New Zoning By-law for Ottawa by Shirley Dolan

Shirley Dolan
Shirley Dolan

I’ll cut to the chase! In Ottawa, the only thing between you and large turbines being built in a field near you are the rules contained in the new Zoning By-law currently being developed by City staff.  Seven discussion papers were released a few weeks ago. The City is seeking feedback and this is our first official opportunity to respond to details contained in the Energy Evolution document. As you will recall, the Energy Evolution document calls for over 700 wind turbines to be constructed in rural Ottawa. The discussion papers are found here

Each topic consists of a discussion paper, a summary (or one pager), and a survey. If you are interested in the renewable energy aspect of the By-law, read the Rural Zoning Issues Discussion Paper. It doesn’t add much information that is new, beyond what we already know from the Official Plan, and maybe this is a good thing. It could mean a better opportunity for rural residents to set the stage for wind turbines in Ottawa’s countryside.

Some of the groups we are working with like Ottawa Wind Concerns and Industrial Wind Action Canada suggest a 2 KM setback, something that is supported by other countries.

I wonder why nuclear power is not mentioned as a renewable energy in the City’s descriptions. The EU has included both natural gas and nuclear in their definition of renewable energy.

There are reports coming out of Chatham-Kent about contaminated wells. Many rural people in Ottawa are on wells. Will there be any attempt to ensure that our wells remain potable?

These are just some of the questions I have about renewable energy and the new Zoning By-law.

The surveys close on Friday, July 28th but don’t wait. Use the survey form or better still, send an email to City staff at with a copy to your councilor.  I am told the survey form only allows 160 characters for your comment.