NEW Urban Design Guidelines for Low-Rise Infill Housing

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The City of Ottawa is developing new comprehensive Urban Design Guidelines for Low-rise Infill Housing for approval by Council in 2023. The Guidelines will reflect the policies and directions in the new Official Plan adopted by Council in October 2021.

The City will be consulting with residents, community organizations, the development industry, non-profits and other stakeholders to ensure that everyone gets a chance to have their say in the new Urban Design Guidelines for Low-rise Infill Housing

This Engage Ottawa page will be your one-stop shop for project updates and information on future public engagement opportunities. You will also find FAQ’s, blogs and future drafts of the Guidelines as they become available.


Purpose

These urban design guidelines are a tool to help achieve the new Official Plan’s goals in the areas of design and intensification with respect to the review of development applications for infill development.

The purpose of this project is to review and update the existing guidelines to improve how they currently implement the low-rise infill policies of the new Official Plan by:

  • Provide a comprehensive update to the guidelines to align with the City’s proposed new zoning strategy and new Official Plan;
  • Cover all relevant low-rise built form typologies city-wide;
  • Provide updated and relevant design guidance to address key challenges associated with low-rise infill development; and
  • Will include the engagement of key internal and external stakeholders in a broader review and will include on-going working group discussions and public engagement opportunities.


Projected Timeline

  • Winter 2022: Circulation of the draft new urban design guidelines for public review and comment including a public open house;
  • Spring 2023: Approval of new Urban Design Guidelines for Low-rise Infill Housing by Planning Committee and City Council.


Background

The current guidelines were approved in 2012 with a housekeeping update approved in early 2022 to ensure they are consistent with the new Official Plan and follow recent best practices in the City and other municipalities in Canada. The refreshed guidelines will provide design guidance to City staff, industry and community associations on how low-rise housing should be designed and delivered in the context of infill and intensification in the urban area of the City. They will clearly identify how context will be considered and identify the process and mechanisms by which the City will administer the appropriate implementation of the guidelines through the Development Approvals and Building Permit process.


New Guidelines

The new guidelines will be further developed with the aim of providing more directed and implementable strategies for overcoming many of the concerns that arise through the development process related to a variety of detailed elements of an infill development proposal. The new guidelines will be illustrative to help identify common concerns and provide options for how to mitigate them. The following questions will direct the review and focus on solutions:

  • What does design compatibility mean and how do we understand the context of a development?
  • What elements in the design of low-rise housing contribute to neighbourhood compatibility? What building and site design elements are most problematic/concerning for neighbourhood compatibility?
  • How will the guidelines address questions of the missing middle, affordability and intensification while implementing the new Official Plan policies?
  • How do the updated guidelines align with the City’s proposed new zoning strategy, the Urban Forest Management Plan, 15-minute neighbourhoods and the Climate Change Master Plan?

Along with an internal project team the external stakeholders and public consultation, the project team will work to identify the prevalent issues regarding the development of low-rise buildings in Ottawa to gain an understanding of the key characteristics of low-rise buildings (e.g. typologies, structural and architectural parameters, urban design, etc.) as well as the latest trends in low-rise design. City staff will continue to conduct best practice research, including recent local low-rise design and design in other cities. The resulting new guidelines are anticipated to be provided to Council for approval early in 2023.


The City of Ottawa is developing new comprehensive Urban Design Guidelines for Low-rise Infill Housing for approval by Council in 2023. The Guidelines will reflect the policies and directions in the new Official Plan adopted by Council in October 2021.

The City will be consulting with residents, community organizations, the development industry, non-profits and other stakeholders to ensure that everyone gets a chance to have their say in the new Urban Design Guidelines for Low-rise Infill Housing

This Engage Ottawa page will be your one-stop shop for project updates and information on future public engagement opportunities. You will also find FAQ’s, blogs and future drafts of the Guidelines as they become available.


Purpose

These urban design guidelines are a tool to help achieve the new Official Plan’s goals in the areas of design and intensification with respect to the review of development applications for infill development.

The purpose of this project is to review and update the existing guidelines to improve how they currently implement the low-rise infill policies of the new Official Plan by:

  • Provide a comprehensive update to the guidelines to align with the City’s proposed new zoning strategy and new Official Plan;
  • Cover all relevant low-rise built form typologies city-wide;
  • Provide updated and relevant design guidance to address key challenges associated with low-rise infill development; and
  • Will include the engagement of key internal and external stakeholders in a broader review and will include on-going working group discussions and public engagement opportunities.


Projected Timeline

  • Winter 2022: Circulation of the draft new urban design guidelines for public review and comment including a public open house;
  • Spring 2023: Approval of new Urban Design Guidelines for Low-rise Infill Housing by Planning Committee and City Council.


Background

The current guidelines were approved in 2012 with a housekeeping update approved in early 2022 to ensure they are consistent with the new Official Plan and follow recent best practices in the City and other municipalities in Canada. The refreshed guidelines will provide design guidance to City staff, industry and community associations on how low-rise housing should be designed and delivered in the context of infill and intensification in the urban area of the City. They will clearly identify how context will be considered and identify the process and mechanisms by which the City will administer the appropriate implementation of the guidelines through the Development Approvals and Building Permit process.


New Guidelines

The new guidelines will be further developed with the aim of providing more directed and implementable strategies for overcoming many of the concerns that arise through the development process related to a variety of detailed elements of an infill development proposal. The new guidelines will be illustrative to help identify common concerns and provide options for how to mitigate them. The following questions will direct the review and focus on solutions:

  • What does design compatibility mean and how do we understand the context of a development?
  • What elements in the design of low-rise housing contribute to neighbourhood compatibility? What building and site design elements are most problematic/concerning for neighbourhood compatibility?
  • How will the guidelines address questions of the missing middle, affordability and intensification while implementing the new Official Plan policies?
  • How do the updated guidelines align with the City’s proposed new zoning strategy, the Urban Forest Management Plan, 15-minute neighbourhoods and the Climate Change Master Plan?

Along with an internal project team the external stakeholders and public consultation, the project team will work to identify the prevalent issues regarding the development of low-rise buildings in Ottawa to gain an understanding of the key characteristics of low-rise buildings (e.g. typologies, structural and architectural parameters, urban design, etc.) as well as the latest trends in low-rise design. City staff will continue to conduct best practice research, including recent local low-rise design and design in other cities. The resulting new guidelines are anticipated to be provided to Council for approval early in 2023.

Page last updated: 06 Nov 2022, 10:53 AM