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MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 27 2021  FOCUS: REVISED DRAFT NEW OFFICIAL PLAN (OP)  What will this mean for Faircrest Heights?

Click here to see the presentation.

Reminder - Sept 29 at 6:30 PM the City of Ottawa is hosting in Open House on the Official Plan. It is an opportunity to ask questions and to learn more about how this Plan will guide the future and set the rules for development, among other issues.

To register for the Open House:
Go to https://engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan to register for this event, access links to the revised Official Plan documents, and submit questions in advance.


 

The revised draft of the Secondary Plan for Alta Vista/Faircrest Heights/Riverview Park Secondary Plan has just been released. 
 
A copy can be viewed at
https://engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan/news_feed/revised-draft-new-official-plan-release
 
The revised Secondary Plan states that development in the Secondary Plan area will be low-rise (maximum 4 storeys) and that micro-retail or local commercial outlets and other and neighbourhood services will be considered at key corners along Mainstreets and Minor Corridors (as long as these establishments are not car-oriented and intended for a walking clientele). 
 
The revised Secondary Plan also introduces a series of new provisions related to prioritizing  walking, cycling and transit over cars. Concretely this means limits on the numbers of driveways (may be prohibited on small or narrow lots), retail must be active transit friendly and prohibiting certain businesses that are automobile-oriented. These active transit provisions are being applied to entire inner urban area and exceptionally to Alta Vista Ward (the sole outer urban ward to receive these provisions).
 

Please join us for a Faircrest Heights Community Association zoom meeting to discuss the revised Official Plan and its potential implications on Monday September 27 at 7:00 pm. 

 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82257622811?pwd=MzlWQTNvT3ZRT1Bobnl2TU81cWN6UT09

 

Ottawa’s Official Plan Open House – on September 29 at 6:30 PM

The Official Plan is the City’s document that provides a vision for the future growth of the city and a policy framework to guide its physical development. As you may recall Ottawa released a revised version of the new Official Plan in August, and is holding an Open House on September 29nd at 6:30 PM.  It’s an opportunity to ask questions and to learn more about how this Plan will guide the future and set the rules for development, among other issues. 

To register for the Open House:
Go to https://engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan to register for this event, access links to the revised Official Plan documents, and submit questions in advance.

 

 

Challenge with creating '15 minute neighbourhoods' in built up areas .... see more


City of Ottawa Solid Waste Master Plan

https://engage.ottawa.ca/solid-waste-master-plan


One little house becomes four $1.2 million Units:

Egan: A little house, now four $1.2M units. What's cost to City View? | Ottawa Citizen


From Judy Korecky:

I would like to share with you some of the key highlights of the City of Ottawa Planning Department meetings on the Outer Urban Transect of June 23rd and the Inner Urban Transect of June 28th. As you may recall the majority of the Ward is now Outer Urban with Billings Bridge, Hurdman and Tremblay Stations and surrounding area being Inner Urban.
 
Meeting context:
Both meeting were attended by impacted Councillors, key staff from Planning Department, residents and special interest groups, with a total of around 100 people in attendance for the Outer Urban Meeting and 200 people in the Inner Urban Meeting.  The majority of the meeting reiterated the “What we Heard Report” as well as the “Ward Specific Reports” followed by a Q&A (links to these reports can be found in the email below). Thankfully participants were able to ask live questions (as opposed to previous meetings). 
 
