1. ZONING - PART OF 130 DAVID MANCHESTER ROAD
ZONAGE – partie du 130, chemin david-manchester
COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION AS AMENDED
That Council approve an amendment to Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of part of 130 David Manchester Road to permit warehouse and retail uses.
RECOMMANDATION MODIFIÉE DU COMITÉ
Que le Conseil municipal approuve une modification au Règlement de zonage 2008-250 en vue de changer le zonage d’une partie du 130, chemin David-Manchester afin de permettre un entrepôt et des utilisations pour un commerce au détail.
1. Deputy City Manager’s Report, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability, dated 23 June 2011 (ACS2011-ICS-PGM-0137).
2. Extract of Draft Minutes, 1 September 2011.
Report to/Rapport au :
Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee
Comité de l’agriculture et des affaires rurales
and Council / et au Conseil
Submitted by/Soumis par : Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager/Directrice municipal adjointe, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability/Services d’infrastructure et Viabilité des collectivités
That the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee recommend Council refuse an amendment to Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of part of 130 David Manchester Road to permit warehouse and retail uses.
Que le Comité de l’agriculture et des affaires rurales recommande au Conseil municipal de refuser une modification au Règlement de zonage 2008-250 en vue de changer le zonage d’une partie du 130, chemin David-Manchester afin de permettre un entrepôt et des utilisations pour un commerce au détail.
An application for a Zoning By-law amendment has been submitted in support of a development proposal on the southern tip of a triangular piece of land known as 130 David Manchester Road. The lands subject to the Zoning By-law amendment contain approximately 1.64 hectares and will be severed from an overall holding of 7.2 hectares.
The purpose of the Zoning By-law amendment proposal is to rezone the subject lands from RU (Rural Countryside) to a rural commercial zone to permit the construction of a warehouse with retail and office uses. The prospective land owners are a toy retail wholesaler that has destination shopping, on-line shopping, a large warehouse component and outdoor equipment display.
The subject property is physically within 750 metres of the Highway 7/Hazeldean Road interchange with a driving distance of approximately one kilometre. David Manchester Road is identified as a collector road. The road is paved from Hazeldean Road to the site, but exists as a gravel road north of the subject lands. Highway 7 is identified as a Scenic Entry Route, being used by visitors and business travelers arriving in Ottawa and the National Capital Region.
The subject lands are currently vacant and are forested. The immediate surrounding land uses are mineral extraction (quarry) to the east, as well as rural industrial uses including a towing yard and concrete product manufacturer opposite Highway 7. The area to the west of the site contains sparse rural residences and vacant, forested land. A high-tension electrical transmission corridor (easement) crosses the lands to the immediate north of the site.
The intent is to construct a building with an initial phase of between 1,393 and 1,858 square metres with the potential to expand to a development between 2,787 to 3,716 square metres in the longer term. The majority of the space is warehouse with a small component for office and a retail showroom. The development concept is that the building will have the appearance of fronting onto Highway 7 with access to the site from the rear on David Manchester Road.
The property is currently zoned Rural Countryside (RU). The intent of the RU Zone is to accommodate land uses characteristic of Ottawa’s countryside in areas designated General Rural Area, Rural Natural Features and Greenbelt Rural in the Official Plan. The RU Zone recognizes and permits a range of rural-based land uses while ensuring compatibility with adjacent land uses and in respect of the rural context. The requested zoning is a site specific zoning amendment to permit the proposed warehouse and retail/office uses.
Provincial Policy Statement
The Planning Act requires that planning matters “be consistent with” the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS).
Section 1.1.1 of the PPS promotes efficient development and land use patterns which sustain the financial well-being of the Province and municipalities over the long term; avoiding development and land use patterns which may cause environmental or public health and safety concerns; avoiding land use patterns that would prevent the efficient expansion of settlement areas in areas which are adjacent or close to settlement areas; and promoting cost-effective development standards to minimize land consumption and servicing costs. The introduction of a commercial industrial use in this location constitutes inefficient scattered development.
Section 126.96.36.199 of the PPS recommends that settlement areas shall be the focus of growth for new development to take place. There is an existing supply of vacant industrial land in the urban area to support the proposed warehouse use.
