That Council approve an amendment to the Official Plan of the former Township of West Carleton to change the land use designation of 375 MacLarens Side Road from Agriculture Resource to General Rural Area as shown in Document 1.




Recommandation MODIFIÉE du comi


Que le Conseil municipal approuve une modification au Plan officiel de l'ancien Canton de West Carleton qui aurait pour effet de faire passer la désignation de la propriété située au 375, chemin secondaire MacLarens de Zone de ressources agricoles à Zone rurale générale.





1.                  A/Deputy City Manager, Planning and Growth Management report dated 28 June 2006 (ACS2006-PGM-APR-0018).


2.         Extract of Draft Minutes 31, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee meeting of August 24, 2006.


Report to/Rapport au :


Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee

Comité d'agriculture et des questions rurales


and Council / et au Conseil


28 June 2006 / le 28 juin 2006


Submitted by/Soumis par John L. Moser,

Acting Deputy City Manager/Directeur municipal adjoint par intérim,

Planning and Growth Management / Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance


Contact Person/Personne Ressource : Grant Lindsay, Manager / Gestionnaire, Development Approvals / Approbation des demandes d'aménagement (613) 580‑2424, x13242  Grant.Lindsay@ottawa.ca


West Carleton (5)

Ref N°: ACS2006-PGM-APR-0018




OFFICIAL PLAN - 375 MacLarens Side Road (fILE NO. D01-01-05-0010)




PLAN OFFICIEL - 375, chemin secondaire maclarens




That the  recommend Council refuse an amendment to the Official Plan of the former Township of West Carleton to change the land use designation of 375 MacLarens Side Road from Agriculture Resource to General Rural Area as shown in Document 1.




Que le Comité de l'agriculture et des questions rurales recommande au Conseil de refuser d'apporter une modification au Plan officiel de l'ancien Canton de West Carleton qui aurait pour effet de faire passer la désignation de la propriété située au 375, chemin secondaire MacLarens de Zone de ressources agricoles à Zone rurale générale.




The lands at 375 MacLarens Side Road are bounded by MacLarens Side Road to the north, on the west by Torbolton Ridge Road, on the east by Woodkilton Road and to the south by a mix of active farmlands and woodlots (see Document 1).  A mix of permanent and cottage type residential units can also be found along the north side of MacLarens Side Road and along portions of the east side of Woodkilton Road.


The subject property consists of a mix of woodlots, stream courses, rock outcrops and agricultural land uses.  The western edge of the subject lands along Torbolton Ridge Road represent the highest elevation of the property.  At this elevation the lands are comprised of wooded pasture and two, separated, cropped fields.  This upper portion of the subject lands ends abruptly at a steep drop (escarpment) into an open area, which is used as an unimproved pasture. 


The applicant’s total land holding comprises an area of approximately 113.2 hectares.  Current land uses on the property represent a mix of woodlots and agricultural land uses.


In March of 2005 the property owner of 375 MacLarens Side Road and his consultant met with City staff to review the submission requirements for an Official Plan Amendment.  A proposal was outlined to redesignate a portion of the subject lands from agriculture to a designation that would support a future country estate lot development.


Shortly after meeting with City staff the owner’s consultant submitted a request to amend the City’s Official Plan from “Agricultural Resource Area to General Rural Area”.  Accompanying the application was a Planning Rationale Report and a Soil Survey and Canada Land Inventory Classification Report.  




The lands are designated “Agricultural Resource Area” in the City Council Approved Official Plan and in the former Region of Ottawa-Carleton Official Plan and the Township of West Carleton Official Plan.  The owner has indicated that a plan of subdivision and Zoning By-law amendment for the lands will be submitted to the City should the Official Plan Amendment be approved.  The applicant proposes to redesignate approximately 40.7 hectares of the 113.2 hectares from “Agricultural Resource to General Rural Area”.  


