OFFICIAL PLAN REVIEW ENVIRONMENTAL STAKEHOLDERS FEEDBACK REPORT

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1 OFFICIAL PLAN REVIEW ENVIRONMENTAL STAKEHOLDERS FEEDBACK REPORT

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. ABOUT THE WORKSHOP Page 3 2. GREEN SPACE/OPEN SPACE AS A COMMUNITY CONNECTOR Page 5 3. SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY DESIGN AND GREEN ENERGY Page 7 4. PLANNING FOR FOOD AND URBAN AGRICULTURE Page 9 5. OTHER IDEAS FOR SUPPORTING AN ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS Page 11 For more information, contact Ken Hetherington, MCIP RPP, Manager Planning Division, Planning and Development Services, City of Peterborough Planner at or ext or fax This report prepared by Facilitator, Sue Cumming, MCIP RPP Principal Cumming+Company, P age

3 OFFICIAL PLAN REVIEW ENVIRONMENT STAKEHOLDERS WORKSHOP FEEDBACK REPORT 1. ABOUT THE WORKSHOP The City of Peterborough is undertaking an Official Plan Review in order to update the planning principles and policies that will determine how the City grows and develops over the next 20 years. Some policies in the Official Plan start shaping the City immediately, while others are more long-term. Whether the policies take effect over the short or long term, they are based on a common vision. Workshops were held over the summer and fall of 2011 to learn from the public and community stakeholders their ideas for formulating this appropriate vision of the City s future. These sessions provided many ideas for consideration. A consistent theme at all of the sessions was the desire to ensure that the Official Plan continues to support the emphasis on a green and natural city, with preservation and protection of the natural environment. The natural environment at the forefront of community s vision for the future specifically, the public noted the significance of the following: Protect and enhance green spaces, trails, access to the natural environment and urban forests. A healthy community with a strong focus on active living, walkable streets, connected trails and opportunities for community interaction. Green, attractive, affordable and pedestrian oriented. Public spaces, trails, parks and gathering places that are accessible for all and connect neighbourhoods and communities to one another and to nature. Develop incentives for more environmentally focused building practices and sustainable community design. On November 17, 2011 the City of Peterborough Planning Division hosted a workshop with Environmental Stakeholders from a wide range of community and agency interests to develop a better understanding of the issues, ideas and approaches that could be explored for incorporating a strong environmental focus for the Official Plan Review. Thirty plus individuals attended the workshop which took place from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Peterborough Lion s Club Community Centre. 3 P age

4 The primary discussion topics at the workshops were: Enhancing and using green space/open space as a community connector within and between neighbourhoods and areas of the City. Incorporating sustainable community design including green energy in new and existing areas. Planning for food and urban agriculture. Other Ideas to support a strong environmental focus for the Official Plan Review The workshop was organized with an introduction and welcome from Ken Hetherington, Manager of the Planning Division. Brad Appleby Planner, City of Peterborough gave a presentation that included an overview of the history of the City s development, policy basis for the Official Plan, trends, growth patterns and policy considerations. The presentation also identified where new policy directions are being pursued through the City s new Transportation Master Plan, Little Lake Master Plan, Urban Forests Plan, Cultural Plan and other plans and studies underway to address a number of ideas identified through the workshops held to date. The workshop was facilitated by Sue Cumming, Cumming+Company who is assisting the City in consulting with the public and stakeholders to obtain input for the Official Plan Review. Following the presentation, individuals shared ideas through small table and overall group discussions. Each break-out table worked through a Participant Guide and noted comments on flipcharts. Participants worked collaboratively to identify issues and ideas for the Official Plan Review. Staff from the City s Planning Division assisted each table to ensure that everyone was able to comfortably participate and to record ideas, comments and concerns. The ideas and suggestions noted throughout the discussion are reported on in this feedback report prepared by the Facilitator and will be reviewed by City staff in developing a directions report for the City s Official Plan Review. 4 P age

5 2. GREEN SPACE/OPEN SPACE AS A COMMUNITY CONNECTOR Building on the ideas noted in Table 1, stakeholders discussed how these could enhance green space/open space connections within and between neighbourhoods and other areas. What follows are further ideas for consideration: a) Set clear targets for natural heritage protection within the Official Plan with the goal to increase biodiversity within natural areas and adjacent to nature trails. b) Strengthen preservation of natural function of urban green spaces. c) Create a connected network of open spaces, woodlots, wetlands by increasing appropriate connections respecting natural and ecological function. d) Identify where new connections are needed within built up and new growth areas and secure these through land development and redevelopment if and when it occurs. e) Evaluate the parkway with a natural areas/connectivity lens rather than a transportation lens. Table 1 Fall 2011 Community Workshop Ideas for green space/open space connectors Create different types of green spaces, small and large for active and passive users and connect these for a continuous network. Increase park space in neighbourhoods through small parkettes, community gardens and community meeting spots, pedestrian facilities Create more interactive child focused play spaces. Expand trail network and connections within neighbourhoods and throughout the City Create more publically walkable space along the waterfront Create more public art, fountains, outdoor chess games, cafes, outdoor skating rinks, assembly space and focal points of interest that attract people. Use existing infrastructure including storm water facilities and paved areas for recreation. f) Enhance linkages between neighbourhoods by ensuring accessible connections between green spaces, school yards, playgrounds and recreational facilities. g) Ensure connectedness of open space and parkland within logical provision of hardware (bridges) etc. connects neighbourhoods. 5 P age

