By Grace Thrasher, President, Manotick Village Community Association
The City continues to hold consultations on components of the draft Official Plan to assist in finalizing the Plan for approval by Council in the fall. There has been a lot of public engagement to date on the overall Plan as well as components such as a Rural Economic Development Strategy, active transportation and urban boundary expansion. For example, over 4,000 residents completed a recent survey on 15-minute neighbourhoods.
And a virtual Q and A session on the draft Plan attracted over 400 participants on March 24th. About 80 questions were submitted in advance and there were many more questions asked during the session. The questions covered a variety of areas, including questions on topics relevant to rural residents. It was reassuring to hear that Secondary Plans will continue to have priority over the Official Plan when it comes to local development. For example, if the City decides that six storey buildings will be the norm along main streets city-wide, developers would still be limited to three storey buildings in Manotick as required in the Manotick Secondary Plan. A report on the questions and answers is being compiled and will be posted on the Engage Ottawa web site later this year.
As part of the consultation process, the City has established an Ambassador group to garner input from under-represented residents. It includes 11 representatives to provide input on a variety of topics including issues specific to rural and low-income residents as well as different racial groups. Rural residents are represented in the process through a Rural Ambassador, Jordan Newman from Richmond.
The City also held an information session on 15-minute neighbourhoods on March 30 to help increase the understanding of what constitutes a 15-minute neighbourhood and to provide an update on input received so far. Manotick already fits that bill in many ways: many Village residents can reach shopping, restaurants and services within a 15-minute walk from home. There are also many key services here in the Village, including health care businesses and recreational facilities, as well as the Watson’s Mill historical site and Dickinson House.
Climate Change survey
The potential impact of climate change was raised several times during the consultation process so the City has launched a specific consultation on the topic. The City is looking for input from residents on how climate change is affecting them, what future impacts concern them the most and how can the City prepare for these changes in the future. The input will be used to develop a Climate Resiliency Strategy.
To help residents understand some of the risks and become familiar with what the City has done to date, staff have posted background papers on the Engage Ottawa site. The papers have identified the following changes in our environment: warming temperatures, shorter winters, more rain but less snow, and more freezing rain. Each of these could have an impact on the living environment through greater risk of flooding or another ice storm for example. You can read the papers and do the survey at https://engage.ottawa.ca/climate-resiliency
Around the Village
The Watson’s Mill Used Book store is now open for business on weekends only between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
You can take a virtual tour of Dickinson House during the April school break by visiting their web site at http://www.rideautownshiphistory.org/dickinsonhouse/ The Museum plans to open in late May.
As the vaccines roll out, it is sometimes difficult to keep up on new dates, pop-up clinics or new age brackets eligible for their first dose. To help navigate the process, Ottawa Public Health has a new page on vaccines at https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/covid-19-vaccine.aspx The page provides updates on the vaccine rollout and opening of new vaccine clinics.
Even with more and more people becoming vaccinated, it is still important to wear a mask, limited your contacts outside of your household and maintain a social distance from others.
Manotick Arts Online
The Manotick Area Center for Arts and Wellness is offering many online activities including free concerts, sing-alongs, yoga and tai chai. For a full list of offerings, visit https://www.manotickmacaw.com/calendar
YOMA is online. Every week YOMA is offering free online social programs featuring different topics and activities for youth in Grades 4-12. They are also available for homework help. The schedule is available on their website at yoma.ca
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