The City Council Approved Official Plan set out criteria that must be satisfied when considering amendments to the Official Plan.  In addition, amendments to an Official Plan shall be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statements.  These criteria are provided below.


Section 5.2.2 of the City Council Approved Official Plan states;


1.      When considering amendments to this Plan, the City will have regard to, among other things, the following criteria:


a)      The impact of the proposed change on the achievement of the policies expressed in this Plan;

b)      The effect of the proposed change on neighbouring communities;

c)      The effect of the proposed change on the need for water, wastewater and transportation services;


2.      When considering amendments that affect the use of a specific site or sites, the City will also consider whether there is a need to add the site or sites to the lands already designated for the proposed use.


The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) states:


“Prime agricultural areas shall be protected for long-term use for agriculture.  Prime agricultural areas are areas where prime agricultural lands predominate. Specialty crop areas shall be given the highest priority for protection, followed by Classes 1, 2 and 3 soils, in this order of priority.”  Document 3 explains in greater detail the applicable Provincial Policy when considering an Official Plan amendment.


The supporting documentation to this application clearly identifies the variety of soil conditions on the lands subject to this amendment.  The City Council Approved Official Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) considers Class 1-3 soils as prime agricultural areas.  Of the total land holding (113.2 hectares), 70.2% is with in the range of what is considered the top three soil categories (Class 1 – 3). 


When calculating the area subject of the amendment (40.7 hectares) 57.6% of the lands fall within the top three soil categories, with the majority of these lands having a Class 3 rating.  The Soil Survey Report also notes that the soil units in the amendment area do not form a contiguous unit of Class 3 soils.   These soil units are comprised of complex soil units and small units of pure Class 3 soils.  Escarpment features and the eroded stream channels effectively limit the production of mechanized agriculture.  Further, the consultant notes that the lands on the upper part of the escarpment do not represent a pure soil unit, and are considered to be in a combined soil classification due to the undulating nature of the underlying bedrock.  Given the combined class of soils an alternative method of assessment, known as the Hoffman Indices has been applied.  The alternative method, which is an accepted practice by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, reduces the overall average of 57.6% of Class 1 –3 to about 25 %.


The applicant has demonstrated that the soils on the lands subject to the proposed amendment are not of a high agricultural value; however, the value of agricultural land is not determined by soils alone.  The autonomy and operational ease of adjacent lands are impacted by the proposed development and this must be factored into staff’s recommendation rationale.  Agricultural land as defined by the PPS is predominate in this area.  The amendment lands represent the northerly most section of a large tract of agricultural land.  The same argument being put forward to rationalize this Official Plan Amendment is the argument that could be used to further redesignate the remaining agricultural parcel in the future.


The MacLarens Landing development has existed for a number of years in harmony with the adjacent lands.  The expectations of residents of a new development may be quite different than those of the cottage-residential development in MacLarens Landing.


The applicant has provided information based on the Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) which has been calculated for the existing barns on and adjacent to the subject lands.  Only one barn (main barn) has been identified as a possible impact on the amendment lands.  The Report does not address the issue of impacts and what limitations will be imposed on the remaining farm parcel should the operation change or expand in the future.


Further, the application has not demonstrated a need for additional land to be designated to accommodate the creation of residential estate lots as required by the Provincial Policy Statement.  According to the City of Ottawa Draft Rural Residential Land Survey (2004-2005 update) there is potential for 5,433 vacant residential lots in the West Carleton Ward.  This amount is derived by adding together the unit potential on lands currently designated for residential and the current development applications before the City, i.e. pending, draft approved and registered plans of subdivisions.


This application does not satisfy the tests as outlined in the City Council Approved Official Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement, and therefore, the Department recommends the refusal of this application.




Approval of the amendment will impact on the viability of agriculture on the subject lands and in the immediate agricultural community.




Notice of this application was carried out in accordance with the City's Public Notification and Consultation Policy.  The Ward Councillor is aware of this application and the staff recommendation.


