High Performance Development Standard Requirements - Site Plan

What is Site Plan Control?

Site plan control is a tool that is used by the City to make sure that land development is designed appropriately, safe, functional and minimizes potential impacts on neighbouring properties. It also makes sure that the City’s standards for developing land are respected.

There are 12 Tier 1 requirements or “metrics” that will apply to Site Plan applications. These can be reviewed in more detail in the High Performance Development Standard Site Plan Metrics document. The purpose of each requirement is described below.


1.1 Building Energy Efficiency

The Building Energy Efficiency metric addresses energy efficiency of the project. This will be done through an energy modeling report. Energy modeling during the site plan approval process is an important tool for municipalities and developers to advance higher energy performance. While this does not override the requirements within the Ontario Building Code, it ensures that energy performance is considered early in design decisions such as wall thickness, window size and placement, and utility connections. This requirement will be phased into the High Performance Development Standard. Phase 1 of the High Performance Development Standard will not enforce the energy performance targets set out in the standard. Phase 2 will enforce the minimum performance thresholds set out in the standard.


1.2 Site Plan Accessibility

This metric contributes to an inclusive community by ensuring accessibility is considered in the preliminary planning of the site and equivalent access to all users and minimize site accessibility issues for those with mobility devices or challenges. Accessibility requirements also appear in the Ontario Building Code.


1.3 Fresh Air Intake

Air pollution from idling cars can pose a significant risk to the health of building occupants, which can’t be easily filtered out through mechanical air filters. Planning safe locations for fresh air intakes will, ensure sufficient distance from pollution or, buffers are incorporated so that pollutants are largely dissipated before ventilation air is brought into the building.


1.4 Tree Planting

Trees are an important part of our natural systems supporting natural species, managing heat island impacts, and supporting natural storm water management. To ensure healthy long living trees with large canopies sufficient soil is critical. This metric lays out planting requirements to support long term health and growth of the site’s trees.


1.5 Plant Species

Plant selection is important for maintaining long term health of the landscape design and impacts to the greater natural systems. For this reason, the standard lays out requirements for no invasive plant species and targets for a large proportion of drought tolerant plant species. Climate projections suggest that we can expect more frequent summer drought conditions in the coming decades.


1.6 Exterior Lighting

Exterior lighting is important to ensure nighttime safety of the site but the light pollution it causes can have negative effects on neighbouring residents, and local natural species. Nocturnal animals and migratory birds are particularly vulnerable to these impacts. Minimizing light pollution through Dark SkyTM compliant fixtures helps to mitigate these impacts.


1.7 Bird Safe Design

Thoughtful design of windows particularly in high priority areas can help prevent fatal collisions of birds with buildings.


1.8 Sustainable Roofing

As buildings take up more and more of the available space on property, rooftops become increasingly important component of site design. There are lots of opportunities to address sustainable design on the roof top. Including gardens or green roofs, reflective roofing, and solar power generation. This metric directs projects to incorporate one or a combination of these strategies.


1.9 Cool Landscape and Paving

Although Ottawa is a heating dominant climate, summertime impacts to human health are becoming an increasing concern. The urban heat island effect can increase the urban temperature several degrees above the natural rural temperature. This increase in temperature is largely due to greater paved area in the urban environment. Increasing the landscaped area, increasing shade or incorporating reflective paving can all help to reduce the urban heat island.


1.10 Common Area Waste Storage

For the city to reach its waste diversion targets, individual actions are critical. Multi unit residential buildings rely on common area waste storage to enable residents to correctly sort their waste streams. Good design of the spaces with sufficient area and equal access helps to empower residents to maximize their waste diversion. No new requirements are proposed at this time, however, a reference to the Zoning By-law has been included in the High Performance Development Standard.


1.11 Electric Vehicle Parking

Requirements will ensure that infrastructure is available for electric vehicle charging to meet future demands. No new requirements are proposed at this time, however, a reference to the Zoning By-law has been included in the High Performance Development Standard to point to electric vehicle requirements in zoning. This will come into force when requirements are brought into effect as part of the new Zoning By-law Official Plan conformity exercise.


1.12 Bike Parking

Requirements will ensure that the infrastructure is available for bike parking to meet current and future demands. No new requirements are proposed at this time, however, a reference to the Zoning By-law has been included in the High Performance Development Standard to point to bike parking in zoning.

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