Key takeaways impacting Faircrest Heights are: 
Confirmation that the vast majority of the ward will be outer urban (except around major transit hubs), that single family homes can be re-built, that there will be no density requirements, and that the timelines of Council consideration in mid-September have not changed
Active Transit –further to a large number of comments from the ward related to active transit, the ward will receive inner urban treatment in this respect and this will be embedded in our Secondary Plan. This will mean that pedestrians and cyclist will be given priority over motor vehicle access, no new curb cuts (so if a property is severed into two there can still only be one driveway (presumably shared) while this is positive in that it will protect greenery the corollary is that it may lead to more on street parking (although it was suggested that on street parking might be reduced). There was also some reference to inserting new paths into the existing block structure (how this would be achieved absent expropriation of private property is unclear). Sidewalks will be installed on existing streets as they are rehabilitated.
There is some chatter during the meetings (and in other discussions with the City) of “road diets”, for example consideration to narrowing Riverside around Bank Street to two lanes, and to narrowing Walkley to two lanes from Bank to Riverside
Speed limits may decrease on neighbourhood streets
Density the outer urban density targets [no longer requirements] are now to be 40 (not a minimum) to 60 (not a maximum) dwelling units per hectare (Faircrest Heights is currently around 10-20 units per hectare). This will be measured at the neighbourhood and possible street level and will not take into account density on hubs and corridors. There were a number of references that density is required to support retail, in particular decent sized  grocery stores (that many residents indicated they wanted in their neighbourhoods in the City of Ottawa’s 2020 15 minute neighbourhood survey).
Retail is being limited in our Secondary Plan to specific important intersections and this limiting of retail to key streets and intersections is mirrored in other wards
Tree Canopy sadly it was clear that the 40% applies across the City and not at the Ward level – how increased tree protections will be implemented remains to be seen, however the no new curb cut rule will protect some greenery, and may potentially protect some front yard trees
Height limits on corridors (closest to us Pleasant Park, Kilborn and South side of Smyth) will be low rise (so up to four storeys – although FHCA and AVCA had advocated for 3 storeys). Four stories tracks the treatment of corridors in other outer urban areas and corridors in certain inner urban neighbourhoods.
Zoning (which will occur in 2022 to 2024 after the Official Plan is approved) will flesh out many of the above matters. Officials stated that zoning will be at the street level and spoke to the need to provide more permissions across the City to create more housing options. You should be aware that this could possibly/likely translate to a shift from an R1 zoning (single family homes) to R2/R3 or R4 zoning depending on context (this could possibly include a single family home with a granny suite and a secondary dwelling unit/coach house in the back), to decreased lot size minimums and/or allow severances as of right in certain circumstances (613 flats that meet certain parameters). For broader context, there is a move in a number of different jurisdictions across North America to do away with R1 zoning, and to create more housing options in neighbourhoods. This shift to a more permissive planning framework has been implemented in different manners in different jurisdictions and has met with varying degrees of uptake. Of course, the devil will be in the details.
The City states that zoning will increase tree protections and there will be design guidelines to preserve the “character” and “streetscape of the neighbourhood”.
 
 
Question from FHCA: 
“We have noticed that infill housing is often twice as large and costs up to twice as much as existing housing stock (even if only occupying half the original lot) and that infill pricing will have knock on effects on the taxable rate of neighbouring houses. If the City is serious about creating more housing options that should be reasonably priced, can Planning Department point to any hooks in the draft Official Plan in this regard? FHCA also pointed out that some jurisdictions have addressed the concern of increasing housing prices by requiring that smaller lots have smaller housing envelopes.”  Planning Department was not able to respond with any examples of such hooks, however stated that indeed there are hooks in the Official Plan.
 
Next steps on the draft Official Plan

Official Plan

  • The “As We Heard It” Report was released this afternoon. There are a number of concerns with the first draft that have been addressed, notably:

• Alta Vista has shifted to Outer Urban!

 

• Minimum density requirements will only apply to Hubs and Mainstreets, leaving flexibility for Neighbourhoods and Minor Corridors to instead reach a target range.

 

• Single family homes can be rebuilt (not prohibited)

 

• Height limits will be revised on Mainstreets. Any applicable secondary plan that requires a lower height would also take precedence.   (The current draft of the applicable secondary plan would limit Smyth Road to low-rise (aka 4 storeys).

 

The full 28 page report can be found here: https://engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan/news_feed/the-new-official-plan-city-wide-interim-as-we-heard-it-report.  For those who would prefer an abridged version, attached find the 2 page key messages document that touches on the highlights of the report.

 

·  Draft Official Plan Timelines 

Here is what you can expect as the City moves forward on the New Official Plan. 