Detailed responses to the notification/circulation are provided in Document 2.






This application was not processed by the "On Time Decision Date" established for the processing of Official Plan amendments due to the complexity of the issues associated with the the information provided in support of the application in additon to a request to have the application put on hold by the owner.



Document 1      Location Map

Document 2      Consultation Details

Document 3      Provincial Policy Statement Details




Corporate Services Department, City Clerk’s Branch, Secretariat Services to notify the owner, Jack MacLaren, 114 Creekside Drive, Woodlawn, ON  K0A 3M0, applicant, McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers Ltd., 115 Walgreen Road, Carp, ON  K0A 1L0, Signs.ca, 866 Campbell Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K2A 2C5, Ghislain Lamarche, Program Manager, Assessment, Financial Services Branch (Mail Code:  26-76) of City Council’s decision.


LOCATION MAP                                                                                                  DOCUMENT 1



CONSULTATION DETAILS                                                                                DOCUMENT 2


This application was subject to the Public Notification and Consultation Policy.




Resident of Maclarens Landing does not want a plan of subdivision.  It is a rural community with dirt roads.  We do not want our community to be affected by a subdivision at this location.  



Councillor Eli El-Chantiry is aware of the application 


MacLaren Community Association has some concerns.  Would like to be kept abreast of any meetings and approvals.




Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee


This is an application to change a 40.7 ha parcel of land designated as Agricultural Resource Area in the Official Plan to General Rural.  The site, located close to but not bordering the Ottawa River, is not within a village, as defined in the Official Plan. Approximately 1/3 of the MacLaren holding between Torbolton Ridge Road and Woodkilton Road is proposed for re-designation.  All or part of the entire land holding is currently farmed.


The applicant has provided soils survey data to show that the land is not good agriculture land although it is being actively farmed. 


The Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee opposes the re-designation of this land on the following principles/for the following reasons:


  1. Rural residential development does not conform to the Official Plan intent to intensify within the urban boundary.


  1. As shown in the Rural Residential Vacant Land Survey 2003 Report  – ACS2005-PGM-POL-0041) presented to Planning and Environment on June 28, 2005, there are 18,691.75 ha comprising 26,850 units of vacant land available for development outside the Urban Boundary.  6,558 of those units (24% of the City’s available supply) are in West Carleton, so there is no shortage of rural land available for development.  There is no need for this re-designation


  1. Additional rural development so far from the core will put pressure on the City to provide services, will increase vehicular traffic on roads in an area not served by public transit, and will increase the strain on the groundwater supply and require additional septic services.


  1. Although the land proposed for re-designation is said to be largely of low quality, the CLI classes are given for the entire site, not for the land that is proposed for an Official Plan Amendment.


  1. The land is designated Agricultural Resource, a category of land that is to be protected from development.


  1. Some of the land proposed for re-designation is wooded (described as wooded pasture land in the consultants report) and removal of that forest will further erode the city’s ability to meet its 30% forest cover target as outlined in the OP


Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee Conclusions and Recommendations


Refuse the Official Plan amendment request as it does not conform to the City Council Approved Official Plan.

PROVINCIAL POLICY STATEMENT DETAILS                                               DOCUMENT 3


2.3.3 Permitted Uses In prime agricultural areas, permitted uses and activities are: agricultural uses, secondary uses and agriculture-related uses.   Proposed new secondary uses and agriculture-related uses shall be compatible with, and shall not hinder, surrounding agricultural operations. These uses shall be limited in scale, and criteria for these uses shall be included in municipal planning documents as recommended by the Province, or based on municipal approaches which achieve the same objective. In prime agricultural areas, all types, sizes and intensities of agricultural uses and normal farm practices shall be promoted and protected in accordance with provincial standards. New land uses, including the creation of lots, and new or expanding livestock facilities shall comply with the minimum distance separation formulae. The creation of new residential lots in prime agricultural areas shall not be permitted, except in accordance with policy


