September's ARAC Meeting & Proposed Site Alteration By-Law

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With the return of the school year comes the return of our regular committee schedule. During the summer months, Council will place all of the regular July meetings in the first two weeks of the month and place all of the August meetings toward the end of the month, thus creating somewhat of a break from Committee work. September 7th will be our next Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee following our last meeting in early July.

Agenda items for this meeting include:

  • Zoning Amendment – 3926 Milton Road (Cumberland)
  • Zoning Amendment – 3455 Milton Road (Cumberland)
  • Zoning Amendment – 6690 Mitch Owens (Osgoode)
  • Zoning Amendment – 1430 Dunning Road (Cumberland) 
  • Appointment of a Drainage Engineer for Wilson-Cowan Municipal Drain

Also included is a report that includes some zoning by-law amendments to accommodate reconstruction efforts in parts of the city that were impacted by the severe flooding in May of this year. Another report is a quarterly Omnibus Zoning By-Law Amendment report, which we will receive a brief presentation on with regard to any impacts in the rural area.

As always, ARAC meetings are held at Ben Franklin Place in Centrepointe in the former Nepean Council Chambers. Our meetings begin at 10:00am. All of the items listed above are available for review at Ottawa.ca or through our monthly e-Newsletter, which you can sign up for at RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Proposed Site Alteration By-Law

Last year, the City of Ottawa began a review of the current City By-Laws that regulate site alteration activities. Over the last several months, City staff have engaged with local residents, farming organizations and environmental groups to create a new Site Alteration By-Law for the City of Ottawa. The City’s goal with this new by-law is to prevent drainage problems, protect the productivity of soils in designated Agricultural Resource Areas, protect designated natural areas and other identified natural heritage features (such as significant woodlands and valleylands) from negative impacts, reduce the risk of root damage to City-owned trees or other trees protected under the City’s tree by-laws and to establish basic rules for how site alteration is done, to avoid impacts to neighbours and the environment. Ultimately, the driving force behind this proposal is the impacts on agricultural lands by those wishing to development. In some cases, we have seen land manipulation in an effort to downgrade land from agricultural to a use more compatible with development. One thing I would like to see in this by-law is an outright exemption for normal agricultural activities. That exemption doesn’t yet exist.

I would encourage any landowner or resident who has an interest in site alteration activities to review the draft by-law which is available on Ottawa.ca and to provide your feedback to City staff. As always, you can contact my office to receive a copy of the draft by-law, or to provide your comments. It is very important that the City received a variety of feedback on this matter from all parties impacted.

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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.

ARAC Agenda & RVCA Conducting Hazard Mapping Studies

Our next meeting of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee is on Thursday, July 6th. It will be the last meeting of the Committee until the first week of September. As usual, we meet at Ben Franklin Place in the old Nepean Council Chambers and the meeting begins at 10:00am. Agenda items include:

Zoning Amendment: 5514 Manotick Main Street
Zoning Amendment: 4711 Rockdale Road
Zoning Amendment: 1260 Loeper Street
Zoning Amendment: 9391 Parkway Road
Zoning Amendment: 1353 Scharfgate Drive
Road Allowance Closure between 1792 & 1818 Old Prescott Road
Appointment of Engineer: Tompkins Diversion Municipal Drain

There is an additional item on the agenda that is sensitive in nature and will be discussed In Camera. It involves a litigious matter dealing with a property in Osgoode Ward.

Only two of the agenda items emanate from Rideau-Goulbourn and they are both zoning applications within the village of Manotick. 5514 Manotick Main Street is a new three storey office/commercial building at the corner of Bridge Street and Manotick Main Street. 1353 Scharfgate is a development application from Cavanagh and John Gerard Homes in the pre-existing development off of First Line Road. The address is misleading as the current property does not, and will not, have access onto Scharfgate Drive.

The agenda and associated reports can be found online at Ottawa.ca.

RVCA Conducting Hazard Mapping Studies

During the last five years, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) has been conducting several hazard mapping studies on watercourses within the City of Ottawa and the RVCA area of jurisdiction. For some watercourses, old mapping will be updated; and for others, hazards maps will be created for the first time. Studies look at identifying two main types of hazards along the watercourses: flood risk and slope stability risk.

These studies are being done through a collaboration involving the City of Ottawa and the Rideau Valley, Mississippi Valley and South Nation Conservation Authorities. The City recognized a need to update its zoning schedules based on up-to-date flood risk mapping, and has provided contributions enabling the Conservation Authorities to move ahead with these studies sooner than would otherwise be possible.

Slope stability studies make use of new, highly detailed topographic data to identify toe and top of slope. This information is used to create an allowance area that serve as a flag of potentially unstable slope areas.

Currently, the RVCA is focusing its efforts on the following streams:

  • Flowing Creek (Flewellyn Road to Jock River)
  • Hobbs Drain (Fallowfield Road to Jock River)
  • Kings Creek (Brunton Side Road to Jock River)
  • Nichols Creek (Montague Boundary Road to Jock River)
  • Rideau River (Hogs Back to Kars)
  • Rideau River (Kars to Burritts Rapids)

Historical records, news clippings, photographs and local anecdotal stories and memories of past flood events can be useful in confirming the reasonableness of the calculations and resulting floodplain mapping. Local residents with this kind of information are encouraged to share their information and knowledge with RVCA’s Ferdous Ahmed (613-692-3571 ext. 1170 or ferdous.ahmed@rvca.ca).

Those interested in learning more about the project or being included on our contact list are also encouraged to contact the RVCA. Once the technical work for individual study areas is complete and hazard mapping has been prepared, a public information session will be held to collect public feedback.  Any new information or comments will be taken into consideration in further refinement of the mapped hazard limits. 

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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.