·  Ward Specific reports – released as they are completed in the coming weeks* AFTER THE RELEASE OF OUR WARD REPORT, WE WILL CALL A FHCA MEETING TO DISCUSS WHAT WE LIKE, DON’T LIKE AND NEXT STEPS

·  Public Transect Meeting on Outer Urban Area – June 23, at 7 pm. To register go to: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/transect-outer-urbanapproche-du-transect-le-secteur-urbain-exterieur-tickets-158592427219

·  Full release of next iteration of the Draft OP – prior to mid-August (tentative) 

·  Public open house – No date set 

·  Joint Planning / ARAC committee – September 13, 14, 15 

·  Council – Fall 2021 

Smyth Road Cycling Improvements and Neighbourhood Bikeway Modifications Consultations

·  Online Engagement Opportunity from June 9 -23 (you can also phone in comments!)

Go to https://ottawa.ca/smythcyclingimprovements to see the design drawings. Of most import to FH is that the City is proposing unidirectional bike sharrows (street markings) and signage on Billings Road, a pedestrian crossover on Lynda Lane at Billings Road, and curb and sidewalk modifications on Rodney Crescent and Pleasant Park near the train tracks.

·  Online Meeting with City Project Team: Wednesday, June 16th at 6:30pm

Register for the consultation here: Meeting Registration - Zoom

 

 

Walkable Ottawa Alta Vista 15 Minute Neighbourhood Study

 

For those who participated in either of the Workshops of March 20 or March 27, the draft report has been circulated to participants for comments. Please contact me if you did not receive a copy of the draft. We have until Monday June14th to provide comments. I will share a version of the final report with this distribution once it is released.

 

New Official Plan - Interim As We Heard It Report


Click here for the FHCA submission on the draft of the Official Plan - March 12 2021


Follow-up to February 24 FHCA meeting on the draft Official Plan

1.       SHARING OF THE PRESENTATION

Some of you have asked if you could share the presentation with other AV neighbours.  Please do.  One thing that is important to note is that Alta Vista has been separated into Inner Urban (West of Lynda Lane, Grasshopper Hill and the Greenspace down to Heron), and Outer Urban (east of that line). 

 

Click here for the Presentation for the Zoom meeting

 

2.       WARD WIDE EVENT AND OPPORTUNITY FOR ENGAGEMENT WITH PLANNING DEPARTMENT

Attached find an email that contains the details about the March 2nd 2021 Jean Cloutier Ward Wide event on the draft Official Plan.  Apparently already over 200 people have signed up.

 

I have had confirmation that Alain Miguelez  the manager responsible for the draft OP will give a presentation and that a number of planners will be online to respond to questions.  ACTION ITEM: With that in mind, please let me know if there is still appetite to set up a meeting with Planning Department. If so, happy to do so. 

 

3.       CHAT AND ADDITIONAL ISSUES

I am attaching a copy of Wednesday evening’s chat. The comments will be fed into the FHCA presentation (including about the impacts of COVID, set backs, trees, including the comment of one resident supporting the density targets but that it should be in conjunction with increased services and transit). I have some responses/comments to questions posed:

 

Click here for chats from February 24 FHCA meeting on the draft Official Plan

 

Development near the rapid bus/rail lines at Smyth and Pleasant Park

The draft OP definition of rapid transit in the draft OP does not include bus rapid transit that is not fully grade separated.  Therefore,  it would appear/may be possible that the rapid transit station designation would not apply for the Smyth and Pleasant Park Stations. This needs to be confirmed.

The draft Secondary Plan states that regeneration on Corridors would remain low-rise (maximum 4 storeys).  The Secondary Plan trumps the Official Plan.

The Ottawa zoning bylaw is silent on development near rail lines.

The Ontario Planning Act has minimal reference and it appears that there is only interplay if the proposed development is within 300m of the rail line.

There is a push to have some standardized policies around building near rail lines: see https://www.proximityissues.ca/

 

Statistics

Thanks for additional data.  I will confirm re densities (my numbers came from an academic piece).

