agriculturE and rural affairs committee and Planning and environment Committee recommendations


(This matter is subject to Bill 51)


That Council approve an amendment to the Official Plan regarding parkland dedication as detailed in Document 1.


Recommandations DU Comité de l’agriculture et des questions rurales et DU Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement


(Cette question est assujettie au Règlement 51)


Que le Conseil approuve une modification au Plan officiel concernant l'affectation de terrains à la création de parcs, comme le précise le Document 1.






1.                  Deputy City Manager's report, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability, dated 17 February 2009 (ACS2009-ICS-PLA-0042).


Report to/Rapport au :


Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee

Comité de l'agriculture et des questions rurales


and / et


Planning and Environment Committee

Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement


and Council / et au Conseil


17 February 2009 / le 17 fevrier 2009


Submitted by/Soumis par : Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager/

Directrice municipale adjointe,

Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability/

Services d’infrastructure et Viabilité des collectivités 


Contact Person/Personne ressource : Karen Currie, Manager/Gestionnaire, Development Approvals/Approbation des demandes d'aménagement,

Planning and Growth Management /Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance

(613) 580-2424 x 28310, Karen.Currie@ottawa.ca


City Wide/à l'échelle de la Ville

Ref N°: ACS2009-ICS-PLA-0042













That Planning and Environment Committee and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee recommend Council approve an amendment to the Official Plan regarding parkland dedication as detailed in Document 1.




Que le Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement et le Comité de l'agriculture et des questions rurales recommandent au Conseil d'approuver une modification au Plan officiel concernant l'affectation de terrains à la création de parcs, comme le précise le Document 1.





This Official Plan amendment is required in order for the City to use the 'alternative requirements' identified in the Planning Act and to more clearly describe how parkland requirements will be assessed at the time of development. The 'alternative requirements' allow for a greater land dedication rate where higher density residential development is proposed. This amendment, once adopted will enable the implementation of the Parkland Dedication By-law scheduled to be approved by Council on February 25, 2009.




The Planning Act provides that a municipality can require parkland to be given to the City as a condition of development. The Act sets out provisions to determine how much land a municipality may require in this manner. At the time of adoption of  the Official Plan in 2003, temporary policies related to parkland dedication were incorporated subject to staff developing a new Parkland Dedication By-law. In the interim, existing parkland dedication by-laws of the former municipalities were applied. Due to differences in provisions of former by-laws, parkland dedication policies have not  been uniformly applied across the city.


A proposal for a new Parkland Dedication By-law was circulated for public and industry comments in September 2008. That proposal suggested that the City not only replace the existing by-laws but that the City should also apply the 'alternative requirements', permitted by the Planning Act, to higher density residential development.


The Planning Act generally establishes that the municipality can require the dedication of parkland amounting to as much as five  per cent of the area of any land being developed or redeveloped for residential purposes. This parkland is usually required at the time of subdivision or severance or at the time the land is developed and site plan approval is required. The Planning Act, in both Sections 42 and 51, which regulate parkland dedication and lot creation respectively, also permit a municipality to calculate the area of parkland on a different basis. The different method is based not on a percentage of the land area, but on the basis of the number of dwellings being developed. The Act refers to this rate as the 'alternative requirement'. This allows the municipality to request up to one hectare of land for every 300 dwellings being developed.  Unlike the rate based upon a percentage of the site area which is fixed as density increases, the land required by the alternative requirement increases the amount of land dedicated as density increases.  To implement this 'alternative requirement' the municipality must have policies that address its use in the Official Plan.


The Official Plan amendment recommended by this report has four purposes:


  1. to be explicit as to when the City will use the 'alternative requirement' (one hectare for 300 dwelling units) for residential development;
  2. to reorganise and update the current policies of the Official Plan in regard to parkland dedication to reflect the new Parkland Dedication By-law;
  3. to reorganise the polices to be consistent with changes undertaken as part of the concurrent Official Plan Review; and
  4. to identify lands that are exempted from certain provisions of the Parkland Dedication By-law.


There are also minor changes proposed including two new policies that are added to Section 2.5.4, Strategy for Parks and Leisure Areas as follows:


1.      Identifies that parks should be designed to accommodate a variety of community needs. This policy was recommended by a submission on the Parkland Dedication By-law.

