FCA OP Review workshops reveal common issues of concern for Ottawa communities
Ottawa, Mar 26—Representatives from the Federation of Citizens’ Associations of Ottawa (FCA) participating in the City of Ottawa’s Official Plan Review Community Panel will present today, to the Planning Committee, the initial results of a series of public workshops and meetings the FCA has conducted with residents and community associations across the City in 2013.
“The FCA has passed on hundreds of comments to the City which it received from engaged citizens and community groups through public workshops and community association meetings,” says Sheila Perry from the Overbrook Community Association. “The feedback has been tremendous, insightful and indicative of the problems facing many communities in Ottawa.”
A number of common themes emerged from the workshops and meetings. “Residents told us the City must protect the character of existing communities from spot rezoning and inappropriate intensification”, says Gary Sealey, Chair of the FCA Planning and Zoning Committee. “They expressed concern for items missing from the Official Plan Review. For instance, they saw no strategies for affordability, protection of watersheds, groundwater or for the environment and climate change.”
While the former cities of Nepean, Orleans and Kanata were planned as ‘complete’ communities, there is growing concern among residents outside the greenbelt that ‘bedroom’ communities are being built without adequate school and community services, thus putting insupportable pressure on existing services in neighbouring communities.
Development in and around rural villages and the proposed permanent moratorium on estate lot developments, as well as public transportation and up-to-date hydrological studies are issues of concern to people living in rural Ottawa.
“While the City has committed to a number of Community Design Plans like the proposed Centretown CDP being discussed today”, Sealey says, “many residents feel there should be a principled statement on community character built into the Official Plan, call it a ‘CDP-Lite’ if you like, for every community in the City. People want the City to recognize their communities for their distinctive values and needs.”
The Federation of Citizens’ Associations of Ottawa (FCA) is a city wide association and forum for community associations and citizens’ groups in Ottawa. The FCA is comprised of urban, suburban and rural community associations from across the amalgamated City of Ottawa. Members share information about issues facing their communities and take joint action on city-wide issues. Five of its members are named as representatives or alternates to the City of Ottawa’s Official Plan Review Community panel.
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Bob Brocklebank, Vice President
Federation of Citizens’ Associations of Ottawa
c: (613) 600-8713