 

Online petition 

Historically the City views the petition as a single voice so experience has shown us that individual submissions carry much more wait.

 

Parking

The concerns about overspill from the hospital are noted.

Additional related items that I did not raise at the meeting that may be of interest:

Both Policy and Zoning have raised the notion of street parking permits to address cars that cannot park on properties.

No new curb cuts:  This was also not raised in the presentation however you should be aware that any severances or new builds can not create a new driveway.  (Draft OP 5.2.2.3)

 

Community Centres

This was noted as a recurring interest for residents – more community centers, smaller more local community centers. One useful suggestion was that there could be consideration for a Community Center on the DND lands. This is something to earmark at this point.

 

Maximum lot coverage

I have reviewed the current zoning bylaw – lot coverage is not addressed expressly written into the bylaw for the overwhelming majority of residential subzones. Alta Vista lots do not have lot coverage provisions.  Requesting maximum lot coverage provisions is another element for consideration in submissions to the City. 

 

Thanks for those who have already sent comments to the City and to Council members. I been CCed on some and they are very strong. Please keep them sending your comments up to the March 12th deadline and beyond.

 

Please send any direct emails to my Hotmail account Judy Korecky. I am only using this account now to ensure that the attachments reach all recipients.

 


Hydro Ottawa Tree Maintenance

Maintaining vegetation ensures the hydro corridor is safe for public use, keeps the lights on, and gives our crews access to the power lines for regular maintenance and emergency repairs.

Our work has now entered the execution phase. Our Forestry Technician is scheduled to return next week to begin to mark trees and vegetation for trimming or removal. Trees will be marked with blue to identify trimming, and orange to identify removal. 
 
Once the vegetation has been marked, our crews are anticipated to begin executing the work. To complete this work, our crews will use hand held equipment, such as pruners and chainsaws, and support vehicles, such as bucket trucks. Herbicides may be applied to certain cut stems to prevent re-growth. Hydro One will always seek property owner permission before applying herbicides.
 
Please note that originally Hydro One had identified the need to mechanically remove trees and other vegetation in the hydro corridor just south of Smyth Road, however, work in this section has been re-assessed. Our crew will manually remove and trim certain trees and other vegetation that will pose a risk to the electrical system.
 
If members of the Faircrest Heights Community Association have any questions, please do let me know.
 
Andreea Nicoara
Community Relations

Cell:         (416) 807-5318
Email:    
Andreea.Nicoara@HydroOne.com

 


When’s the last time you ordered take-out from a restaurant?

I haven’t personally used any of the sundry “services” which pick up and deliver your meal. Those of you who do often are charged a delivery fee but were you aware of the impact on the restaurants?

I wasn’t until last week when we decided to order some takeout, something we generally do once a week. It was from one of our favourite restaurants on Bank Street which provides not only great food but also great service.

Like most restaurants in Ottawa -- and in many other places -- it is limited to take-out. When I drove down to pick up our order, the place was understandably deserted. It fronts on the sidewalk and there is literally no room for a patio.

There was an Uber Eats driver ahead of me. The restaurant owner told me that in the 30 minutes or so which had elapsed since I called, he had had seven other orders, all to be picked up by Uber Eats.

When I said business seemed steady, he said he was considering shutting down, which took me aback. It seems that Uber Eats takes 30 per cent of the cost which, as anyone familiar with the hospitality trade, essentially leaves him profitless!

I knew there obviously had to be some additional cost associated with Uber Eats (and similar services) but feel that 30 per cent is, frankly, extortionate. 

So, the next time you opt for take-out and the restaurant, regardless of its ethnicity, is fairly close, a drive or bicycle trip could help to ensure that the place is still in business the next time you feel the urge.

 


INFORMATION FROM COUNCILLOR JEAN CLOUTIER

 As Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa continue to move forward in our response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are writing to provide greater clarity on a number of communications and ask for your support in sharing information with members of your community.

