Merry Christmas and Final News of 2018

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On December 3rd, I had the great privilege of being sworn in as the Councillor for Rideau-Goulbourn for the third time. In the weeks since, we have gotten to work on the business of setting out the governance for this term of Council. This week, we confirmed Committee memberships and appointed Chairs of the Committees. I am excited to be appointed to the Chair of the Environment Committee, to sit on the Planning Committee and Ottawa Community Housing Corporation and to continue my work on the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, Built Heritage Sub-Committee, Committee of Revision and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.

This week we also debated the matter of retail cannabis sales at a special Council meeting held on Thursday, December 13th. It was decided that Ottawa will permit retail cannabis stores beginning April 1, 2019. Permitting retail cannabis stores will help reduce the black market and provide consumers access to safer products in a highly regulated environment. The City will spend less resources shutting down illegal sellers, and receive additional funding from the Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund to offset the costs related to the legalization of recreational cannabis. Cannabis retailers will also create economic and employment opportunities in the city, including spinoff benefits for other sectors.

The direction followed Council’s consideration of the Report on Ontario Cannabis Legislation, Cannabis Retail Stores and Response to Council Direction of August 29, 2018 and feedback from public delegations.

Council heard presentations from nine members of the public. This is in addition to 23,000 responses to an online survey conducted earlier this fall. The responses to the online survey and a random sample telephone survey generally supported permitted retail cannabis stores in Ottawa. Public input indicates that residents want stores with appropriate controls and protections to minimize the impacts on the community.

Staff will report on the impact of the legalization of recreational cannabis on City services in late 2019.

Furthermore, this report focused on cannabis retail stores, however, as new issues emerge, the City will consult with residents and provide additional reports and recommendations to Council as required.

Following the three Council meetings in early December, the Christmas break will be upon us. In the new year, the new Committees will begin their work with focus on developing the term of Council priorities and preparing the 2019 Budget.

2019 Town Hall Series

In my last e-newsletter, I announced that our office will be hosting a series of town hall meetings to help kick off the term of Council. We will host these meetings in Burritt’s Rapids, Pierce’s Corners, Kars, North Gower, Stittsville, Richmond, Munster, Ashton, Manotick, Country Club Village, Fallowfield Village and in the Quinn’s Pointe community in Barrhaven. These meetings will take place between January 9th and March 5th.

The intent of these meetings will be to look at what issues are present currently in our communities, what priorities we want to focus on and any other matters that residents feel requires our attention. It is also an opportunity to discuss how best we can improve communication. We have a number of new initiatives we are going to bring forward in order to better serve our residents. Included in that will be drop in meetings where residents can stop by and visit with our team. We will rotate these meetings around the ward every two weeks.

For the Town Hall meetings, we have the following meetings scheduled:

  •  January 9th: Canadian Golf & Country Club, 7:00pm

  • January 12th: St. Patrick’s Church, 10:00am

  • January 15th: Manotick Arena, 7:00pm

  • January 19th: Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall, 10:00am

  • January 23rd: Munster Community Centre, 7:00pm

  • January 28th: North Gower Client Service Centre, 7:00pm

  • February 4th: St. Benedict Elementary School, 7:00pm

  • February 6th: Ashton Christ Church, 7:00pm

  • February 13th: Kars Recreation Centre, 7:00pm

  • February 19th: St. Philip’s Parish Hall, 7:00pm

  • February 26th: Marlborough Community Hall, 7:00pm

  • March 5th: Goulbourn Town Hall, 7:00pm

I very much look forward to these meetings, as does our team. I hope you will be able to attend.

Mayor’s City Builder Award

The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour that recognizes an individual, group or organization that have - through their outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action - demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. Past recipients have been honoured for their life-long service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building and other exemplary achievements.  This award is presented at the beginning of each Ottawa City Council meeting.

As a member of Council, I would like to invite you to nominate individuals, groups or organizations that have had a positive impact in our ward and in our community.  Our aim is to ensure a diverse representation of outstanding residents from all corners of our city.

Please contact my office for nomination forms.

North Gower Client Service Centre Holiday Hours

Recognizing the lower volumes of transactions that typically occur, the City of Ottawa is reducing hours or closing the North Gower Client Service Centre (CSC) on the following dates:

  • Thursday, December 20th: 8:30am to 12:00pm

  • Thursday, December 27th: Closed

  • Thursday, January 3rd: Closed

Regular business hours will resume on Thursday, January 10th. The North Gower CSC is located at 2155 Roger Stevens Drive and is open on Thursdays from 8:30am to 4:30pm. 

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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.

