Implementing the Official Plan - Omnibus Reports 2023
The Official Plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the policies, objectives, and goals governing land use and development in the City of Ottawa. To ensure that it remains relevant and effective, the City regularly reviews and revises the Plan as needs and priorities evolve over time. Although the Planning Act requires the City to review and update the Official Plan at least once every five years, minor updates and corrections may be necessary in the interim. To make these updates more efficient and timely, the City of Ottawa has developed a system of 'Omnibus' reports. These reports are an essential tool for ensuring the accuracy, clarity, and applicability of the Official Plan, allowing for a range of changes to be made without requiring a lengthy amendment process for each individual change.
Omnibus Reports typically include a range of changes, from minor errors and omissions to more substantive policy revisions. They are subject to public consultation and review before being adopted. By using Omnibus Reports, the City can streamline the process of making changes to the Official Plan while ensuring that it remains accurate, up to date, and responsive to the needs of the community.
During 2023, staff anticipate at least three omnibus reports.
The first omnibus amendment relates to minor amendments to text that do not change the overall intent of policies and correct minor oversights in schedules or annexes. This amendment will also include modifications requested to be corrected by the Minister as part of the provincial approval process but not completed.
The second omnibus amendment will present more substantive amendments to the Official Plan. These are necessary amendments which will address errors and omissions to the Plan that have arisen following Council approval as well as any changes necessary due to Bill 23 (the More Homes Built Faster Act). This includes amendments that were inadvertently omitted from Volume 2C (Area Specific Policies) when the new Official Plan was approved. Amendments within this omnibus may be further grouped into smaller omnibus amendments depending on complexity and associated timing.
The third omnibus amendment will provide necessary amendments to secondary plans in Volume 2A. The amendments will focus on correcting errors and omissions in the text and schedules that were introduced to the secondary plans during consolidation and revision in the Official Plan project.
What items may be included in an Omnibus Report?
There are several categories of amendments that may be considered for inclusion in an Omnibus Report:
- Corrections to minor errors in text, tables, or mapping
- Clarifications to language in the plan to make it clearer or more specific
- Conformity adjustments to ensure that the plan is consistent with other planning documents, provincial or federal guidelines or regulations
- Corrections to schedules or maps to ensure that they accurately reflect intended land use designations and overlays
- Technical adjustments to language or formatting to ensure consistency with industry standards or best practices
- Updates to references and citations to ensure they are accurate and up to date
- Revisions to policies or objectives to address emerging issues or changes in community priorities.
The specific types of changes that may be included in an Omnibus Report depends on the context of the project and the goals of the plan. Some changes may require more substantive review or consultation and may need to be addressed in a separate report or amendment to the Official Plan. The scope of changes and any relevant policies or regulations are criteria staff use to assess which amendments to include in an Omnibus Report.
There are also a number of considerations where the city will not consider an item for inclusion in an Omnibus Report
What items will not be considered for an Omnibus Report?
- Amendments that seek relief of policies that are not an error, oversight or omission.
- Amendments that are contrary to the 5 big moves
- Amendments in support a current or proposed application, an application in adjudication or a previously rejected application
- Amendments that have already been the subject of public consultation, staff review, or Council approval
- Amendments that have a significant impact on land use or development, or that involve significant public interest or controversy
- Amendments that require significant technical analysis, consultation, or review
Any changes proposed through an Omnibus Report are limited to policies and objectives that are consistent with the Official Plan and will not be used to circumvent or undermine existing policies or regulations.
These criteria ensure that the Omnibus Reports are used to correct minor errors and oversights, and that they are not misused to support site-specific applications or to circumvent the normal public planning and approval processes. The City reserves the right to determine whether a proposed change is appropriate for inclusion in an Omnibus Report, and to reject any proposed changes that do not meet the criteria for inclusion.
Note that although the city invites the public to provide their views on potential omnibus items the City is under no obligation to make any specific changes to the Plan. Any changes that are to be considered through an Omnibus Report will be subject to public consultation and review and will be adopted in accordance with the City's normal approval processes.
How can get I get involved?
We welcome feedback and comments on the potential items for the 2023 Omnibus Reports. There are several ways that you can provide input:
- Visit the City of Ottawa's website to view information about the project and the Omnibus Reports. You can also provide comments and suggestions through the online feedback form on this site.
- Submit an email to OP@ottawa.ca with your comments and suggestions. Please include "Official Plan Omnibus Reports" in the subject line and provide as much detail as possible about your feedback.
We encourage you to provide feedback early in the process, to ensure that your comments can be considered in the development of the 2023 Omnibus Amendments. Your input is important to us and will be carefully considered as part of the review and analysis process.
Finally, please note that any comments or suggestions that are provided will be subject to public disclosure and may be shared with other stakeholders or interested parties. We ask that you be respectful and constructive in your feedback, and provide specific, actionable suggestions wherever possible.