City Council approved regulations to help increase parkland across Ottawa. The new Parkland Dedication By-law will deliver increased parkland from developments with greater density to better meet the population growth projected in the new Official Plan.
Whenever development occurs, Ontario municipalities can require developers to either dedicate parkland or contribute cash in lieu to the municipality. The City’s by-law sets out rules and rates specific to Ottawa for dedication, but recent provincial legislative changes require the City to replace its current by-law. The new by-law expands existing parkland dedication requirements for mid- and high-rise developments to better support the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan’s call for two hectares of parkland per 1,000 residents.
Ottawa Council also approved a new policy and by-law to implement a citywide Community Benefits Charge – a new tool that replaces Section 37 under the provincial Planning Act to help municipalities pay for community projects through higher density developments. The charge is consistent with the City’s approach to make growth pay for growth and to lessen the burden on taxpayers. The charge will be collected on new projects citywide, where a building of five storeys or more that adds ten or more units is developed. Payment of four per cent of the land value is required before a building permit can be issued.