Community Planning

Who is responsible for planning and development in Richmond?

The City of Ottawa is responsible for creating an Official Plan  and the strategic planning documents that guide development throughout the City and Richmond Village.

Where can I find Richmond’s development plan?

The portion of the plan governing Richmond is created through a Community Design Plan process that once adopted by Council is known as the Richmond Secondary Plan (for purposes of this article and to reduce confusion, Community Design Plan(CDP) and Richmond Secondary Plan are essentially one and the same … we will refer to it as the CDP.)

As of September 2013, the City is completed a comprehensive five-year review and update of its Official Plan.   While many sections of the Official Plan impact Richmond the section most pertinent to Richmond is located here.

Current Community Design Plan(CDP) – Is it complete?

The Richmond Village Association welcomes and supports development so long as it is sustainable and brings benefits to the community while complementing the strong sense of community and historic character of the village.  The CDP process for Richmond, launched in March 2008, included many Richmond residents in a consultative process that produced a plan capturing a large number of very positive planning elements.

Unfortunately, the plan falls short of the Richmond Village Association’s and resident’ expectations in a number of critical areas. Central to those concerns is how the process leading to the creation of Richmond’s Community Design Plan (CDP) was funded and carried forward into Ottawa’s Official Plan.  In brief, the community planning design process for Richmond Village was funded by a developer and passed by the City without completion of important components.  Residents and City staff participated in the CDP development process, but the CDP’s funding by the developer gives the appearance of undue influence and control to the developer’s interests.  Factually, whether the results were skewed in favour of the developer or not, in the eyes of the residents of Richmond, the resulting plan is not above reproach and does not adequately reflect the views of the residents of Richmond Village.  It is the RVA’s position that having a developer fund such an important process is not in the public interest.

Furthermore, the plan as presented to the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee of Council (ARAC) was found to be deficient in a number of areas. City staff were directed to report back on those areas outlined in the minutes of ARAC’s July 8, 2010 meeting and have yet to do so.  The plan as it stands is incomplete.

It is in this context that the RVA wrote  to Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Linda Jeffrey on March 11, 2013, requesting that direction be provided to planning authorities to ensure that future plans are developed in a manner that is above reproach.  In her reply of June 5, 2013, Ms. Jeffrey declined to intervene.

The RVA also wrote to Councillor Scott Moffatt on March 11, 2013 and met with Councillor Moffatt on April 12 to discuss the shortcomings in Richmond’s CDP.  The RVA requested that Richmond’s plan be reopened and reviewed under the “Building a Liveable Ottawa – Official Plan and Master Plan Review” process to address deficiencies in the current plan.  Unfortunately, Councillor Moffatt has advised we must wait until the CDP comes up for review in 2015.  Essentially, the City holds that Richmond’s Secondary Plan should not be reviewed early as the current plan for Richmond is less than five years old.  Furthermore, despite the flaws that exist in the CDP the City’s hands are tied with respect to consideration of development proposals already submitted to the City under the plan.  Councillor Moffatt is in complete agreement with the RVA’s views on funding of CDPs and will work to ensure the best results from development for Richmond.   Our letter and Councillor Moffatt’s reply can be found here.

The existing CDP will govern planning in Richmond until such time as it is reviewed and updated in 2015.

Plans of Subdivision for development of the Western Development Lands have been submitted by Mattamy Homes and Caivan Developments for approval by the City under the current CDP, which was funded by Mattamy.  See the page concerning the Western Development Lands for further information on the status of these development proposals.

Next Steps:

The review of Richmond’s CDP once scheduled by the City.