2.      Advises that when developing a plan for a community, where a variety of uses and parkland requirements are possible, the City will anticipate the park needs based on the most intensive use of the land that is possible so that sufficient land is set aside for parks at the planning stage.




The Official Plan amendment changes polices that apply citywide and the new Parkland Dedication By-law will also apply new parkland dedication requirements consistently across the city.


There is little change to the parkland dedication requirements for rural wards of the City. The only exception to this is that the Osgoode and West Carleton Wards did not have parkland by-laws and now will require parkland contributions. The proposed Parkland Dedication By-law will require a contribution of two per cent of the area of land being developed for industrial and commercial uses and five per cent of the land developed for residential and other uses. This is consistent with past practice in the rural communities.


The 'alternative requirement' provided for in the Official Plan amendment and the Parkland Dedication By-law will only apply to residential development at urban densities greater than 18 dwelling units per net hectare. These densities are unlikely to occur in rural areas developed with private wells and septic systems.




The proposal for the Parkland Dedication By-law was circulated in September 2008 to Community Associations, architects, developers as well as City Advisory Committees and Departments. That circulation contained an early draft of the Offical Plan amendment. A revised draft amendment was recirculated to Community Associations, Technical Agencies and City Departments. In response to this circulation further submissions were received. A table of the submissions from both the By-law circulation and the circulation of Official Plan amendment is included as Document 2 to this report. Comments supported by staff have been incorporated into the Official Plan amendment proposed in Document 1.




This is a Council-initiated amendment to the City’s Official Plan. As such, the Official Plan amendment is subject to all normal notice requirements and rights of appeal by any person or public body to the Ontario Municipal Board under the provisions of the Planning Act.


If no notice of appeal is filed and the time for filing an appeal has expired, Council’s decision to adopt the amendment will be final and the portion of the Official Plan that has been amended will come into effect on the day after the last day for filing a notice of appeal.


Enactment of this Official Plan amendment will enable Council to subsequently enact the proposed Parkland Dedication By-law, which contains consistent parkland policies for all of Ottawa.








Document 1      Staff report for the Parkland Dedication By-law

Document 2      Public Submissions




Legal Services to forward the implementing by-law to City Council for adoption.


Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability Department to prepare and undertake the statutory notification of the Council’s decision. 






Official Plan Amendment X  Modifications du Plan directeur


To the Official Plan of the City of Ottawa


Parkland Dedication Policies








Land use

Utilisation du sol








PART A – THE PREAMBLE...........................................................................................





PART B – THE AMENDMENT......................................................................................


PART C - IMPLEMENTATION AND INTERPRETATION.......................................









The purpose of this Amendment is to make changes to update the Official Plan policies related to parkland dedication to permit the implementation of a new Parkland Dedication By-law. To do this the Official Plan must clarify the City’s intent to use the ‘alternative requirements’ of the Planning Act and define under what circumstance it will do so.



The Amendment applies citywide.



The City acquires parkland in a number of ways but much of the new parkland is dedicated or funded through the land development process. The legislative authority to require parkland at the time of development comes from the Planning Act.


In order to be able to require parkland dedication the Planning Act requires that the municipality have a Parkland Dedication By-law and appropriate supporting policies in the Official Plan in order to clarify how much land and when parkland will be required.  The City currently uses the Parkland Dedication By-laws of a number of the former municipalities. Not all of the former municipalities had Parkland Dedication By-laws and those By-laws that exist:



The City has prepared, consulted on and intends to adopt a new Parkland Dedication By-law. This requires clarification and changes to the current parkland dedication policies in the Official Plan to reflect the requirements of the Planning Act.




The Official Plan of the City of Ottawa is hereby amended by:


1.      Amending Policy 3 Section 2.5.4 - A Strategy for Parks and Leisure Areas by adding a new policy at the end as follows:


 “d.       designed to be engaging and useful spaces for people across a wide spectrum of age, socio-economic demographics and recreational interests.” 