2.3.5 Removal of Land from Prime Agricultural Areas Planning authorities may only exclude land from prime agricultural areas for:

a)         expansions of or identification of settlement areas in accordance with policy;

b)         extraction of minerals, petroleum resources and mineral aggregate resources, in accordance with policies 2.4 and 2.5; and

c)         limited non-residential uses, provided that:

    1. the land does not comprise a specialty crop area;
    2. there is a demonstrated need within the planning horizon provided for in policy 1.1.2 for additional land to be designated to accommodate the proposed use;
    3. there are no reasonable alternative locations which avoid prime agricultural areas; and
    4. there are no reasonable alternative locations in prime agricultural areas with lower priority agricultural lands. Impacts from any new or expanding non-agricultural uses on surrounding agricultural operations and lands should be mitigated to the extent feasible.


The Provincial Policy Statement defines Prime Agricultural Areas as: 


areas where prime agricultural lands predominate. This includes: areas of prime agricultural lands and associated Canada Land Inventory Class 4-7 soils; and additional areas where there is a local concentration of farms which exhibit characteristics of ongoing agriculture. Prime agricultural areas may be identified by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food using evaluation procedures established by the Province as amended from time to time, or may also be identified through an alternative agricultural land evaluation system approved by the Province.






Mr. J. Ostafichuk, Planner, Planning and Growth Management, provided a detailed presentation in which he reviewed the details of the above-noted application and the staff recommendation on same.  A copy of his presentation is held on file. 


Mr. M. Snider, Planning Consultant, McIntosh and Perry Consulting, spoke on behalf of the applicant.  He described the subject property’s geographical location, noting the presence of a number of residential dwellings and cottages in the area currently just to the North of the property.  He showed photographs of the property so that Committee members could appreciate its size, surrounding area and topography.  He indicated the applicant’s property was 283 acres in total, with the subject land encompassing 41 hectares of that.  The eastern portion of the site is quite a high escarpment, approximately one hundred feet high, with the toe of the slope defined as boulder pavement.  He described the land as rocky, with stony areas and rocks projecting through the soil surface.  He noted that a wooded area defined the portion of the property that historically had not been good farmland. 


Mr. Snider discussed the soil testing and acknowledged that 27% of the subject lands were classified as class 3.  However, he maintained that these lands were fragmented, stony, and poorly accessible because they were broken-up by deep stream valleys, wooded ridges and other obstructions.  Therefore, although a small portion of the property may be class 3 soil, it is very difficult to farm because it is difficult to access with farm machinery.  He noted the property owner proposed to maintain transitional lands between the OPA lands and the portion of his property that would continue to be used as croplands.  He then showed Committee a layout of the concept plan for a proposed country lot residential development.  This area would be separated from the cropland areas with stream valleys, which would be protected in their natural state and held in common. 


Mr. Snider discussed the Provincial Policy Statement, noting the critical thing was whether or not these lands should be considered part of the prime agricultural area.  He opined that they should not be.  He maintained this portion of the property was at the northern extent of the prime agricultural area and represented a narrow finger.  He referenced the residential uses currently to the North and to the West, in an area currently designated as rural natural feature lands, and maintained the applicant was looking to extend that boundary to the toe of the escarpment slope.  He felt the subject lands were more akin to the lands to the West and to the North and less so to the agricultural area and he felt there was sufficient justification to approve the application.  With respect to whether or not this form of development would have an impact on the agricultural land, Mr. Snider believed that with careful design, any potential impacts could be mitigated; by the proposed buffering and by the fact that there was a clear division in the natural features between the two areas.  Furthermore, he noted there were all kinds of tools and mechanisms that could be applied through the subdivision approval process to ensure that conflicts were minimized.  In closing, Mr. Snider stated that the applicant intended to continue to farm his land and that the issue of protecting farmland through the PPS was not in dispute.  He expressed the applicant’s intent to maintain a good portion of farmland as it had always been.


