There’s No Salvation For Ottawa Planning


This is rich.

The city planning department is opposed to locating a Salvation Army church near the Ottawa airport.

The church would be within the airport authority operating zone but the organization says it has met all the regulations that allow it to operate there.

Now get this. The city planning department is against the Salvation Army operation because it says the project doesn’t meet city or provincial planning policies.

Or what planning really means is that it depends on who you are. If one of the concierged big Ottawa developers asked for an allowance or two … say 40 extra storeys … doubt there would be a problem.

And that’s because zoning is Ottawa is just a suggestion. In fact, not even a suggestion.

The planning department has bent and destroyed rules for so many developments that it lacks any credibility at all.

For planning to dig in its heels against the Salvation Army is a joke.

As this website has said many times, there is one set of rules for big builders and another for the rest of us.

Guess the Salvation Army falls into the “rest-of-us” category.

If planning had stuck to height restrictions and community design plans, one could see an argument against the church.

But after all the exceptions planning has made for its friends in the development industry, city planning and the department governing it has no credibility anymore.

It’s the law of the planning jungle in Ottawa.



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7 thoughts on “There’s No Salvation For Ottawa Planning

  1. This is the same Salvation Army that Watson and Fleury want to move their shelter from the market because it doesn’t fit their image of the area? Way to encourage cooperation.
    Is planning prepared to work with them to see how to resolve this or is it just ‘no’? Let’s hope the committee has the sense to overrule staff on this. That is what they’re there for isn’t it – to make considered and wise decisions with the advice, but not control, of staff?

  2. Saw this in the news, and couldn’t find a credible explanation or rationale. All it said was airport area has noise from plane traffic so a developer can’t build condos where it will be too noisy to live, though in this case Salavation Army is building a church for itself, so why not let them?

    Maybe the Salvation Army didn’t hire a concierge through the concierge program?

    1. The Metropolitan Bible Church, on Prince of Wales near Hunt Club received similar push back from the airport authority, a decade or so ago, but they were successful in getting a variance. In other words, the override the Salvation Army is seeking is not without precedent.

      Having said that, the bigger issue remains. Why do the developers who add substantially to the property tax base regularly get waivers/variances/rezoning when they seek them? Is it because increasing the property tax base of the city is a primary criteria for evaluating whether to override existing community development plans, zoning etc.?

  3. The Salvation Army’s church building would be property-tax exempt.
    The Salvation Army doesn’t make political donations.
    The Salvation Army does not know the art of schmoozing, business lunches or dinner parties.
    The Salvation Army is at a disadvantage when playing with city hall.

  4. The Salvation Army has jumped through every hoop, made every amendment to get approval for this site. Regardless, the Airport Authority is against it since they are worried it could lead to a curfew for the airport. Seems the City Planning Department is backing the Airport Authority.
    Two things stand out: (1) having arrived at our airport after 10 p.m., it certainly does not shout ‘international’. The place is barely open.
    (2) in this age of opening our arms to all, welcoming diversity, etc. — seems some are getting the boot instead.

  5. There was a time when zoning bylaws meant something. Not any longer. In fact they have increasingly diminished over the past seven years. It is now all “different strokes for different folks”.
    One can pick a reason out of the multitude mentioned, I rest with no transparency, no logical reason and…why…”the answer is blowing in the wind”.
    I wish I was in a healthy enough position and had the money to defeat some of this council.
    Anyone who can, should do so.
    Anne Marie

    1. Anne Marie:

      This council has pretty much abandoned its oversight role. God knows what it does instead.



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