Make city safer by tackling hard issues — Ottawa Citizen

Recently, Mayor Jim Watson pledged to remove the Salvation Army’s Booth Centre, one of the three homeless shelters in the downtown core. The move is part of a plan to relocate individuals into “supportive housing” units. This comes a few months after Coun. Mathieu Fleury said he had “lost faith” in the organization’s ability to…

via Make city safer by tackling hard issues — Ottawa Citizen

Permaculture for Urban Homes and Small Spaces

These Light Footsteps

One of the best things about blogging is discovering a new community of people with shared interests and goals.  One such kindred spirit is Mari of the blog Gather and Grow.  She is a fellow lover of permaculture and has graciously shared some great tips and inspiration for many of us who are interested in being more self-sufficient but feel limited by the space constraints of the urban environment.

Whether you live in an urban environment, or on many acres of land – I think you’ll find something useful here!

Permaculture Strategies for Urban Homes and Small Spaces

Permaculture designers love challenges. After all, permaculture is not just a set of organic gardening techniques, but a toolkit, a decision-making process, for designing sustainable human settlements. And one of its fundamental principles is: “The problem is the solution.”

What if we apply this principle to a challenge that many of…

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Reevely: Ottawa’s former planning boss goes into business with former Minto VP

Ottawa Citizen

Longtime Ottawa planning committee chairman Peter Hume has gone into business as a development consultant with former Minto vice-president Jack Stirling.

They’ve “formed a strategic partnership to pursue development projects and to advise both the private and public sector on how to build a better and more prosperous City” says the minimal website for the venture, called HP Urban. Hume is its chief strategist.

He quit politics in 2014 after spending half his life as a local councillor for Alta Vista. For the last 11 years, he chaired city council’s planning committee, making him the point man for Ottawa’s urban-planning decisions.

He walked a difficult line, often loudly demanding better-quality projects from the city’s builders and more efficient approvals from the city’s staff. Under his supervision, the city rewrote its master land-use plan twice and took up numerous plans for particular neighbourhoods, to try to give what he called “certainty”…

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Community fighting Taggart-Miller mega landfill

Residents are fighting a proposal by Taggart-Miller to build a 400-acre landfill and recycling facility near the rural Ottawa town of Carlsbad Springs.

If greenlighted, the Capital Region Resource Recovery Centre (CRRRC) would accept over 1000 tonnes of Ontario garbage daily, including industrial, commercial and contaminated waste. The concerns of residents include water contamination and devaluation of properties.

You can follow this community’s efforts on Twitter @DumptheDump2 and on their websites:
www.dumpthedumpnow.ca
www.dumpthisdump2.ca

Read the media coverage here:

http://www.ottawasun.com/2015/01/10/carlsbad-residents-fear-mega-landfill-at-taggart-miller-site

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/backers-east-end-waste-facility-accept-environment-committee-constraints

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/carlsbad-spring-residents-concerned-about-planned-landfill-1.1356503

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/02/08/taggart-miller-environmental-services-eyes-new-landfill-near-carlsbad-springs

McKenney, community associations oppose new planning ambassador program

Ottawa Citizen

Councillors and community associations are speaking out against a new city initiative that will give private developers an ambassador within the planning department.

As the Citizen reported Monday, 20 staff members in the planning department have been recruited to act as “client relationship leaders” — a role that appears to be equal parts problem solver, facilitator and concierge.

“The CRL is expected to discern what the issues are, communicate with the file lead, client, and management to determine next steps and what possible solutions may exist in order to bring a resolution,” says a document distributed to staff.

In some cases, the CRL will be able to override decisions by project managers or the city staff member who was previously overseeing a particular planning file.

Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney posted a statement on her website Wednesday opposing the program and suggested that the city should “balance the scale for local communities living with increased development pressure…

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Ottawa planners want broader infill rules — and for a broader area

Ottawa Citizen

Weeks after new rules to curb often controversial infill developments in Ottawa’s central neighbourhoods received a stamp of approval from the Ontario Municipal Board, the planning committee is set to consider further changes to the zoning bylaw that would apply to neighbourhoods outside the core.

The background

The Mature Neighbourhoods Bylaw, also known as Infill I, concerned itself with aspects of new residential development in established communities that are most visible from the street — things like front setbacks, parking location, balconies and other physical elements of the building itself.

The rules apply to Ottawa’s oldest neighbourhoods in inner-urban wards, including Rideau-Vanier (west of Rideau River), New Edinburgh, Somerset, Kitchissippi and Capital.

The bylaw was passed in 2012 and later appealed to the OMB. In 2013, the city was asked to reconsider some aspects of the bylaw. Council endorsed a revised and renamed bylaw a year later, which was approved by the OMB…

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Diane Deans and Tactical Urbanism

Steps from the Canal

It may have just been a passing comment, but Diane Deans scored some points with me at a committee meeting. In the discussion about the patio project on Elgin Street, this occurred:

You may not be familiar with the term “tactical urbanism”. Here’s a pretty good definition:

…a collection of low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment, usually in cities, intended to improve local neighbourhoods and city gathering places. Tactical Urbanism is also commonly referred to as guerilla urbanism, pop-up urbanism, city repair, or D.I.Y. urbanism.

It really is a wonderful idea. It’s an easy way to spruce up our city streets (like the Glebe BIA is doing by putting out flower boxes for the Tulip Festival), and to adapt them to changing needs, events and seasons.

And I’ll admit; I was a…

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