Source: CTVnews.ca / Ontario website
Ontario has approved Ottawa's new Official Plan with some changes, including expanding the urban boundary further and allowing taller buildings along minor corridors in the city.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing released the approval of the Official Plan on Friday, 13 months after council approved the roadmap for development in Canada's capital over the next 25 years.
"The 30 modifications to the Official Plan have been made to address matters related to protection of provincial highways, wetland protection monitoring of affordable housing and increasing housing supply," according to Ontario’s website.
The changes to the Official Plan including expanding the urban boundary by an additional 500 hectares in Kanata, Stittsville, Orleans and Ottawa's south end. The Tewin development (in yellow on map above), a 445-acre plot located east of Leitrim Road and west of Carlsbad Springs, remains in the plan.
Other changes approved by the province include higher height provisions for buildings on minor corridors. While council approved a four-storey height limit for buildings, the new plan allows buildings up to six storeys in urban areas and seven storeys in suburban areas.
The Greater Ottawa Home Builders' Association applauded the changes made by the Ontario government.
"Reversing Council's decision to limit minor corridors across the city to four storeys and expanding the urban boundary by an additional 550 hectares are necessary and welcome moves to increase Ottawa's housing supply," Executive Director Jason Burggraaf said.
Coun. Jeff Leiper noted the Ontario government also deleted Council's plan to "protect existing rental housing stock and support the production of more rental units" from the Official Plan.
The Official Plan is expected to guide growth and redevelopment in Ottawa until 2046, focusing on five policy changes: Growth, mobility, urban design, resiliency and economy. Council approved the Official Plan on Oct. 27, 2021 by a vote of 21-2, but the Ontario government didn’t endorse the plan until Friday.
As part of the Official Plan, Ottawa's boundary will expand by 2046, helping to accommodate for an extra 450,000 residents in the capital. It promotes what the city calls, 15-minute neighbourhoods, where residents can reach daily destinations such as school, public transit, grocery stores and parks within a 15-minute walk from home.
The decision of the Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister on the Official Plan is final, and cannot be appealed by the city of Ottawa.