CITY HALL – The city’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee (ARAC) approved its portion of Draft Budget 2021, which commits $2.35 million to renew rural infrastructure.

“When added to funding approved through other standing committees, the city’s draft budget invests $41.5 million in rural infrastructure upgrades,” city staff released in a statement following today’s (Dec. 3) ARAC meeting. “This includes $9.4 million for rural culverts, $9.4 million for bridge structures, $16.7 million for road resurfacing, road preservation and sidewalk renewal, and $3.7 million for buildings and parks, including accessibility upgrades.”

The city plans to adopt a New Official Plan next year. To implement the policies and objectives of that plan, the city will need a corresponding new Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw. The committee approved a work plan to prepare that new bylaw, which would see council consider a final draft by the end of 2024.

Following adoption of the new Official Plan, staff would recommend the form and structure of the new bylaw and lay out the work and budget for its development. Staff would also recommend quick changes to the current Zoning Bylaw to implement new Official Plan directions while the new bylaw is developed. The city’s Planning committee will consider this report on Friday, Dec. 11, followed by council on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

ARAC also approved amendments to the bylaw that regulates permanent signs on private property.

“The changes aim to ensure signs are compatible with their surroundings and pose no public safety risk,” city staff said. “Rural home-based businesses would benefit from the changes, which permit bigger and more visible signs to encourage rural economic growth.”

The city’s Planning committee will consider this report on Friday, Dec. 11, followed by council on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Except where noted, recommendations from the ARAC meeting will rise to council on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 311 (TTY: 613-580-2401).