OTTAWA – The city’s Planning committee approved a framework for a community benefits charge by-law, to enable the city to collect fees that would fund community-oriented projects.

Under Section 37 of the Planning Act, the city can sometimes negotiate a financial contribution from a developer in exchange for approving greater density than local regulations permit. The city can then use those revenues to pay for projects that benefit the surrounding community.

In September 2022, provincial legislation will end the city’s ability to collect those revenues. Instead, municipalities will be able to enact a community benefits charge bylaw to collect fees and fund a range of community services required as a result of new growth.

The new bylaw would detail the charges that would be levied on new developments or redevelopments,” city staff released in a statement following today’s (Jan. 14) Planning committee meeting. “The committee-approved framework includes a process to define the types of growth-related capital projects that would benefit from the new fees.”

The committee also approved a series of zoning amendments encouraging intensification across Ottawa, making more efficient use of land to better accommodate projected population growth.

“In Kanata, the committee approved a proposal to replace a single-family home on Maple Grove Road with two six-unit, three-storey apartment buildings on a large corner lot in the Katimavik-Hazeldean neighbourhood,” staff said. “Near Tunney’s Pasture Station, the committee approved a plan to replace a home on Hinchey Avenue with a three-storey apartment building that includes 16 units.”

East of downtown, near St. Laurent Shopping Centre, the committee approved an application for a six-storey, mixed-use building with 116 residential units, bringing much needed rental stock into a community targeted for intensification. Further east, the committee approved a plan for two buildings of stacked townhouses on a quiet residential street in Orléans, adding 12 units to a lot that now has one house.

Recommendations from today’s Planning committee meeting will rise to council on Wednesday, Jan. 27. For more information on city programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 311 (TTY: 613-580-2401).