ARAC, Green Bin Contract Update & Cranberry Creek Municipal Drain Court of Revision

From time to time, the publish date of the Messenger does not always align well with our Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee meeting schedule. As a result, I am not always able to provide advance notice of the meeting agenda through this forum. Our Thursday, April 5th meeting at Ben Franklin Place falls into that category. Agenda items for this meeting include:

  • Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendment for 6341 Perth Street
  • Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendment for 5471, 5575, 5613 Boundary Road
  •  Site Alteration By-Law

The Boundary Road item is to approve the zoning for a Provincially approved waste management site. This site would include facilities for recovery and recycling of waste as well as a landfill area. The applicant, Taggart/Miller Group, received Provincial approval for the facility in June 2017 from then Environment Minister Glenn Murray. Following Provincial approval, the applicant then must seek the proper zoning approvals from the host municipality.

The item for 6341 Perth Street is a recommendation to partially approve an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-Law Amendment that would allow the previously stalled Hyde Park Development, now known as Samara Square, to move forward. The original plan called for the entire property to be served by a private water system. Under the current proposal, the property would be split into multiple parcels serviced by the one water system. Since that is not permitted under City policy, the applicant was required to seek an Official Plan Amendment. Due to the unique nature of this property and its stage of development, staff are recommending approval. Future phases to the north are still to be sorted out, as is the property ownership for the existing Hyde Park homes.

The Site Alteration By-Law is something that will have an impact across rural Ottawa. The intent of the by-law, aside from amalgamating several existing by-laws into one, is to prevent land manipulation such as tree clearing and soil stripping for the purposes of large scale development. This is something that could occur in and around the urban boundary so as to make land better suited for growth, rather than agricultural purposes. The by-law does include exemptions for agricultural uses and managed woodlots. However, some concerns still exist that the by-law is too open for interpretation and that property owners may not have a clear picture of what is and is not permitted. I expect a number of delegations on the matter at our meeting and a healthy discussion.

ARAC will also consider a one-time contribution in support of Farm and Food Care and their Breakfast on the Farm event, scheduled for September 8th in North Gower. For more information about Farm and Food Care, please visit farmfoodcareon.org.

Green Bin Contract Update

For as long as there has been a green bin program at the City of Ottawa there have been residents asking the City to make it easier for them to use the green bin. While many of us have inventive ways to keep the mess to a minimum or use the Bag to Earth paper bags, there are many more who will not use the bin because of the mess. Among other things, that is why the City has been working on a revised contract with Orgaworld Canada.

After several years of legal wrangling and being stuck in a lengthy arbitration process, staff have been able to have a good dialogue with Orgaworld and have come up with a solution; allowing residents to put their organic waste in plastic bags, which will be screened out at the Orgaworld plant. For those residents who want a green bin with less mess and odour, this will certainly help.

This change, however, does come with a cost. Adding plastic bags and dog feces to the green bin program will cost 15 cents a month per household. The green bin program is paid for out of the property tax base and not the separate garbage fee on your tax bill. As a result, this will not increase your collection fee. The City will build the additional cost into the annual budget.

While this change has been greeted with mixed reactions among residents, I see it as a positive step to increasing participation in the green bin program and ensuring that we can extend the life of our Trail Road landfill. Trail Road’s lifespan is currently set to expire in 2043. I am not interested to opening a new landfill and this change will help buy even more time. In the coming years, though, the City will need to get serious about our post-Trail Road plans. It has been three years since the Plasco saga ended and we cannot waste time in planning for the future.

Cranberry Creek Municipal Drain Court of Revision

For anyone assessed on the Cranberry Creek Municipal Drain, we have scheduled the Court of Revision meeting for Monday, April 23rd at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre in North Gower. The meeting will begin at 7:00pm. With the Engineer’s Report approved at Council last week, this is the meeting to consider appeals to the assessments in Schedule A of the report. Anyone subject to an assessment should receive notice of this meeting. Notices were mailed out on March 29th.

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If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.