 It is important to recognize that the COVID-19 situation is evolving very quickly. Please refer to OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus to stay up-to-date on the latest information. For information relevant to businesses and workplaces, please visit: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/workplacecovid19

Social Distancing

Ottawa Public Health is urging everyone to practice physical (social) distancing. More information on physical (social) distancing for you and your family can be found on our website.

The province of Ontario is ordering non-essential workplaces to close-down as of Tuesday March 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Further details can be found on the OPH website for workplaces.

Our efforts are needed as a community. The actions you take will affect not only you but your loved ones and our community’s most vulnerable residents. While we appreciate that people are thinking of their loved ones, now is not the time to visit them in person. Luckily, we have technology on our side, which enables us to communicate in other creative ways like video chats and group phone calls.

Physical (social) distancing by all is IMPERATIVE to limit transmission in the community, to protect older adults, vulnerable populations and outbreaks in institutions. We must “flatten the curve” so we don’t see spikes in cases. This means that we want to slow down transmission of the virus and reduce the number of cases in the community that happen at the same time, so that our health system continues to work properly. Here are some ways that you and your family can practise physical (social) distancing:  

·         Take precautions to maintain distance in shared spaces in multi-unit dwellings;

·         Avoid crowded elevators (wait for an empty one if you can). 

·         Avoid using the mail room or laundry room at the same time as other residents (keep to a small number at a time to maintain distance).  

 Physical (social) distancing does not mean emotional distancing. Check in with others by phone or other technology. Check in with yourself. It’s ok not to be ok. Please know that help is available, and we encourage you to reach out to Distress Centre of Ottawa to connect with someone at 613-238-3311 if needed.

 Self-Isolation

Many people are returning home from March Break or winter travel and will need groceries and essential items. It is imperative that all returning travellers self-isolate for 14 days, so groceries and essential items should be picked up by a family member or friend, or through on-line ordering options. Visit our website for further guidance on self-isolation. We have been working with the Ottawa International Airport to ensure this is being communicated clearly to returning travellers.

You also need to self-isolate if you live with, provided care for, or spent extensive time with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, OR is suspected to have COVID-19, OR who has respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) that started within 14 days of travel outside of Canada.

 Human Needs Taskforce

Our community partners are working together through the City’s Human Needs Task Force for those requiring assistance.  The task force is receiving, assessing and triaging all social and human needs inquiries, while mobilizing and supporting community organizations to address urgent community needs. The Human Needs Task Force aligns internal city resources, external partners, existing funding and new funding to community need.

 Outreach to Isolated Seniors

The Good Companions’ Seniors Centre Without Walls has expanded its services with a focus on outreach to vulnerable and isolated seniors and other populations. Emotional and practical support is provided via telephone. In addition, they have trained 20 agencies (32 staff) to do similar outreach calls through various programs.

Rural Ottawa Support Services is working with Good Companions to provide similar telephone outreach and practical supports to isolated seniors through their A Friendly Voice program, which does wellness calls connecting seniors to local services and programs.

Ottawa Community Housing has facilitated wellness check phone calls to approximately 2,700 residents, focusing on people identified on the Fire Evacuation List.

 Food Security

Ottawa Food Bank is supporting the emergency food centres and are coordinating with other task force members to sort and deliver food where needed. Demand has increased by 30 per cent across community food banks. They are working with the Salvation Army to support distribution of food hampers offered by local restauranteurs. The City is providing facility space for safe storage of food hampers.

Meals on Wheels has been increasing offers of frozen food for seniors in the Ottawa area and connecting with Ottawa Food Bank to provide hamper supplies and deliveries. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, they are delivering 100 fresh and 700 frozen meals daily. These services have ensured a supply of full dinners for those individuals in need.

 Urgent Transportation

Working with other non-profit organizations, the Good Companions and Champlain Community Support Network are coordinating urgent transportation to medical appointments, assessment centres, and food centres/grocery stores for those with financial constraints, transportation difficulties, and/or health and mobility issues.

Services can be accessed by contacting Good Companions website or by telephone at 613-236-0428.

 Volunteer Coordination

The City and United Way of Eastern Ontario are developing a plan to support volunteer coordination during the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteer Ottawa has established a pool of pre-screened volunteers and will continue to accept new applicants.