Review of the Final 2016 Council Meeting

I want to begin this week by acknowledging the unfortunate incident that took place on Bridge Street late last week. Without knowing all of the details, I’ll refrain from speculation but assure you that I will be working with the City and Ottawa Police to determine what happened and how such an incident could have been avoided. My thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by this incident.

5721-5741 Manotick Main Street

During the review of the Manotick Secondary Plan, I hosted a meeting to speak specifically about vacant lands throughout the village and how those lands could be developed. It was an opportunity for the community to determine the future of these lands rather than waiting for a developer to come in and do it for us. One such property that was discussed was the vacant parcels at the south end of the village, directly across from Century Road East, sandwiched in between Kelly Marie Drive and Island View Drive. These lands are 5721, 5731 and 5741 Manotick Main Street.

Following our meeting on January 22nd, 2015, Regional Group begun acquiring these parcels and put together a development proposal akin to their eQuinelle project in Kemptville and similar in nature to their Village Walk development in Manotick. While I briefly highlighted this proposal at my November 15th Town Hall meeting, there will also be a public meeting held on Thursday, January 19th, between 7:00pm and 9:00pm at the Manotick Arena to discuss this proposal. I hope to see you there. For more information about this proposal, please visit www.ottawa.ca/devapps.

December 14th Council Meeting

The final City Council meeting of 2016 was a busy one. In addition to the 2017 Budget, we had 46 items on the agenda. Eighteen of those items rose directly from the November 24th meeting of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee. While the main items were the Budget and the Land Evaluation & Area Review (LEAR), Council also approved a new Medical Centre project in Richmond and a bid to host the 2021 Canada Games.

I would like to focus on the approval of the LEAR, though, in follow up to some recent columns on the matter. As part of 17 motions that were approved on the LEAR at Council, some minor changes, additions and deletions were made. We approved further studies into some lands around the village of Munster. We approved an expansion of the employment area south of Fallowfield Road along Moodie Drive. We also approved something else, though, that I voted against. It was a redesignation of 5504 Spratt Road from Agricultural Resource to General Rural.

5504 Spratt Road is the property directly behind the Tim Horton’s at the corner of Mitch Owens and River Road. It is a 66 acre parcel currently used primarily as pasture lands. However, it was subject to an Official Plan Amendment application several years ago which sought to bring the property inside the Manotick village boundary. Following that, a large commercial development would have been applied for. At the time, the City was opposed and the application was eventually withdrawn. A big-box retail development on the outskirts of a village is not consistent with any City policy. Another key factor at the time was the Agricultural zoning of the property.

Through the LEAR, however, the property owner brought forward a soils evaluation that suggests the property falls below the threshold for agricultural designation. Working in favour of that position is the fact that the property is surrounded primarily by residential development and is also used as pasture lands rather than for crops. Ironically, the residential lands north of this property were actually better farmland. Since the study supported a lower LEAR score, staff brought forward a change is designation for this property, which was approved.

Any development, aside from a couple of severances, on this property in the short term is unlikely. Policies are still in place that would not support retail or large scale residential on this property. My vote in opposition to this change was primarily for historical reasons. I do not approve of how the Official Plan Amendment was sought previously and I feel this is merely another avenue to achieve that goal. A retail development in this location would negatively impact surrounding communities, especially the village core of Manotick.

The LEAR will now go to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for approval with any changes requested coming back to Council. The Minister has 180 days to respond. An appeal period will then open following Provincial approval with an Ontario Municipal Board hearing process to follow. The LEAR, and the entire Official Plan, will not be completely approved until the OMB hearings take place. The projected timeline for this brings us into 2018.

Messenger Changes

As reported in last week’s Messenger, there will be changes to the frequency. With only two editions monthly, I will do my best to keep residents informed and up to date. I’ll also have to be cognizant of timelines for meetings and ensure that we are giving ample notification. This will place more emphasis on the value of our monthly e-Newsletter as well, which you can sign up for at rideaugoulbourn.ca. We send out our e-Newsletter each month one week before the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee meeting allowing us to highlight the agenda.

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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.

What's going on at City Hall? Week of March 26

The following meetings are scheduled during the week of March 26, 2012, at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, unless otherwise noted. Ottawa Police Services Board – Monday, March 26, 5 p.m., Andrew S. Haydon Hall; Cumberland Heritage Village Museum Board – Monday, March 26, 7:30 p.m., Orléans Client Service Centre, 255 Centrum Blvd. – Room 340; Health and Social Services Advisory Committee – Tuesday, March 27, 6:30 p.m., Colonel By Room; City Council Meeting – Wednesday, March 28, 10 a.m., Andrew S. Haydon Hall; Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee – Wednesday, March 28, 6:30 p.m., Colonel By Room; French Language Services Advisory Committee – Thursday, March 29, 7 p.m., Andrew S. Haydon Hall.
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