6 h) Increase availability of neighbourhood hubs by locating green spaces within 400 metres of residences. i) Improve pedestrian environment in the downtown by creating: i. More open space/green space in the downtown to attract more population and residential intensification. ii. Destinations for passive and active recreation including fountains, benches, gathering places, outdoor chess, etc. iii. Pedestrian only access area similar to Sparks Street in Ottawa. j) Foster opportunities for public education including the following: i. Improve safe access to natural areas ii. Utilize signage as a teaching tool iii. Organize walking tours (with guides or podcasts) in specific areas k) Promote the use of green spaces by and for community groups for events and festivals by i. Developing a plan for what spaces could be used ii. Assist with insurance to address concerns of liability on public spaces l) Increase green infrastructure through: i. Planting trees on boulevards. ii. Exploring alternative materials and less paved areas along roads and sidewalks iii. Making better use road allowance as public and community space iv. Enhancing Transportation Master Plan with the view of recognizing the importance of green spaces as community connectors. v. Locating storm water management facilities in proximity to existing and future trails. It was noted that storm water management practices and considerations for placement and use should be reviewed at the City level to determine criteria for incorporation as part of green/open space. 6 P age

7 3. SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY DESIGN AND GREEN ENERGY Building on the ideas noted in Table 2, stakeholders identified how the City could incorporate sustainable community design including green energy in new and existing areas. What follows are further ideas for consideration: Table 2 Fall 2011 Community Workshop Ideas for Sustainable Community Design and Green Energy Promote LEED Community Design Promote LEED Building Design Standards Promote energy design through solar efficiencies. Orient new lots to maximize sunlight, minimize light pollution, permit green rooftops, permit gray water use in subdivisions, use of rain barrels, minimize tree loss Create policies to guide the community on how to anticipate climate change, fossil fuel decline and alternative energy Identify where projects that promote green energy could be located i.e. solar panels in parking lots, use of public space etc. Creating by-laws to permit alternate forms of renewable energy Encourage alternate energy production and new business development. Promote opportunities within the built form of the City for increasing recycling and sustainable practices. a) Promote sustainable design of existing and new development through: i. Creating policies for developing and using community improvement programs to create incentives for and flexibility for innovative design. ii. Establishing a municipal review committee to review and approve nontraditional concepts i.e. servicing options for waste water. iii. Creating flexible urban design policies to encourage green roofs, food production, grey water re-use, geothermal heating and other potential practices. iv. Encourage sustainable building design through bonus policies and incentives to implement. v. Facilitate education and awareness of sustainable building designs. vi. Explore higher environmental standards through the building code. vii. Strategically/integrate runoff and water management separating rain roof water from street water. Use H2O to enhance and sustain wetlands and watercourses integrated within subdivisions. viii. Promote use of solar power through setting of percentage target for all new development. ix. Undertake strategic tree planting to support passive solar energy. x. Set energy efficiency targets for commercial buildings. 7 P age

8 b) Promoting policies for renewable energy through new development by: i. Developing renewable energy policies for all types of land use. ii. Audubon certification for golf courses iii. Road narrowing/removal program green corridors iv. Consider having streets with two way cycling but one way roads. c) Designing subdivisions to support energy conservation (i.e. orientation of lots, in the placement of trees, etc.). i. Encourage energy efficiencies through the use of green energy and solar panels, green roofs etc. by creating incentives for home builders and developers i.e. fast-tracked approvals, energy cost offsets, award and recognition programs. ii. Develop environmental trust to provide funding for environmental retrofits, solar installations. Should include a financial mechanism to allow population to develop alternative energy geothermal solar retrofitting. iii. Preserve trees along roadway to become more energy efficiencies in new and existing buildings. d) Explore best practices and approaches being used in other jurisdictions to create alternative and green energy (i.e. Freiberg, Germany) i. Promote LEED certification for larger buildings. ii. Require energy transfer or at other points where permissible by Planning Act or building permit to ensure that homes being build address energy efficiency. iii. Review policies for architectural and urban design to develop a better understanding of energy efficiencies and promote design that reduces energy needs. e) Pilot public sector projects including: i. Placing solar panels on roofs of public buildings. ii. Enhancing neighbourhood local waste diversion programs. 8 P age

