Gazette readers point to at least one error in the draft Official Plan - that's what happens when you rush.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 7TH, 2018


This news story has been revised due to an error in an earlier version. That error has been corrected. 

A Gazette reader sent the following comment:

Official-Plan-Binder_Image“I’ve been advised and have confirmed that clause 8.3.3.(1)b) is actually a hold over from the 2006 Official Plan. It is inconsistent with the provisions noted by Mr. Skinner and provides a backdoor to intensification in areas in which intensification is expressly discouraged. As such, I believe that it should be eliminated and that it highlights the dangers of a rush to approval.”

Here is what Section says.

“Notwithstanding Subsection 8.3.3(1) a) of this Plan, other forms of attached, ground-oriented dwellings may be permitted on lands designated Residential – Low Density, provided that these forms meet the density as specified in Subsection 8.3.3(1) c) of this Plan, and provided that the development form is compatible with the surrounding area and respectful of the physical character of the neighbourhood, including the provision of a functional common amenity area at grade.”

Our reader adds:  “As such, it contradicts at least four (4) other clauses of the proposed new OP, as identified by Jeremy Skinner in his comments to Marianne Meed Ward’s response, that specifically discourage intensification/development in low density residential neighbourhoods.  In other words, clause 8.3.3.(1)b) seems to provide a qualified backdoor to intensification in areas that are not intended to be intensified.  I believe that this is a product of careless drafting (less haste, more speed) where a holdover clause from the 2006 Official Plan has unintended impacts and is inconsistent with the overall intent of the new plan.  If clause 8.3.3.(1)b), as drafted, is an intentional inclusion then I believe that the new plan is not internally consistent and is providing an “open door” to development across all areas of the City.”

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward adds:   The clause states in part “other forms of attached ground-oriented dwellings may be permitted” provided the overall density is less than 25 units per net hectare. This allows townhouses and apartment walkups in single family neighbourhoods. During questions at committee about it, staff advised this was a change to the existing OP. Upon further review, however, this clause is in the existing OP. However, with the increased pressure for intensification coupled with land assembly, we will see more of these types of applications (eg. The Blue Water/Avondale application which staff, the community and council rejected and is the subject of an OMB hearing in May). The clause also isn’t in keeping with the spirit of the new OP which directs growth away from established neighbourhoods. I believe we need to take this out of the proposed Plan, or every neighbourhood in the city could fundamentally change due to the pressures of growth.

Meed Ward has said she is going to ask that the section be struck from the draft Official Plan.  Hopefully she will ask how the section got past the vetting that usually gets done in the Planning department.

Our reader is quite right – let us take the time to make sure we get it right.

The Gazette doubts that never before in the history of this city have so many citizens actually read the Official Plan.

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1 comment to Gazette readers point to at least one error in the draft Official Plan – that’s what happens when you rush.

  • Paul

    So now we not only witness hyper intensification on steroids along Beautiful Brant Street by the City planning department, we see intensification by stealth being permitted everywhere in our neighbourhoods throughout the city.
    I guess this is what the planning folks mean by “grow bold”!