This week at City Council, Mayor Jim Watson outlined the City’s key initiatives and projects for 2018, in a State of the City address he delivered at City Council’s first meeting of the New Year.
During the speech, Mayor Watson reflected on accomplishments from the past year, including signature Ottawa 2017 events marking Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations, which welcomed millions of visitors to Ottawa. The Mayor also noted a number of community building projects completed over this Term of Council, which have strengthened the local economy and revitalized the city.
Looking to the year ahead, Mayor Watson highlighted the City’s ongoing work to foster innovation, growth, tourism, environmental stewardship and infrastructure.
Later in the meeting, Council also considered several planning matters.
Council approved a motion outlining the City’s position on inclusionary zoning. The Province is considering changes to the Planning Act that would authorize municipalities to require development proposals to include affordable housing. The Council motion says rental housing should be included, current municipal investments should be recognized under the requirements for a city contribution, the Province should provide funding to offset the costs of implementing the new regulation, and municipalities should be given greater flexibility for administering the measure.
Council approved a new by-law limiting the authority of the Committee of Adjustment to grant minor variances for the Salvation Army shelter on Montreal Road.
Council approved an application to demolish the garage of the Château Laurier. The garage is structurally unsound and the hotel plans to demolish the upper four storeys, leaving a surface parking lot for guests. While the garage will need to be removed prior to construction of a planned addition to the hotel, the City has not yet received a revised development application for the replacement building. A revised development application for the new addition is expected, and public consultation could begin as early as this winter.