Ottawa – The opening session of the Phase 2A OMB hearing into the Ottawa urban boundary expansion took place on Monday January 30th, 2012. At the opening session the details of a last minute settlement between the City of Ottawa and Greenspace Alliance were announced by city lawyer Tim Marc and Greenspace Alliance representative Erwin Dreessen. Under the terms of the settlement, the City of Ottawa made a number of important commitments regarding the consideration of linkages (eco-corridors) in land use planning. In return, the Greenspace Alliance (and as a consequence SMH-CRC Inc) has withdrawn from participating in Phase 2A of the OMB hearing.
The settlement is good news for the South March Highlands, as not only is there a commitment by the city to take the importance of linkages (eco-corridors) seriously during the next round of urban expansion (yes, the 2014 Official Plan review is underway), but the City will, before 2014 “identify and map existing and conceptual natural heritage linkages at a City-wide scale, including consideration of regional linkages outside the City boundaries. The City will carry out this work either in partnership with other organizations or agencies (e.g. the Nature Conservancy of Canada or the National Capital Commission) or on its own.”
The immediate benefit of this agreement is the greatly increased likelihood that an eco-corridor will be preserved between the South March Highlands and the Greenbelt and Ottawa River.
Click here to see the settlement.