9 4. PLANNING FOR FOOD AND URBAN AGRICULTURE Planning for food and urban agriculture is gaining public interest in municipalities across Ontario. One of the themes noted through the community workshops held in the fall of 2011 was planning for local food and access to food within the City of Peterborough. Building on the ideas noted in Table 3, stakeholders identified ideas for planning for food and urban agriculture. What follows are further ideas for consideration: Table 3 Fall 2011 Community Workshop Ideas for Planning for Food and Urban Agriculture Include policies to develop sustainable food systems with more permissions for food outlets, markets, where we grow food etc./ Incorporate community gardens (Implement Council approved policy) Permit backyard chickens Support farmers markets in downtown and in key locations Support neighbourhood fresh produce stands Create more knowledge of where food comes from Foster good connections with regional agricultural producers Support food growing and sharing in neighbourhoods a) Prevent urban expansion into agricultural lands by: i. Strengthening land use policies to protect agriculture and green open spaces that could be used for food production. ii. Setting density targets within urban area that has to be met before expansion. iii. Setting targets for food sustainability such as by the year 2025, 75% of our food should be locally produced. b) Create policies in the Official Plan to permit, encourage and support urban agriculture and food security by: i. Using green roofs for food production safe soils for urban agriculture ii. Creating zoning that both requires and permits food sales and food outlets in neighbourhoods with a focus on fresh produce and healthy foods. iii. Create accessible farmers markets within neighbourhoods that people can walk to. iv. Permitting roadside sales for local produce (u-pick operations). v. Promoting urban livestock backyard chickens and rabbits for example. 9 P age

10 c) Promote community gardens by: i. Allocate accessible space for community gardens. ii. Market and build awareness of the benefits of community gardens iii. Allowing city lands to be used for community gardens. For example - consider how parks planning could allocate a portion of public parks for urban agriculture purposes. This could avoid permitting community gardens which are leading to opposition. d) Promote more local food to address food security by: i. Connecting local farmers within the County to merchants and supermarkets to promote availability of local food produce in grocery stores. ii. Exploring use of local currency i.e. Kawartha Loon iii. Educating Council on options to support local food economy. Build on ideas being successfully implemented in other communities i.e. Calgary and London. iv. Working with supermarkets to encourage that a certain percentage of goods is local produce. v. Promoting facilities to support urban agriculture (i.e. rain water capture, local watering places) vi. Outreaching to community food network to access private gardens and space. e) Develop policies that support and promote small scale food processing processing in mixed use areas in the City by: i. Creating land use permissions for small-scale food processing including apple pressing/bottling etc. ii. Promoting food distribution infrastructure and mini-terminal. iii. Promoting a food hub as business incubator. f) Develop policies for encouraging urban agriculture through new subdivision development by: i. Creating incentives for developers who would design open space use integrating sustainable public garden opportunities. ii. Create policy to require food space in new developments and parks. iii. Requiring new development should be required to maintain minimum topsoil depths. Break up compacted soil to support new growth. g) Permit community kitchens, small food processing outlets, and food retail to teach people how to cook and grow food. 10 P age

11 5. OTHER IDEAS TO SUPPORT A STRONG ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS FOR THE OFFICIAL PLAN REVIEW Through the discussion stakeholders identified a number of other important considerations and ideas for supporting a strong environmental focus for the Official Plan Review. What follows are further ideas for consideration: a) Give environment, sustainability more prominence in the Official Plan. Look at existing policy framework through environmental, and sustainability lens and identify areas which need to be strengthened. b) Incorporate a vision that integrates social, economic, environment, beyond end of council term. Promote more awareness amongst elected representatives of interconnectedness of natural environment and healthy choices for a healthy city. c) Strive to incorporate a strong healthy community focus in the Plan where social and economic environment are considered. d) Build on Peterborough s environmental legacy which is important to our future sustainability. e) Address climate change in the Official Plan Review and develop policies for climate change adaptation including: i. Developing ways to advance action for climate change planning. ii. iii. iv. Creating policies that require the preparation of risk assessment and adaptive measures in new community development. Promoting strategic importance of green space to respond/adapt to climate change. Increasing permeable surfaces and open spaces. v. Increasing shade through tree cover. vi. Continuing to address flood reduction measures f) Consider economic growth carefully in a sustainable way not at any cost. g) Develop transit supportive policies. h) Encourage sufficient local energy to sustain needs of community in extreme/emergency events. i) Explore the economics to justify the full costs of decisions that compromise integrity of natural areas and water courses. 11 P age

12 j) Work with the County and Region to prevent sprawl/farmland destruction beyond city boundary. k) Improve flood plain regime in relationship role within natural areas as part of infrastructure. Be more specific about role of natural environment i.e. separate areas from floodplain. l) Become more transparent about role /protection of the natural environment. Provide clear policy protection on open spaces. 12 P age

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