Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability

Site Alteration By-Law Review - Do we have tools to protect woodlands and wetlands in the rural area?

Also at the Nov 30 2023 ARAC meeting was a review and recommendations for updates to the Site Alteration By-law. The purpose of this 2018 by-law is to prevent drainage problems, protect soils in designated agricultural resource areas and protect designated natural areas and identified natural features in and around the urban area. The proposed amendments were intended to 

  1. increase the application of the bylaw to rural areas to prevent the pre-emptive clearing of land being held for future as yet un-approved development applications (no interference with regular rural activities including agriculture)
  2. Require notification for clear-cutting woodlands for agricultural purposes in a 2km zone around the urban boundary (follow up to the Tewin clear-cut)

The proposed amendments were supported by CAFES as providing some additional tools towards the objective of no net loss in our wetlands and woodlands. They were opposed by the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA).  

Councillor Brown presented an amendment that effectively negated all staff recommendations, including the new rural protections on pre-emptive land clearing and the notification for tree clearing for agricultural purposes in the peri-urban area. Staff are required to report back to ARAC on final wording, following further (unspecified) consultations. From a nature protection perspective this outcome is disappointing. If you are interested in being informed via CAFES of future consultations on the site protection by-law, please write to Angela

Back to All News