Section 188.8.131.52 states that in rural areas in municipalities, development that is compatible with the rural landscape and can be sustained by rural service levels should be promoted. The Official Plan sets out the type of new uses that may be considered in the General Rural Area as part of a Zoning By-law amendment application. The proposed use is not compatible with the surrounding rural landscape which is comprised of scattered residential uses, vacant and forested land. The proposed use is not related to the management or use of resources, resource based recreational activities, limited residential development or other rural land uses. The PPS promotes other economic opportunities in rural areas of municipalities but not at the expense of the long term availability of land and resources.
Further, Section 2.1.3 states that development shall not be permitted in significant habitat or endangered or threatened species unless it has been demonstrated that there will be no negative impacts on the natural features or on their ecological functions. The Environmental Impact Statement prepared in support of the proposed rezoning does not adequately ensure protection of environmental features and functions on the site and adjacent to the site.
The Official Plan designates the subject property Rural Natural Feature (RNF). Rural Natural Features are natural areas within the rural setting that contain woodlands, wetlands and wildlife habitat that were identified by the Natural Environment Systems Strategy (NESS – Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton, 1997) as being significant within Ottawa. The site and the larger property to the north are part of RNF 419 which contains wetlands (including the Provincially Significant Goulbourn Wetland Complex which is approximately 340 metres to the north of the property), and headwaters for tributaries feeding into Huntley Creek.
Any development proposed within a Rural Natural Feature designation must be assessed in terms of its impact on the area’s natural features and functions, particularly impacts arising from the extent of disturbance and the location of buildings. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required for development proposed within 120 metres of a Rural Natural Feature or on lands adjacent to these designated areas. No development or site alteration is permitted unless the EIS indicates it will have no negative impact, defined as degradation that threatens the health and integrity of the natural features or ecological functions for which an area is identified due to single, multiple or successive development or site alteration activities.
Section 3.7.2 of the Official Plan (General Rural Area) is applicable to the subject lands. A Zoning By-law amendment is required where other new non-residential uses that would not be better located within a Village and which are in keeping with the rural character or those uses that meet the needs of the traveling public, such as a restaurant, gas station, motel, retail of up to 1,000 square metres gross leasable area or similar use. The following matters must be considered when considering an application to amend the Zoning By-law to permit a new use:
a) The use would not be better located in a Village or the urban area;
The proposed warehouse / retail use is a destination commercial use which intends to consolidate the retail and distribution components of the current operation in the urban area to the rural area. The proposed use is not supportive of the agricultural sector and exceeds the type and extent of commercial development that could be contemplated as acceptable in the Rural Area. The proposed use is not related to the rural economy and does not by its nature need to locate in the rural area. The proposed commercial (retail/warehouse) use would be better situated in the urban area.
b) If the use is to be located on a local road, it must be demonstrated that the volume and pattern of traffic flow anticipated from the development will not interfere with the proper functioning of the local road network;
The Transportation Impact Brief submitted in support of the proposed rezoning states that David Manchester Road (a collector road) has capacity to accommodate new traffic. Staff interprets the transportation issue to be more indirectly associated with introducing an incompatible use into the rural area. While the warehouse use may be the predominant use on the site, the retail function and its associated traffic is incompatible in a rural setting.
Staff are of the opinion that the site is removed from the interchange with rural land in between the site and the interchange. The Official Plan does not encourage commercial industrial uses at any rural interchange. Furthermore, the appropriate distances from these interchanges has not been evaluated so it would be premature to consider the proposed use when it has not been looked at comprehensively for all rural interchanges city-wide and for lands abutting 400 series highways.
c) The privacy of adjacent landowners or the amelioration of potential adverse impacts from lighting, noise, odor, dust, or traffic can be achieved by separating the land uses, buffering or other measures as part of the development;
Destination retail uses are not permitted in the Rural Area and would negatively impact adjacent rural landowners on David Manchester Road. The proposed landscape screening along the frontage of the property facing David Manchester Road will not be sufficient to mitigate the visual impact given that size and display component of the warehouse which is expected to be “larger than normal” as described by the applicant.
d) The potential for reducing possible impacts on neighbouring agricultural uses or nearby rural residential or Village communities, where relevant;
Screening and landscaping were the only mitigative measures suggested to reduce possible impacts of the proposed use on neighbouring rural residential uses.
e) The development is in keeping with the surrounding rural character and landscape;
There are no commercial or industrial uses in proximity to the site. While the site is located adjacent to Highway 7, the site is physically about one kilometre removed from the interchange and surrounded by rural land on all sides other than the side abutting the highway. This would be considered scattered development.
f) All those requirements of Section 2 and 4 related to transportation, servicing, design and compatibility and environmental protection;
This is discussed in sub-section (h) below, as well as in the review of the Environmental Impact Statement later in the report.