2.      Amending Section 2.5.4 - A Strategy for Parks and Leisure Areas by deleting policies 4, 5 and 6 in their entirety and adding a new policy as follows:


4.  To ensure that sufficient land for parks is set aside when preparing a community design plan, a concept plan or other higher level planning exercise for an area or community, the City will determine the park requirements based upon the maximum potential for development anticipated by the community design plan, concept plan or planning exercise.


3.     Amending Section 4.10 Greenspace Requirements to read as follows and renumbering the existing policies accordingly:


4.10 – Parks and Greenspace Requirements

The City is committed to providing a range of greenspace throughout urban and rural communities. In particular, the requirements for greenspace (see Section 2.4.5) and for parks and leisure areas (see Section 2.5.4) will apply in the review of development applications.




Parkland Dedication

1.       As a condition of development or redevelopment, the City will acquire land for park or other public recreational purposes through the provisions of the Planning Act, in a way that best meets park and leisure needs of the community. [Former Section 2.5.4 policy 4, modified]

2.       The City shall require the dedication of land for parks in an amount not exceeding 2% of the area of land that is developed or redeveloped for industrial or commercial purposes.

3.       The City shall require the dedication of land for parks in an amount not exceeding 5% of the area of land that is developed or redeveloped for all other purposes except that the City will calculate the park dedication for residential development or redevelopment at densities that exceed 18 units per net hectare using the ‘alternative requirement’ of 1 hectare for every 300 dwelling units as provided in the Planning Act or some lesser amount based upon this requirement. The Parkland Dedication By-law will identify circumstances when a lesser amount will be considered.

4.       The City will determine the parkland dedication for mixed-use development or redevelopment on the basis of the proportion of the site or building occupied by each type of use.  When considering a development or redevelopment in which a mix of uses is permitted but the uses have not been finalised, the City will determine the uses that will produce the greatest amount of parkland, in accordance with the Parkland Dedication By-law, for the purpose of determining the amount of parkland to be dedicated. [Former Section 2.5.4 policy 6 modified]

5.        Notwithstanding policies 2, 3 and 4 above, parkland dedication requirements for development or redevelopment on land in:

a)       the South Nepean Town Centre Secondary Plan: the parkland requirement for residential uses will be determined by policies in that Secondary Plan; or

b)       the area of Kanata Lakes defined in the Parkland Dedication By-law: the parkland requirements for all development that is subject to the legal agreement to provide 40% greenspace, will be determined based upon that agreement.

6.       Generally, lands dedicated for park purposes will be located within the land area that is being subdivided, developed or redeveloped. However, the City may consider the dedication of land that is not part of the development where it is satisfied that the parkland provides a benefit to the residents of the land being developed and the community as a whole.

7.       The City may require payment-in-lieu of the parkland dedication: where there is insufficient land within the development; where the lands to be dedicated are not the right kind or are not located in the best place; or where open space and parkland targets have already been met.  Where payment-in-lieu is taken, it will be principally for the acquisition of new parkland or the improvement of existing local, park and recreational facilities accessible to the area being developed. However, the City’s Parkland Dedication By-law will provide for a portion of these funds to be used for park and recreation purposes that are citywide in scale. [Former Section 2.5.4 policy 5 modified]

8.       Where a payment pursuant to policy 7 is required, no person shall construct a building on the land proposed for development or redevelopment unless, the payment has been made, or arrangements that are satisfactory to the City for the payment have been made.

9.       The Parkland Dedication By-law will identify those uses that will be exempt from parkland dedication requirements, such as development or redevelopment by the Governments of Canada, Ontario or agencies thereof.  The Parkland Dedication By-law will also identify and address all other policies listed above. 






The policies of Section 5 of the City’s Official Plan shall apply.  The text shown shaded and in square brackets in this amendment is for information purposes only and does not form part of the associated policy. 



PUBLIC SUBMISSIONS                                                                                        DOCUMENT 2





1.       Domicile Developments Inc.- Opposes the use of any parkland dedication rate that exceeds 5% for residential uses proposed in the Official Plan particularly in the downtown where the added cost will make it more difficult to build.


The proposed rate will impact downtown development more than development in suburban locations. The cap of 10% is intended to make this parkland rate more predictable in the area and less onerous than most other urban municipalities.

2.       Resident -The City should not retain 40% of the cash-in-lieu taken in a district be used for city-wide park purposes.


The reason that a citywide fund is recommended is to ensure that the City has funds to provide for facilities that benefit more than one district., such as land acquisition for citywide projects. And examples of this are the existing Andrew Hayden Park, Petrie Island or the soccer park at 5650 Mitch Owens Road.


3.       Resident -The rate for institutional are too high and will prejudice non-profit organizations developing institutional uses. The discussion paper did not provide justification for the increase in the contribution for these uses being raised from 2% to 5% when these uses provide vital public services Applicants often request and are given exemptions.


The proposed approach reflected the approach of the former municipal by-laws which all require 5% dedication. The City of Ottawa has granted exemptions in the past to some developments.  Staff have reviewed the circumstances and propose to exempt non-profit uses from the requirement for parkland dedication.

4.       Resident -The provisions are too strict and the City should accept lands subject to occasional flooding as parklands

Generally if the lands cannot be developed for other purposes then they are not suited to park development. This does not preclude the City using flood prone lands in public ownership for passive recreation purposes.


5.       Two-acre rural lots are more expensive to develop than high-density developments in the urban area and should not have to provide parkland. Instead parkland should be provided in the Villages.


People living on rural estate lots do contribute to the demand for parks and sports fields in the rural area and should contribute to the provision of these facilities. The Staff recommendation is that the City should take cash-in-lieu in this circumstance and acquire land in or adjacent to villages. 

6.       New Edinburgh Community Alliance (NECA) -

a.        No way to assess how rates compare to other municipalities.

b.       When does the parkland rate start to apply?

c.        Rather than taking cash in lieu where dedication on site would make the development unfeasible this group feels that the development should not be approved or reduced in scale.

d.       Will there be consultation when spending cash-in-lieu funds.

e.        When area based values are used will they be made public

a.        Table 2 Document 2 attached to the staff report for the Parkland Dedication By-law identifies the parkland rates for a number of other municipalities.

b.       The City will apply the rates upon adoption of the parkland dedication by-law.

c.        Most situations where develop becomes not feasible is where the taking of parkland from the site reduces the developable area to the point where it is no longer economical to develop the land

d.       Spending cash-in-lieu funds requires project and budget approval by Council to access the cash-in-lieu account. The community can contribute to determining how these funds are used within districts by contributing to the identification and prioritization of city projects through the usual budget process.

e.        An area based rate for parkland is only proposed for rural severances at this time. Where an area based rate is to be used elsewhere a change to the Parkland Dedication By-law will be required and the area rate will be identified in the City’s schedule of fees and charges.


7.       Plant Pool Recreation Association  -

a.        Communities that currently suffer a parkland deficit should retain 100% of their cash-in-lieu while communities that have a parkland surplus should have their cash-in-lieu allocate to citywide use. 

b.       Allow off site dedication to be used to provide parkland in communities with a current parkland deficit.

c.        Why not have much smaller districts



a.          The City’s Official Plan states that cash-in-lieu “…will be for the acquisition of new parkland or the improvement of existing local-park and recreational facilities accessible to the area being developed.” As communities grow, they all generate the need for recreational space.

b.          The essence of the above policy is that the dedication land or cash should be accessible to the development. This approach would need the agreement of both communities since a district approach is proposed.

c.          The smaller the district the less cash-in-lieu is amassed and potential to acquire land is reduced.


8.       Hintonburg Community Association -

a.        Waiving of parkland dedication and particularly waiving cash-in-lieu should not be considered in the older inner-city residential neighbourhoods.

b.       The Districts recommended by staff are too large and recommend that wards be used.

c.        Suggest that all parks be dedicated. Since some land that the community considers a park may in fact not be a dedicated park. 


a.        The proposed by-law does not recommend waiving of parkland requirements, including cash-in-lieu, for any residential development with the exception of accessory apartments and non-profit projects.

b.       The districts proposed in the draft by-law are:

§         intended to mirror as closely as possible the Development Charges collection areas; and

§         to be large enough to incorporate sufficient development or redevelopment to generate funds that will be usable within the district. Fragmenting the funds into many small districts can detrimentally restrict opportunities to acquire land.   

c.        Only parks that are provided through the development process are ‘dedicated’.  The former municipalities often acquired land for parks and also may have converted other City-owned land to greenspace. These greenspaces cannot be ‘dedicated’ but many are zoned as open spaces and like any public land must go through a public process if they are declared surplus. Vacant land, in private ownership, is also frequently viewed by the community as park while they are not. At the time of development the City will assess the ability to protect a portion of these lands for park purposes.   


9.       Ottawa Catholic School Board - The Board supports the exemption from parkland dedication given to schools.


The proposed By-law does not require parkland dedication from schools.

10.    Resident - The requirement for the provision of parks in association with commercial developments is supported


The proposed by-law will require parkland for commercial and industrial development. The provision of parks in this area will be contingent upon opportunities and community design plan allocation of parks.


11.    Resident -The City should provide incentives to developers to provide more than 5% parkland.

Incentives can be considered but were not part of the project t o present a parkland by-law. The proposed by-law requires higher rates of parkland to be provided as residential densities increase.


12.    Ottawa Community Gardening -

a.        Believe that Community Gardens should be identified as a priority land-use with access to parks.

b.       Add to the location and functional requirements for parks that they be engaging and meaningful to a wide demographic

c.        For residential apartments, that parkland be provided in the direct vicinity of the development and that community garden space be a priority

d.       If the City is to exempt non-profit housing projects from parkland dedication then City should provide alternative funding for park delivery to avoid social stratification of parkland access.


a.        The City’s Zoning By-law already permits community gardens in City parks. The merits of providing space for community gardens should be weighed with the other competing interests for park space.

b.       Policies to this effect are proposed in the Official Plan Amendment at Document 3.

c.        The ability to meet this objective varies depending upon where development is occurring and the availability of lane in the vicinity.  If parkland cannot be provide on the site it is often difficult to guarantee that parkland will be provided in the immediate vicinity. It is City policy to attempt to provide parkland or enhance facilities that can be used by the residents of the development.

d.       Agreed. This report does not examine the other sources of parkland funding.

13.    Resident -The Rural Pathways Plan should be used as an additional guideline for determination of future park locations

The Parkland Dedication By-law does not dictate the location of parks it only establishes when and how much parkland dedication will be required. The Rural Pathways Plan was prepared by representatives of a number of rural communities and was endorsed by Council. The document has assisted in the preparation of community design plans for villages and was considered in the preparation of the City’s Cycle Plan.   Providing connectivity between city parks remains an objective of the Official Plan.


14.    Resident - Disagree with any cash-in-lieu being allocated to a city wide account to be administered by the City staff and Council because of a bias towards urban areas

Staff recommends that 40% of the cash collected will be used to contribute to park projects that serve multiple districts or the city as a whole. Given the need for larger scale recreational areas such as multi filed soccer and ultimate frisbee parks, it is necessary to protect funds to enable the purchase of sufficient land. These purchases can involve millions of dollars and no one district will accumulate such large reserves.


15.    Resident - 100% of the cash-in-lieu collected in the rural districts should only be spent in the nearest village to the development. 

While the provision of parks in villages is more efficient in terms of population density and proximity to other services the City must also provide facilities for a highly dispersed rural population as well as higher order parks are discussed in 14 above.


16.    Urbandale Corporation

a.        The City’s approach should consider existing agreements made with developers that broaden the definition of parkland and that may no longer be considered once the by-law is adopted. These should be acknowledged in the Official Plan amendment.

b.       It appears that the parkland for apartments would be 10% in every case. How will parkland be calculated?

c.        Will the City refund a developer / landowner if the maximum density is not achieved where parkland is assessed using the zoning of the land?

d.       What scenario would have development occurring without a Planning Act approval?

e.        For area based rates will there be a public approval process for the area used? 

f.         How was the percentage for the city wide account established?.

g.       Institutional uses should fall into the same category as commercial or industrial.

h.       Parkland should include natural environment areas.

a.     The intention is to recognise existing agreements within the Parkland Dedication By-law.

b.    Parkland for apartments will be calculated based upon the number of units provided at the rate of 1hectare per 300 units. If the resulting area of land exceeds 10% of the site area, the dedication or cash-in-lieu will be taken as 10% of the site area or value.  For many large apartment projects this will be the contribution. Smaller projects may contribute less than 10%.

c.     Where parkland needs to be assessed at the subdivision stage and the owner does not provide information on the potential development the parkland requirement will be estimated based upon the zoning.  If the ultimate development does not meet the estimated density the City will compensate the land-owner in the same manner as it now does.

d.       Dwellings on existing lots and some additions are rated small enough not to warrant site plan approval.

e.        An area based rate for parkland is only proposed for rural severances at this time. This rate will be established using semi annual appraisals undertaken by the City. Currently each site is subject to an individual appraisal. Setting a flat rate will provide clarity to the applicant, reduce the administrative process required and eliminated the current appraisal fee of $500 +GST.  Where an area based rate is to be used elsewhere a change to the Parkland Dedication By-law will be required and the area rate will be identified in the City’s schedule of fees and charges.

f.         The percentage for the district and the citywide account was recommended by staff to ensure that there are sufficient funds available to leverage opportunities that may arise.

g.       Most institutional uses are exempt and the previous practice has been to require 5%.

h.       The City has an acquisition policy for significant wooded land within the City but really needs table land for park purposes. The Parkland Dedication By-law is intended to deal with this latter need.


17.    Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee (original submission attached) -

a.        It would be helpful to know how the City defines parkland

b.       This by-law should be co-ordinated with other city by-laws such as the  Tree Preservation By-law and other policy documents such as the Climate Change Strategy etc.

c.        Believe that the percentage of parkland should be increased for all uses to a minimum of 5%

d.       Add land within 30 m of a riparian border to a watercourse as land not acceptable as parkland.

e.        Request copies of section of the sections 42 and 51 of the Planning Act be added as an appendix. 

f.         A minimum requirement should be added for rural consents

g.       Do not understand why non-profit housing is exempted and believe that in the case of the places of worship and educational institutions should provide greenspace as part of the development.

h.       Acknowledging a credit for existing development is not understood.

i.         Cash in lieu should be a last resort with priority given to land dedication and OFGAC should be included in the determination of when it is used.

j.         What criteria are used to determine that there is insufficient land that is usable or functional as a park

k.        Who determines if the development is “unfeasible” in relation to onsite dedication of land?

l.         Who determines if other land is more appropriate or accessible for park purposes  

m.      Who decides that an area is well served with parkland? This should include both active and passive parkland

n.       How Development Charges and other cash-in-lieu payments influence land values needs to be explained

o.       When allocating cash -in-lieu funds the city should identify that it is for the acquisition of “active and passive” parks

p.       There are not mechanisms in the accounting proposed by staff to ensure that cash-in-lieu is not consumed in the provision of buildings on parks and not the acquisition of greenspace.

q.       Identify what the Planning Act provisions are as an appendix.

r.         Change the proposed Official Plan amendment to reference passive recreation 

s.        Do not agree that exemptions or exceptions should be given to the requirement for parkland dedication.

t.         Recommend that the other agreements that have been established with developers be posted on the website and updated regularly.

u.       In addition to the types of land that the City may not accept as parkland include land within 30 metres of the riparian zone of waterways



a.        The Parkland Dedication By-law does not define parkland. Generally the by-law deals with land that is dedicated through the development process and that is land suitable for the use of the public for recreational purposes. The City provides a variety of different parks ranging from sports fields to walking trails. Not all of these are dedicated parks.

b.       This by-law is specific to the empowerment of the City to require parkland at the time of development and to the extent possible is consistent with the other City by-laws and policies.

c.        The Act limits the amount of parkland that can be required from Commercial and industrial uses

d.       Staff agree that while land that may be flood prone or that contains unstable slopes may not be accepted as parkland it is also an objective of the City to acquire and preserve tableland adjacent to waterways. This may be within the 30-metre setback.

e.        Document 1 to this report includes extracts from the Planning Act for information purposes. These will not be included in the Parkland Dedication By-law

f.         An area based rate for parkland is proposed for rural severances. This rate will be established using semi annual appraisals undertaken by the City. Currently each site is subject to an individual appraisal. Setting a flat rate will provide clarity to the applicant, reduce the administrative process required and eliminated the current appraisal fee of $500 +GST. 

g.       Non-profit organisations utilise public money including City funds to provide housing and other services.  The City in previous by-laws has exempted non-profit housing groups. Providing these organisations with money only to request it back seems to be counter the intention to provide cost effective services. The Parkland Dedication By-law is intended to deal with the provision of public parks. The provision of on-site greenspace is addressed through landscaping plans etc. at the time of site plan approval.

h.       There are many properties in the older areas of Ottawa that were not required to contribute to parkland when they were developed. When these properties are redeveloped the development already on the site is grandfathered. For example if a single residence is replaced by four town homes the property is only required to contribute parkland for the three new dwellings. This grandfathering is established in the Act.

i.         Cash-in-lieu is a last resort and the circumstances where it is considered are identified in the By-law. The decision to recommend the acceptance of cash-in- lieu is made by staff. Development applications are circulated to OFGAC for comments and they have an opportunity to make recommendations on parkland dedication to staff and Council at that time.

j.         The determination of the amount and usefulness of the land for park purposes is made by staff dealing with the development application in consultation with the staff responsible for the development and programming of parks. Again advisory committees and the community can provide input through the development review process.

k.        See j above. Feasibility usually is a measure of the likelihood that development can, or cannot, proceed if land is removed for a park.

l.         Cash-in-lieu is often taken in new communities where the City wishes to consolidate land in specific locations for parks. These parks are normally identified through the community design plans of larger development plans where the public has been involved in the design of the new community. The City may prefer to purchase a surplus school site using cash-in-lieu from number of developments rather than getting smaller pieces of land from these developments that may be less useful.

m.      Being well served with parkland is rarely identified as a reason for cash in-lieu being required. This decision is made in light of the City’s park programming needs and must balance the community’s active and passive parkland requirements. The City’s Sportsfield Strategy identified needs in all communities in regard to active recreation needs over the planning period.

n.       The Ontario Municipal Board has given directions to municipalities when determining the value of a property for the purpose of establishing the amount of cash-in-lieu.  Where the municipality uses the sale value of a similar property to establish the market value of the land being developed, the municipality must discount the sale price of any Development Charges and municipal fees and charges that may be inherent in the sale price.

o.       The purpose of the by-law is to establish the legal mechanism to enable the City to get either land or cash-in- lieu. It is not intended to determine the type of parkland that is acquired.

p.       There are no mechanisms in the proposed Parkland Dedication By-law that dictate that the money is to be only used for land acquisition as the use of the cash-in-lieu will vary depending upon the needs of the community. In general the intention is that cash-in-lieu will be used for land purchase.

q.       See e. above.

r.         The draft Official Plan amendment has been revised from that included in the Discussion document. The amendment will be re-circulated and OFGAC will have an opportunity to comment on the draft at that time.

s.        Staff do not agree, there are a number land uses that do not generate demand for parkland and the City has provided exemptions in the past for these uses.

t.         It is proposed that those agreements that are contrary to the Parkland Dedication By-law will be identified in the By-law. As of the date of adoption of the By-law all agreements must conform to the provisions of the by-law.

u.       See d. above.

18.    Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee -

a.        That woodlots retained for conservation purposes be removed from the list of lands not suitable for dedication as parkland.

b.       That the City not exempt non-profit rental or not-for-profit sponsored ownership residential development from parkland dedication.

a.        Disagree. The City does not want to be in the position of being required to accept woodland as parkland. The draft By-law states that the General Manager or delegate retains the right to not accept these lands as parkland. This does not preclude exceptional circumstances where this land would not be considered and such consideration would include the evaluation of the recreation needs of the community.

b.       Disagree, Most non-profit housing projects receive financial support or land from the City and taking land or money back contradicts the original intent. City Council already exempts non-profit housing projects and amended the former Parkland By-laws accordingly.

