It's time for the monthly LCA meeting! Join us to meet new friends, discuss community issues and hear from our councillor this Monday February 13, 7pm at the Routhier Centre, 172 Guigues ave. Below is the meeting agenda for the evening. Venez-nombreux!
Workshop this Monday to help understand more on our Veterans Homelessness issue - Monday January 30th, 9am to 4pm at the Royal Canadian Legion - Branch 462, 294 Cyr Ave. For more information on this issue please visit http://www.homelessprevention.ca/home.html
All are welcome!
The Ottawa City Police Department is making changes to its service delivery model. The OPS is holding information sessions on the changes. These sessions are open to the public. The one closest for Lowertown residents will be held at City Hall next Wednesday January 25, at 7pm. To attend you must register by clicking on the following link.
For more information contact: SIICAG@Ottawapolice.ca
A lot of ink has been spilled on the location of the new Ottawa Central Library. Central Ward councillors are organizing a public meeting on the matter January 18th at City Hall from 6-8pm, Jean Pigot Hall room. For more information please consult Councillor Catherine McKenney's flyer on the matter. For those of you who wish to share your central library stories you may do so by writing the Centretown Citizens Community Association at email@example.com. These stories will be shared with councillors and mayor so please let us know if you would like the story to be anonymous.
Here is Ecology Ottawa's presentation on the proposed Energy East Pipeline. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
It's 2017! Happy New Years!! Come meet old friends and make some new ones at the first monthly LCA meeting of 2017! The meeting will be held this Monday January 9 at 7pm at the Routhier Centre, 172 Guigues ave. This meeting will feature a presentation from Wendy Muckle from Ottawa Inner City Health on supervised Drug consumption.
You can view the full agenda here.
Notes for the last month's meeting are available here.
Quickly. How many of you know what the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is? Raise your hands! Not many? Would you be surprised to hear that, according to wikipedia, the OMB had been working with municipalities in Ontario since 1906? Among other things, it hears applications and appeals on municipal planning disputes.
So how might this affect me, say fellow Lowertowners? While you might be under the impression that when a neighbour decides to build a high-rise condo adjacent to your property, or the city, a freeway through your tomato garden, that your elected representative at the city of Ottawa will consider the issue and make a sound and responsible decision to settle the matter. And that's the end of it. Wrong! In a few cases, your fellow neighbours and developers have argued in front of the OMB to challenge City of Ottawa decisions. Here is a link to one such challenge in 2014 from residents for a proposed development of the old Union du Canada building (now the Andaz Hotel), and another more recent one in 2016 from developers on the development of two towers located at 151 and 153 Chapel Street. For those interested, you can see more OMB decisions and search through those in your neighbourhood here.
The city of Ottawa can and does make decisions on disputes that require minor variances from the Committee of Adjustment.
The city's Planning Committee, with its Chair appointed by the Mayor, can and does issue recommendations based on arguments from residents, the city's own planning department, developers and other stakeholders on all development and planning issues including zoning designations, community planning, site design requirements and affordable housing.
The Planning Committee makes its recommendations to City Council on issues occurring anywhere within the urban boundary (in Ottawa, that's a huge area and even that was argued in front of the OMB) of the city. A vote is then passed and modifications are made to zoning By-laws and sometimes the Official Plan.
The OMB comes in where either the developer or residents are unhappy with a COA or PC decision and wish to have another set or independent, un-elected ears hear the matter. Residents can argue with developers, developers can argue with the city, and the OMB refers to provincial legislation such as Land Use Planning and makes a decision. As it also deals with Expropriation, they can even offer you compensation!
The OMB has not been without its fair share of controversy, in fact the city of Toronto and Mississauga have argued for it's abolition as recently as 2012 as stated here in a Municipal World article.
The OMB is once again under review and now taking your comments on what changes could be made to make it better. The initiative is being led by Ontario's Attorney General Yasir Naqvi and Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Mauro.
You have until tomorrow, December 19th to submit your comments. We encourage you to do so here!
Here are some further readings on the matter.
- Tobi Nussbaum's take on OMB reform
- Central Ward councillors letter to Yasir Naqvi and Bill Mauro
- The Association of Municipalities Ontario Recommendations
- The Federation of Community Association's resource page with more links including media links on the issue
- The city of Ottawa's November 23, 2016 Council vote on what to recommend on OMB reform
The next LCA Monthly meeting is this Monday December 12th! All participants are welcome to stay after for refreshments and light snacks to celebrate the Holiday season! Below is our agenda for the meeting.
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