Councillor El-Chantiry referenced several of the lots in the proposed country estate lot subdivision, noting these had previously been planted in corn.  Mr. Snider confirmed that the land had previously been planted in corn.  However, he maintained these fields were only 6 or 7 acres and they were removed from the remainder of the farmland.  Furthermore, the escarpment between these fields and the remainder of the farmland made them difficult to access.  With respect to the soil, he indicated there was a complex arrangement of soil types in those fields.  For that reason, a different soil assessment was conducted, resulting in a class 4.  Therefore, those fields were not considered prime soils. 


Responding to a further question from Councillor El-Chantiry, Mr. Snider indicated that in general, soils in the Kinburn area were considered class 1 to 3.  However, he re-iterated that only a small portion of the subject lands were considered class 3 and these were stony and fragmented by the ridge, wooded areas and a stream.  Therefore, the soil study concluded these lands were marginal. 


Chair Jellett asked the speaker to address concerns with respect to the Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) calculations from the barns to the proposed development, as referenced in the staff report.  Mr. Snider identified the barn’s location on a map of the property.  He noted the MDS separation distance is based on the worst-case scenario, 150 cattle.  He indicated the barn currently housed 50 cattle.  Furthermore, he maintained these were croplands; this was not a cattle operation nor were there any plans to expand the current cattle operation.  Mr. Snider noted that within the minimum allowable distance, there currently were 15 houses.  He submitted the MDS guidelines say that if you have a number of other conflicting uses within the allowable distance, they can be discounted entirely.  Also, he noted that in this area, the buffer was a little wider and he maintained there was plenty of separation between the livestock facility and any proposed residential development.


Chair Jellett referenced the staff presentation and the contention that the application did not demonstrated the need for additional land to be redesignated to accommodate residential estate lots.  Mr. Snider posited that these lands could be removed from the prime agricultural area.  If they were removed, other Provincial Policy Statement policies would apply.  These would allow for limited residential development in the rural area.  He re-iterated that because the lands to the West, the North and the Northwest were outside the prime agricultural area and because of the nature of the subject property, he felt there was justification for removing it from the prime agricultural area.  That being said, he referenced the number of available lots in West Carleton and submitted that the number seemed high.  He suggested that those numbers included pending plans of subdivision, draft approved plans of subdivision and the existing vacant land inventory.  He submitted many of those lands had been sitting on the books for years going nowhere because they were on the Carp Ridge; they were void of trees and they had hydro-geological problems.  Therefore, he argued that the supply of available lots in West Carleton was not as high as had been suggested.


Mr. R. Fraser, Chair of Rural Issues Advisory Committee, referenced a motion approved by the RIAC, which suggested that in areas where the prime agricultural designation was marginal, staff should be open to re-assessing the designation.  He indicated he had visited MacLaren’s Landing and that, as a farmer, he had difficulty finding what he would describe as significant areas of prime agricultural land.  He acknowledged that there were pockets of it, but that there was also a considerable amount of rough land.  He submitted that based on today’s agricultural economy, the subject property could not be considered a large tract of prime agricultural land.  With respect to any potential expansion of the livestock operation on the property, again, he felt there was not enough prime agricultural land to justify anyone ever considering establishing an intensive livestock operation.  Therefore, he felt that should not be a consideration. 


With respect to the possibility of future intensification of livestock, Councillor El-Chantiry wondered if there was any ability to impose mitigating conditions in the future, when the plan of subdivision would come forward for approval.  Mr. G. Lindsay, Manager of Development Approvals, responded in the negative.  He explained that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food prescribed separation distances and whatever distance was prescribed by the Ministry, that area would be excluded from any draft plan approval of subdivision. 


Responding to a further question from Councillor El-Chantiry, Mr. Lindsay indicated that, should a plan of subdivision come forward as had been depicted by the applicant and the Ministry prescribed a minimum distance of 300 metres or 600 metres, then any lots contained within that perimeter would have to be removed from the plan of subdivision.


Chair Jellett inquired as to the ramifications if Committee disagreed with the staff recommendation.  Mr. Lindsay indicated it was difficult to speculate.  However, he outlined the potential impacts as follows:

·        It would weaken the Policy and the Official Plan.  Staff was implementing a Council-approved Official Plan, which had gone through a full and complete public process.  The line was drawn and to incrementally piece it off on the edges would only serve for other applications to follow.

·        Should the staff recommendation not be approved, the Province may step in and refer the matter to the Ontario Municipal Board.  The City would then be faced with a situation where staff would not be representing Council’s position at the OMB.  In fact, staff would be subpoenaed to appear against Council.  Such situations should be avoided if at all possible. 

In closing, Mr. Lindsay submitted that in essence, what Committee faced was a decision as to whether or not it would support the policies contained in the Council-approved Official Plan.  Should the staff recommendation carry and the applicant appeal Council’s decision to the OMB, that would be a different matter because the applicant would have an opportunity to prove his case at the Board and staff would represent Council’s position.


Responding to a further comment from Chair Jellett, Mr. Lindsay reminded Committee that the Official Plan had gone through a significant amount of public consultation and the City was required to review it every 5 years.  He submitted that would be the time to consider this proposal; when all of the boundary would be examined and the various factors would be taken into consideration.  He stated that as more and more developments of this nature occurred, there was more and more strain on municipal services and the City had to respond; reducing speed limits, increasing garbage pick-up, etc.  He maintained it had been proven that this type of development cost the City more than it generated in revenue.  Therefore, the City had to come to grips with the amount of development of this nature it would continue to allow in rural areas before the rural areas were no longer rural.  These issues have to be balanced off and this is what the next review of the Official Plan will be looking at; how much of this type of development can be sustained, where it should occur, and should the agricultural designation be reduced to allow it to occur.  He did not believe the City should be approving such applications on a one-off basis.  He felt it sent the wrong message to the rural area, that people would be bringing forward applications and arguing their farmland was not economically sustainable, and that cumulatively it would create a problem.  He maintained it was best addressed during the 5-year review of the Official Plan.   


Chair Jellett wondered what the City would say then, to farmers whose land could not be farmed properly in today’s farm reality; that their farm was worthless and they would not be allowed to develop it or use it for anything else.  Mr. Lindsay maintained that because land could not be farmed did not mean it was automatically available for development.  He submitted that the cumulative impact of this type of development had to be assessed by the City in terms of whether or not the City could afford to sustain it.  He suggested what he would say to an individual whose farmland was perhaps no longer agriculturally viable was that he or she would have to wait until Council made a decision, in conjunction with the Province, as to the impacts of this type of development and the need for it.  He questioned the need for 30 more estate lots in West Carleton when there was a 65-year supply of developable land in that area.  Furthermore, he questioned the wisdom of creating a potential source of conflict through the MDS formula, noting the adjacent community of MacLaren’s Landing had already expressed some concerns over the proposed development. 


Chair Jellett felt the first part of Mr. Lindsay’s response had touched on the issue of property rights; an issue that had recently generated a significant amount of debate.  Mr. Morrison, Director of Planning and Infrastructure Approvals, submitted this touched on a dilemma faced by landowners and the City.  He invited Mr. Marc to comment on a recent occurrence with respect to the issue of the availability of rural estate lots. 


Mr. Marc, Manager of Planning and Environment Law, recalled a recent matter before Committee with respect to proposed development in Dunrobin.  He advised that although in the Dunrobin case, the City’s lead argument was based on hydro-geological concerns, the OMB hearing was actually won on the question of need.  Staff was able to satisfy the Board that there were enough lots available in West Carleton.  


Responding to a question from Councillor El Chantiry, Mr. Lindsay indicated the next review of the Official Plan was scheduled for 2008, at which time all of the policies contained in the OP would be reviewed.  


