Draft Letter to City of Ottawa from Ontario Federation of Agriculture re Coach Houses
Memo to: City of Ottawa
Attention: Policy Development and Urban Design
Branch, City of Ottawa
From: Arnprior Region Federation of Agriculture
Date: February 25, 2016
re: support for city
legalization of coach houses in rural areas and farms as well as urban zones, www.ottawa.ca/coachhouses
Dear city of Ottawa:
Further to this worthwhile effort to legalize coach
houses/secondary dwelling units/granny flats/garden suites, this letter will
confirm the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s support of this endeavor with two
provisos as described below.
We understand that the draft recommendations included these
-Prohibiting Coach Houses on properties which are serviced
by a private well and septic system
-Only permitting properties to have either a Coach House or
a secondary dwelling unit within the home, but not both
We believe that coach houses should be permitted on rural properties as well as farms within the
boundaries of the city of Ottawa.
To exclude rural properties would be to disadvantage rural property owners and
farmers to whom additional income from such secondary dwelling units can
sometimes be the difference between success and failure.
Not only do secondary dwellings provide additional income
support, they also open up the possibility of a larger farm/rural stay network
in the Ottawa
region. Plus they give sitting owners in rural areas more options for
aging-in-place. It is much better for families to stay together, and usually
much less expensive to have elders live in accessible secondary dwellings than
in distant retirement residences.
We also believe that regulations should be drafted which
permit both secondary dwelling unit
and in-home apartment. Don’t make it either/or because if you do, you will not
only unnecessarily restrict the supply of affordable housing, you will return
Ottawa to the situation that existed before second units were allowed within
existing dwellings where many such apartments were both illegal and unsafe.
We understand that there is concern within the city that
septic capacity and dilution of septic effluent be sufficient to protect the
environment as well as well water and groundwater quality. This can be
addressed by requiring that property owners provide an independent professional
engineering report that demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Ottawa Septic
office and MOEE that septic capacity is sufficient or can be made sufficient, that
well water quantity is sufficient and that the quality of both well water and
groundwater is not unduly affected and meets all MOEE requirements.
We hope that the city of Ottawa will take the above into account when
they prepare their final report to Planning committee and City council in May
2016 and that you will act to put rural property owners on an equal footing
with urban residents.
Yours very truly,
FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE