8. DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR RURAL VILLAGES
LIGNES DIRECTRICES DE CONCEPTION DES VILLAGES RURAUX
That Council approve the Design Guidelines for Rural Villages as shown in Document 1.
Recommandation du Comité
Que le Conseil approuve les lignes directrices de conception des villages ruraux telles qu’elles sont indiquées au document 1.
1. Deputy City Manager's report Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability dated 4 September 2009 (ACS2009-ICS-PGM-0110).
2. Extract of Draft Minutes, 24 September 2009.
Comité de l'agriculture et des questions rurales
and Council / et au Conseil
Directrice municipale adjointe
Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability
Planning and Growth Management/Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance Élaboration
de la politique et conception urbaine
(613) 580-2424 x22653, Richard.Kilstrom@ottawa.ca
The Design Guidelines for Rural Villages has been prepared as a tool to guide architects, planners, developers, community groups and City staff engaged in the development review process for rural villages. The direction to develop these design guidelines comes from the Rural Settlement Strategy, 2008 Official Plan Review, and the Official Plan.
The Rural Settlement Strategy and the Official Plan support the development of context-specific design guidelines for rural villages. The Settlement Strategy provides direction for the physical development of the rural area, and recommends the City prepare design guidelines that address village mainstreets, heritage and village residential styles. The Official Plan also places a high importance on design, the quality of the built environment and on creating attractive communities. As part of a multi-faceted approach to support creativity and better design in the City, the Official Plan lists 'design guidelines' as an appropriate implementation tool.
City Council has currently approved over 10 sets of design guidelines, which range in topic from Traditional and Arterial Mainstreets, Greenfield Neighbourhoods, Drive-Through Facilities, Gas Stations to Large Format Retail. Similar to the currently approved guidelines, the Design Guidelines for Rural Villages will be a stand-alone document that provides more specific direction in design than the broader objectives outlined in the Official Plan.
There are 26 rural villages identified in the Official Plan. Villages are people-oriented communities in rural areas that can support a mix of land uses. They are relatively low in density and small in scale and may have an eclectic mix of built form, scale and architecture. Villages vary in size and typically developed at junctions of major roads and railways where they could efficiently provide services to the surrounding rural communities. Development traditionally occurred on smaller lots serviced by private wells and septic systems.
The Design Guidelines for Rural Villages shall apply to Ottawa's 26 rural villages at the development review stage. The ‘development review stage’ includes applications for Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendments, Subdivisions and Site Plan Control. The Guidelines shall be applied in conjunction with Council-approved City policies such as, but not limited to, Secondary Plans, Village Plans, Community Design Plans (CDPs), Neighbourhood Plans and other design guidelines. Where there is more precise or village-specific information as part of an approved City policy, for example, as contained within a CDP, the more detailed information will take precedence over the Guidelines. Village commuinty visioning exercises may also provide useful background information to further inform the application of these guidelines. In turn, the Guidelines will provide direction that can be used to augment approved CDPs, inform the development of future CDPs or update zoning.
If approved, the Guidelines will have status as Council policy. City staff will use the Guidelines as a “benchmark” and basis for discussion when evaluating development applications. The Guidelines will also offer clear expectations to the proponent when formulating development proposals for villages. The Guidelines are not a checklist; they allow flexibility to accommodate unique projects, sites and contexts. They are not a substitute for detailed site-specific planning or design and engineering solutions.
The structure of the Guidelines is consistent with that of the previously approved guidelines; they are simple, brief and illustrated so they can be an easy reference for a wide audience. The proposed Guidelines are categorised under five themes that highlight areas of interest to the City and allow the reader to focus their interest and find information quickly.
The five themes are: Community Layout and Design, Architecture and Heritage, Built Form, Streetscape and Open Space.
Context and Issues
Villages have their own planning and development issues, development pressures and infrastructure capabilities. Variation among the villages makes them unique, but may pose challenges when applying the guidelines. The extent of infrastructure networks, quality of natural resources and pace of development will direct how, when and where growth will occur in villages. The guidelines may not all apply equally in all development scenarios, but they represent sound planning principles and should be used to achieve best practices in design.
The Guidelines aim to preserve and enhance the spatial and design qualities of Ottawa’s rural villages. To achieve this, the Guidelines' Objectives:
1. Promote development that acknowledges the unique traditions, culture, history and familiar character that defines villages;
2. Promote development that reinforces the quality and diversity of heritage buildings;
3. Promote development that strengthens village cores as the focus of where people live, work, play and gather;
4. Maintain and promote relatively low-density and small scale development; and
5. Promote development that enhances the existing links between villages and nature.
The Design Guidelines for Rural Villages affect development occurring in the rural villages of Ottawa. The Guidelines provide design direction for rural villages in the absence of a Community Design Plan (CDP), in augmentation of an existing CDP or in the development of a future CDP.
During the public consultation for the Design Guidelines for Rural Villages, an issue was raised by the participants that is outside the scope of the Guidelines. Participants attending the North Gower and Metcalfe open houses requested that truck routes and heavy traffic be redirected away from rural village cores and mainstreets. This village-specific issue requires individual analyses to determine the feasibility of redirecting heavy traffic away from village cores, and could be addressed as part of introducing or updating a village Community Design Plan or as part of a comprehensive Area Traffic Study.
The objective of the consultation for the Design Guidelines for Rural Villages was to engage village stakeholders and create opportunities to receive detailed feedback that would help refine the Guidelines. To achieve proper consultation, the potentially affected public and interest groups were made aware of the project, and bilingual notification was provided as early as possible. Stakeholders were encouraged to ask questions and make comments to influence the final document. The public consultation methods that were used in the project included, web‑based information on ottawa.ca, three community open houses, a presentation to the Rural Issues Advisory Committee and direct discussions with interested parties via email and telephone. The four rural Ward Councillors are also aware of the proposed guidelines.
The first draft of the design guidelines was made available in December 2008. The first draft was modified based on the feedback received from village community associations, village interest groups, the Rural Working Group, City staff and external agencies. As a result of the comments, the first draft of the Guidelines was made more concise and clear, images were replaced and language related to specific servicing considerations was added.
On March 24, 25 and 30, 2009, the second draft was made available at three public open houses that were held in the villages of North Gower, Kinburn and Metcalfe, respectively. Rural Ward Councillors, village Community Associations, village interest groups and the Rural Working Group were contacted directly about the open houses. Advertisement of the meetings was circulated in the Citizen, Le Droit, Express Paper, EMC Papers, East Ottawa Star Paper and Metroland Papers, on the City’s website and notices were posted in the open house venues.
In total, 36 people attended the open houses and provided comments and observations. Most of the revisions requested by participants were specific to the wording of individual guidelines; therefore, general changes were made to reduce technical jargon, elaborate on certain ideas to increase clarity, replace as many non-local images as possible, address redundancies and minimize the conflict between guidelines. The Consultation Details are summarized in Document 2. The majority of participants agreed with 49 of the 51 proposed guidelines. The participants indicated a need to clarify the reduced on-site parking considerations, and a need to remove any fencing restrictions along the mainstreets. Changes were made to the guidelines based on the comments received.
In addition to the comments solicited from the open houses, correspondence via email was received in response to the second draft of the design guidelines. The feedback provided detailed comments on individual design guidelines and also requested changes in areas of redundancies, language clarifications, corrections and additions.
Overall, the participants shared many observations and comments. As a whole, the public indicated overwhelming support for concentrating a mix of uses in the village core, installing public art within the community, providing direct connections to adjacent uses, introducing awnings and seasonal plantings along mainstreets, introducing human-scaled lighting along mainstreets, ensuring pedestrian and cycling routes are continuous, and retaining healthy mature trees.
Document 1 Design Guidelines for Rural Villages (distributed separately and on file with the City Clerk)
Document 2 Consultation Details
- Post the approved Guidelines online at ottawa.ca;
- Organise the distribution of the Guidelines to Client Services Centres and all interested parties;
- Provide the Guidelines to appropriate City Departments and Branches to use as a reference when updating policies and regulations such as Official Plan, Zoning Bylaw, Development Charges Bylaw, etc.
CONSULTATION DETAILS DOCUMENT 2
The first open house was held on March 24, 2009 at the Alfred Taylor Centre in North Gower. Twenty-one members of the public were in attendance and, after reviewing their comments, a majority of participants agreed with 46 of the 51 proposed guidelines. The participants in North Gower were not in favour of having through-roads in residential areas, having higher residential densities in the village core, having on-street parking or having fencing restrictions along the mainstreet.