Councillor Brooks argued many of the policies the City had to deal with were driven by Toronto and by jurisdictions in other parts of the Province.  He felt it was time the City of Ottawa took a role in challenging some of those policies that did not work in Eastern Ontario and he suggested City staff tended to back away from such challenges.  He discussed the scope and challenges of modern day farming.  He referenced the pictures Mr. Snider had shown of the subject property and argued what he saw was not prime agricultural land because of the boulders, stumps, streams and other barriers to farm machinery.  He talked about the dwindling number of farms in Ontario, the economics of farming, and the issue of property rights.  With respect to the issue of availability of and need for development land, the Councillor argued that this country was built on entrepreneurship and capitalism.  He suggested this property owner was being entrepreneurial and seizing an opportunity to develop his land.  By doing so, he would create jobs and put money into the economy.  Having spoken with the applicant, he felt there was community support for the proposal and he maintained that communities should be allowed to govern themselves.  He believed the City had to be flexible in interpreting and applying the Official Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement.  Speaking to the argument that development of this nature would put pressure on the City’s infrastructure, he argued development charges were intended to alleviate that pressure.  Furthermore, he submitted that growth in rural areas was being impeded by such arguments and unless more development was allowed in rural areas, the gap between the urban and suburban Councillors would continue to increase.  In closing, Councillor Brooks urged Committee members to vote down the staff recommendation and to support the Official Plan Amendment application.


Councillor Thompson spoke in support of country estate lot development, noting that more and more, people were moving to the rural areas because they wanted that additional space.  Furthermore, he felt property owners should have the right to develop their land as they saw fit, within reason.  He maintained that rural planning issues had been re-assigned to the ARAC instead of the Planning and Environment Committee because there was recognition that these should be treated differently.  He acknowledged staff’s dilemma in implementing the policies, guidelines and regulations set out for them.  However, he believed that as a political body, the ARAC should forge ahead and take a stand.  He felt that in this case, the application should proceed. 


Councillor El-Chantiry indicated this item was in his ward.  He noted there had been some concerns about this application and more than once, staff had been called upon to speak with the appellant and community members and to provide advice.  The Councillor expressed gratitude toward staff for all their work in that regard.  He referenced Councillor Brooks’ comments about leadership and he submitted that leadership had to begin on the Council side of the table, not on the staff side.  He maintained that through the report, staff had tried to outline all the issues for Committee and Council in terms of the policies and guidelines by which the application had been reviewed and evaluated.  Having spoken with the appellant and his neighbours, he noted the applicant’s willingness to mitigate any negative impacts and he indicated he would be supporting the application. 


Chair Jellett felt this issue went beyond this one application.  He noted members’ problems with the Provincial Policy Statement, he agreed with Councillor Brooks’ argument that it was driven by other jurisdictions and that the City of Ottawa needed to take a position on the PPS and communicate that position to the Province.  However, he indicated his concerns related to timing.  He referenced the upcoming Official Plan review and maintained that would be the appropriate time to discuss concerns with the OP policies.  Although he supported what the applicant was trying to accomplish, he felt this was not the right time for it.  Therefore, he indicated he would be voting in support of the staff recommendation. 


The Committee proceeded to vote on the report recommendation.


That the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee recommend Council refuse an amendment to the Official Plan of the former Township of West Carleton to change the land use designation applying to the property at 375 MacLarens Side Road from Agriculture Resource to General Rural Area.




YEAS (1):        R. Jellett

NAYS (4):       G. Brooks, R. Chiarelli, E. El-Chantiry, D. Thompson


Moved by Councillor R. Chiarelli


That the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee recommend Council approve an amendment to the Official Plan of the former Township of West Carleton to change the land use designation applying to the property at 375 MacLarens Side Road from Agriculture Resource to General Rural Area.


CARRIED as amended with R. Jellett dissenting