages evolving into complete communities with a balanced mix of housing, local services and necessities.
  • We need to improve drainage systems in rural areas and enhance flood-proofing in threatened areas.
  • We need to improve emergency planning and response down to the local village level.
  • We need plans that include the long-term recovery after major disasters.
  • Landowner stewardship of lands has been proven to be effective management over the centuries and this aspect need not be replaced by regulatory agencies.
  • We need better planning and maintenance of a foundational rural drainage network.
  • Good lands are being lost to flood plain/wet lands designation that is the result of mismanagement of drainage.
  • The impact of growth and development on the established drainage networks needs to be better appreciated as part of the approval process.
  • Planning must ensure that all new development do not compromise rural areas by interfering with drainage systems.
  • Landfills in rural areas are a poor way to manage solid waste. How will we improve waste diversion and solid waste management that incorporates modern technologies?
  • What new approaches to well and septic will enable better use of marginal lands and potential severances?


Economic Development

The Vision: “Embed economic development into the framework of our planning policies”

  • We need to place an overall priority on the local agricultural economy and support the ability to produce, process and distribute food locally.
  • How can we hope to improve opportunity for rural businesses without an adequate mobile phone and internet capability?
  • Land-use policies should reflect the property rights of owners and create more flexibility for entrepreneurship.
  • Can we use land differently to create more prosperity in our rural neighbourhoods?
  • What are the opportunities in the rural areas to re-design the relationship between where we live and where we work?
  • Can we incorporate a greater emphasis on the option of co-working office hubs in the suburban areas that reduce requirement for knowledge workers to travel all the way downtown every day?

"What Staff Has Heard"

Comments assembled by Staff based on a variety of feedback can be found at