The second open house was held on March 25, 2009 at the West Carleton Community Complex in Kinburn. Thirteen members of the public were in attendance and, after reviewing their comments, a majority of participants agreed with 47 of the 51 proposed guidelines. The participants in Kinburn questioned the need for the adaptive reuse of vacant schools, requested that the word "height" be added towards achieving compatible infill development and requested that any reference to creating a transition in built form be removed. The participants were not in favour of having fencing restrictions along the mainstreet.
The third open house was held on March 30, 2009 at the Metcalfe Arena and Community Centre in Metcalfe. Fourteen members of the public were in attendance and, after reviewing their comments, a majority of participants agreed with 49 of the 51 proposed guidelines. The participants in Metcalfe indicated their preference for having reduced on-site parking for commercial buildings along a mainstreet and were not in favour of restricting the design of commercial signage.
When comments from the three open houses are looked at as a whole, a majority of participants agreed with 49 of the 51 guidelines. The participants indicated a need to clarify the reduced on-site parking considerations, and to remove any fencing restrictions along mainstreets. At the request of most open house participants, the following changes were made to the design guidelines:
Design requests made by the public and external agencies that conflict with the design objectives and principles outlined in the Official Plan were not incorporated into the guidelines. Despite the requests made by some of the participants, the following changes were not made to the design guidelines:
Overall, the open house participants shared many observations and comments. As a whole, the public indicated overwhelming support for concentrating a mix of uses in the village core, installing public art within the community, providing direct connections to adjacent uses, introducing awnings and seasonal plantings along mainstreets, introducing human-scaled lighting along mainstreets, ensuring pedestrian and cycling routes are continuous, and retaining healthy mature trees.
DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR RURAL VILLAGES
LIGNES DIRECTRICES DE CONCEPTION DES VILLAGES RURAUX
WEST CARLETON-MARCH (5), CUMBERLAND (19),
Jillian Savage, Planner spoke to a PowerPoint presentation on the design guidelines for rural areas. Dana Collings, Program Manager, Urban Design and Area Planning East/South accompanied her. The presentation, which is held on file with the City Clerk, touched on the following:
· The guidelines compliment and act in absence of Secondary Plans, Community Development Plans (CDP) and other guidelines.
· Should there be a conflict between a CDP and the guidelines, the CDP would take precedence.
· City Council has currently approved over ten CDPs that range in context, depending on the community.
· The guidelines would apply to all 26 villages, although not equally.
· The guidelines have five objectives: Community Layout and Design; Architecture and Heritage; Built Form; Streetscape; Open Space.
· The Public Consultation process began in December 2008 until April 2009. Information was included on the City’s website and there were three open houses in addition to presentations held at advisory committee meetings.
· Next Steps: Endorsement by ARAC and City Council, preceded by posting the guidelines on the website and distributing the documents at all Client Service Centres.
Councillor Jellett praised the flexibility of the guidelines, acknowledging that every village is different. He questioned if the guidelines would prevent any servicing to the villages in which Ms. Savage responded that there is no risk of affecting service.
In response to a follow up question from the Councillor, Ms. Savage advised that the guidelines are meant to compliment the neighbourhood plans and reiterated that the CDPs would take precedent if there were a conflict between the two documents.
Councillor Jellett then asked what plans the City had regarding former school sites. Ms. Savage noted that the community would have an opportunity to offer their ideas on area school sites that are vacant. Mr. Moser added that vacant school sites are circulated to all Departments and does not reflect these guidelines.
After a brief discussion regarding CDPs, Councillor Jellett offered to speak with staff offline regarding his suggestion that all villages should have a CDP.
Councillor Brooks echoed Councillor Jellett’s comments regarding the need for all villages to have CDPs. He also raised a number of issues concerning the risk of a small village, such as Ashton, of developers developing at their leisure. He questioned if height restrictions could be included in the guidelines. Ms. Savage advised that height restrictions normally fall under zoning. However, she did highlight that a similar question was raised at an open house meeting, which resulted in ensuring compatibility in scale, massing and height are included in the guideline.
Chair Thompson referred to the list of villages, highlighting Marionville as a unique area since it is located in three different municipalities, the bulk of it being in Russell. He questioned why it appeared as a village. Ms. Savage explained that the list of villages are identified in the Official Plan and have been previously designated. Mr. Collings offered to partner with the Marionville Community Association should any work be anticipated in that area.
That the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee recommend Council approve the Design Guidelines for Rural Villages as shown in Document 1.