g) Noxious uses will only be considered where suitable screening and buffering can be provided and generally these uses will not be considered in locations within groundwater recharge areas or immediately adjacent to residential areas, Scenic-Entry Routes or waterfront areas;
The Highway 7 corridor is identified as a Scenic-Entry Route in the Official Plan. The goal of these routes along principal roads is to orient travelers and provide direction to the City’s attractions while the overall pattern of development must create a favourable first impression of Ottawa. Guidelines for Scenic-Entry Routes are being developed in order to promote attention to such matters as building orientation, outside storage, access and egress, landscaping, fencing, lighting and signage to create an aesthetically pleasing streetscape. The protection of views to natural and cultural heritage features, mature trees, and roadside vegetation along and beyond the right-of-way is also promoted. In the absence of any specific guidelines, staff note one of the key characteristics of the site and the proposed use is visibility from Highway 7. That being said and given the rural setting at this interchange, the proposed use and concept plan do not support the goals of protecting natural heritage features, mature trees and roadside vegetation. In addition, the requirement for the use to have outdoor display of merchandise is not compatible with these goals.
h) The impact that the development will have on the protection of tree cover and local wildlife movement, as a result of proposed site clearing and grading, fencing, security lighting and other similar site plan matters.
While the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) states that the site can be developed without imposing negative impacts as defined in Section 4.7.8 of the Official Plan, staff has reviewed the EIS and note a number of items requiring additional information or clarification (see summary in the section on the EIS). Staff acknowledge there are issues which detract from the environmental significance of this property, including a) existing disturbance (open area); b) no direct linkage to the larger forested area that comprises RNF 419 due to power lines to the north, Highway 7 to the east, an old road allowance to the south and David Manchester Road to the west; and c) the edge effect from the highway and David Manchester Road.
In the comments received from circulation, the Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee consider the proposed rezoning to be inconsistent with the City’s requirement that there be no adverse impacts on the Rural Natural Feature (RNF 419). The Committee’s position is that the proposed development will effectively cut an important ecological linkage and isolate the southern portion of the RNF 419 lands. They further state that the removal of 70 per cent or more of forest cover (on the site), will negatively impact the important function of recharging the regional aquifer.
Staff are of the opinion that the larger planning issues relating to locating a use that would be better situated in the urban area would have a large environmental impact on RNF 419. By accepting this as an appropriate use for the rural area and in a Rural Natural Feature, we will see a further decline in the health of the feature as more traffic is directed to the area as well as increased development pressure once the new land use is introduced into the RNF.
Environmental Impact Statement
Official Plan Amendment (OPA) 76 requires that any proposed development within 120 metres of a natural heritage feature system not designated in the plan within the rural area must be supported by an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). An EIS (McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers Ltd., dated August 2010) was submitted in support of the application and reviewed by staff. The EIS was found to be missing information in a number of areas. Firstly, OPA 76 indicates that the subject property is situated adjacent to an area containing Significant Woodlands. The submitted EIS did not address Significant Woodlands.
Secondly, the report states that a species at risk, the milksnake, has the potential of being present on the property. There are several other potential species at risk common to Eastern Ontario that were not adequately addressed in the report (i.e. butternut, bobolink, whip-poor-will, etc.). While milksnake was not observed during field investigations, the Ministry of Natural Resources was not contacted for additional comments in this regard.
Third, the report recommends that 30 per cent forest cover be retained on the property but it is unclear if this can be achieved. Fourth, the report recommends that a 25-metre excavation buffer be applied from retained mature trees as well as to replant a coniferous tree buffer along the front and rear property lines. No dimensions of the planting and retention areas were applied so it is unclear how these recommendations impact the area of the building envelope and septic system.
Lastly, the EIS did not provide a cumulative impact assessment as required by the Official Plan, Section 4.7.8.
In review of the report, staff notes that insufficient details were provided to justify the pumping test (i.e. there was no discussion as to the percentage of area used for office, warehouse, and retail). Staff is therefore not able to determine the anticipated water demand, and hence cannot ascertain whether the subject parcel is large enough to accommodate the proposed use. In addition, information was missing regarding the impact of the proposed sewage system on the groundwater, which in turn may have an impact on the area requirement for the proposed development. There was also insufficient data provided to establish water quantity and quality, form both health and aesthetic perspectives.
Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment was conducted to obtain information about the subject property pertaining to items of actual and/or potential site contamination. No significant potential items of environmental concern relating to present or former occupants of surrounding properties were identified during the review of neighbouring properties. However, the Phase I ESA identified the presence of plastic oil containers and used oil filters having been left on-site and electromagnetic radiation from high-tension electrical power lines running through the subject site. The report did not recommend whether a Phase II ESA was required.
Transportation Impact Brief
The Transportation Impact Brief submitted in support of the proposed rezoning states that David Manchester Road (a collector road) has capacity to accommodate new traffic. There is a two-way stop at the intersection of Hazeldean Road and David Manchester Road that is expected to operate at an acceptable level of service once the proposed development is completed.
Staff do not support the proposed Zoning By-law amendment for the following reasons:
The subject property is part of a much larger site containing significant ecological features and functions. The subject lands are designated Rural Natural Feature in the Official Plan. While the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) states that the site can be developed without imposing negative impacts as defined in Section 4.7.8 of the Official Plan, staff has reviewed the EIS and note a number of items requiring additional information or clarification. Bringing the proposed use into the rural area would have a large environmental impact on RNF 419. While the site itself presents a number of issues which detract from its environmental significance, accepting the proposed use will result in further decline in the health and integrity of the features and functions of the area as more traffic is introduced and development pressure increases once the new land use is introduced into the RNF.
The intended warehouse/retail use is not an appropriate use for the subject property. Destination oriented commercial uses are better located in an urban context where such sites can be conveniently accessed and compliment other commercial uses. The proposed use is not supportive of the agricultural sector and exceeds the type and extent of commercial development that could be contemplated as acceptable in the Rural Area. The proposed use is not related to the rural economy and therefore does not need to locate in the rural area. The introduction of a commercial industrial use in this location constitutes scattered development and this may lead to similar requests through the rural area.
Staff are of the opinion that the site is well removed from the interchange with rural land in between the site and the interchange. Commercial industrial development is not encouraged at any rural interchange in the city and an analysis of possible uses for rural interchanges and lands abutting 400 series highways has not been completed.
The introduction of a warehouse/retail use on the property is inconsistent with the rural character and would have a large environmental impact on Rural Natural Feature 419 over the long term.
Notice of this application was carried out in accordance with the City’s Public Notification and Consultation Policy.
Comments by the Ward Councillor(s)
The Councillor is aware of the staff recommendation.
Should Council endorse the refusal and the matter be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, it is expected that a hearing of three to five days would result. It is anticipated that the hearing could be conducted within staff resources.
There are no risk management implications associated with this report.
As outlined in the Legal Implications section above, Ontario Municipal Board hearing could be conducted within staff resources. Therefore, there are no direct financial implications associated with this report.
City Strategic Plan
Staff do not view the proposal as being consistent with the proper management of growth and the creation of sustainable communities.
Document 1 Location Map
Document 2 Proposed Concept Plan
City Clerk and Legal Services Branch, Legislative Services to notify the owner, applicant, OttawaScene.com, 174 Colonnade Road, Unit #33, Ottawa, ON K2E 7J5, of City Council’s decision.
LOCATION MAP DOCUMENT 1
PROPOSED CONCEPT PLAN
ZONING - PART OF 130 DAVID MANCHESTER ROAD
ZONAGE – partie du 130, chemin david-manchester
(This application is subject to the provisions of Bill 51.)
That the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee recommend Council refuse an amendment to Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of part of 130 David Manchester Road to permit warehouse and retail uses.
Ms. Melissa Jort-Conway, Planner, Development Review, Rural Services Branch (East), Planning and Growth Management (PGM), Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability (ISCS), spoke to a PowerPoint slide presentation which served to provide the Committee with an overview of the staff report. A copy of the presentation is held on file with the City Clerk.
The following delegations spoke to express their support for the requested amendment to the Zoning By-Law, in opposition to the report recommendation:
· Dr. Bruce Firestone, Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc.*;
· Mr. Doug Jones, PlayValue Toys*;
· Ms. Janet Bradley, Borden Ladner Gervais, LLP*, and;
· Mr. Pierre Mercier, McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers*.
* Presentation(s)/submission(s) held on file with the City Clerk.
MOTION No. ARA 12/1
Moved by Councillor S. Moffatt:
That the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee recommend Council approve an amendment to Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of part of 130 David Manchester Road to permit warehouse and retail uses.
The report recommendation was then put to Committee and CARRIED, as amended by Motion ARA 12/1.