  Stay Updated

Information is changing rapidly and Ottawa Public Health is working around the clock to provide information to the public as soon as possible.

Please share this information and receive the latest updates by:

-          Visiting OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus frequently

-          Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/ottawahealth

-          Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/ottawahealth

 

Reduce the spread of germs including the flu and COVID-19

·          Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer. 

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just cleaned your hands. 

·         Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand.

·         Stay home if you are sick. 

 Thank you for your partnership.


Coyotes: here to stay? Bet on it.

By KEN POLE

One Faircrest Heights resident reported seeing a pack of five coyotes in her back yard last month and, more recently, another encountered a pack of four strolling down Briar Avenue while he was walking his dog. Then, this past Monday evening, I saw a lone coyote dart across Highridge Avenue at Crestview before disappearing between two houses abutting Billings Park.

This evidently is part of an increasing presence of Canis latrans in urban areas as municipalities push out their boundaries and it seems to be most prevalent in the south end of Ottawa, where coyotes have been spotted rooting through garbage. This could be due to a reduced inability to catch their usual prey, such as rabbits and mice, because of the snow and ice buildup in our parks and other greenspace.

Should you be concerned? Some wildlife experts say otherwise but it’s a good idea to take precautions with children and small pets. Is it coincidence that we seem to have an increased number of cats reported “missing” in Faircrest Heights in the past year or so? I don’t think so, even though cats generally aren’t normal prey for coyotes. But, again, there is the coyotes’ apparent difficulty in capturing their usual prey.

Coyotes will take feral cats or the occasional domestic one which has been left outdoors or insists on being out. And they will go after small dogs. So if you hear one barking in your neighbour’s back yard, it might be worthwhile letting them know about this.

Like other parts of our municipality, Faircrest Heights has a lot of greenspace which is an effective corridor for coyotes, which don’t need a cohesive area such as a single park. They thrive if there’s enough food and shelter and can have ranges of 40 square kilometres.

The Urban Coyote Initiative, which monitors the animals throughout North America, says that research with more than 1,400 scats indicated that “the most common food items were small rodents (42%), fruit (23%), deer (22%), and rabbit (18%).” Only about 2% of the scats had human garbage and 1.3% showed evidence of cats. “Apparently, the majority of coyotes in our study area do not, in fact, rely on pets or garbage for their diets,” the UCI researchers said.

However, they acknowledged that coyotes have become habituated and overly bold – such as the pack wandering down Briar recently. The homeowner who saw them said they were almost going door-to-door to check out whatever might smell good.

John Pisapio, formerly with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forests (OMNRF) and now senior wildlife biologist with the Newfoundland & Labrador Department of Environment & Conservation, once told The Ottawa Sun that upswings in coyote populations are a natural phenomenon. "These animals are regarded as being highly intelligent and adaptable,” he said. “They are here to stay. They're part of the ecosystem, and they've been part of the urban landscape for a number of decades too."

The OMNRF cautions against feeding squirrels because as those rodents proliferate they attract larger predators. A male coyote can weigh up to 20 kilograms, a female up to 18kg.

So what to do if you encounter a solitary coyote or a pack? For one thing, don’t approach them. If there’s any indication of interest on their part, shout and make yourself as “large” as possible. Carry an umbrella which can be used to frighten the animals when you open it. Consider a ski pole as a deterrent. And walk away slowly if that’s a option. Never run because that, as with just about any canine, is an invitation to chase.

In cases where coyotes pose a clear threat to you or pets, homeowners can hire an approved agent (the OMNRF doesn’t do it) to destroy a coyote if it poses an obvious threat. You can check out that option at https://www.ontario.ca/page/harass-capture-or-kill-wild-animal-damaging-private-property.

That said, you are legally entitled to protect yourself, family, pets or property but there’s a catch: Ontario law states that this must be done “humanely”. The only real option there is a gun but the OMNRF points out that there are bylaws against discharging firearms within the City, so they recommend calling the police if there is an imminent danger.

 

 

 

 

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