Comments received for the OPA


19.    Greenspace Alliance;

a.          Areas of the City are not well served with parks. The City should assign cash-in-lieu in a manner that gives to priority to existing underserved areas.

b.          Policies refer to maximum dedication rates of 2% and 5% but do not mention the minimum requirement and this could meant that the city will accept less than these rates in some circumstances.

a.          The City’s Official Plan indicates that Cash-in-lieu will be used for the acquisition of land or the improvement of existing local parks and recreational facilities accessible to the area being developed. Staff have recommended that this principle be implemented through districts with 60% of the cash accumulated in the district being used in the district to provide parkland and 40% will be used by the City to fund larger facilities that serve the whole city including the area being developed. Within the districts there may be areas more in need of parkland and these needs can form the basis of parkland implementation plans for the district.

b.          The Planning Act refers to these rates as maximums and the City may chose to require less. The Official Plan amendment simply reiterates the Act however, the Parkland Dedication By-law, proposed to the Council establishes these as the required rate for dedication along with the alternative requirement for higher density residential uses. 

20.    Councillor Qadri -

a.           There needs to be policies that govern when offsite dedication is considered that ensure that the dedication is located where it is useful to the residents of the development.

b.          Cash-in-lieu is accepted in order to provide parkland elsewhere because it cannot be provided on site. The allocation of 40% of the Cash-in-lieu for citywide projects seems to defeat this purpose.

c.           The use of the conveyed land or land acquired for park is limited by the Planning Act but there should be a mechanism whereby the parkland can be declared surplus and the Council should have the right to use it for other purposes.

a.          The City’s Official Plan indicates that cash-in-lieu will be used for the acquisition of land or the improvement of existing local parks and recreational facilities accessible to the area being developed. The same approach applies to the acceptance of land not part of the site being developed. Off site dedication rarely occurs but should be possible in some instances to replace cash where a developer has land that the City may prefer. These negotiations would only occur with the knowledge of the Councillors and there is an advantage in the provision of the park space

b.          Staff are recommending that 40% of cash-in-lieu funds will be used by the city to fund larger sites that serve the whole city. These sites provide benefit to everyone including residents of the area being developed and satisfy the need for higher level recreational services. Examples could include sports parks and beaches.

c.          The Planning Act does provide that the municipality may declare a piece of parkland surplus to park needs and may sell the land. However, the funds from that sale may only be used in the acquisition of parkland or the provision of recreational facilities.


21.    Resident-

a.           The city should require the dedication of parkland at the rates of 2% and 5% and not require anything less

b.          The reference to the use of the ‘alternative requirement’ of 1 ha for every 300 dwelling units, as provided in the Planning Act, or some lesser amount based upon this requirement is unnecessary and detrimental and may result in no parkland being required.

c.           Cash-in-lieu should not be supported by the Official Plan since it amounts to a bribe not to provide parkland.

d.          Supports the proposal to calculate parkland for mixed-use development based upon the portion of each use on the site provided that each use is assessed at the maximum rate. 

a.          The City does require parkland at these rates and this requirement is identified in the Parkland Dedication By-law proposed to Council. However the by-law also requires no parkland dedication for some uses. The wording of the Official Plan is deliberate in order to permit these exemptions.

b.          The ‘alternative requirement’ generally provides more parkland but for extremely high densities on small sites the parkland requirement can make development unfeasible. It is for this reason that staff are recommending that the parkland requirement for apartments be capped at 10% of the area of land being developed. The reference to a lesser amount in the policy allows the City to cap the parkland requirement in this manner.

c.          The payment of cash-in-lieu of the dedication of land is provided for in the Planning Act. It is at the City’s discretion to accept cash instead of land. It is a valuable option in new communities where the community plan identifies the preferred location for parks. In these situations taking land from every developer would work against the community plan and result in many small pieces of scattered parkland that are more expensive to maintain.  In older more urban areas pocket parks can be effective but so can pooling resources to buy larger sites such as closed schools. Cash-in-lieu allows this.

d.          Agree provided the exemptions proposed by the draft Parkland Dedication By-law are supported.

22.    Resident - The City should require all developers to provide serious amenity space to any community in which they are working.


Agree - Through the preparation of community design plans and the dedication of land or the payment of cash-in-lieu by developers through the development review process, the needs of the community are addressed.