There will be much written on this subject in the coming two weeks! Please check out this article: https://www.ottawamatters.com/local-news/many-factors-to-consider-before-choosing-where-boundary-could-expand-ottawa-planning-chair-2285455
First of all, Form follows Function! If we all agree that living in mixed use, walkable, 15 minute neighbourhoods/villages is what we want and what is environmentally the best option, then let’s create planning/zoning policies based on this criteria. I would add that such 15 minute communities require not just “bungalows” but multi-level, apartments, mixed use complexes etc. As I stated in an early blog post: https://integralnorth.ca/opinion-mooneys-bay-from-suburb-to-urban-village/ my idea of a 15 minute neighbourhood is an urban village that is characterised by:
“What do I mean when I say “urban village”? At a minimum, an urban village has several characteristics: a mix of housing types that allow people of all incomes to age in place and to feel welcome; a mix of commercial and retail establishments where people can buy food, dine out, enjoy arts and entertainment, and yes, that includes a coffee shop; a mix of passive and active recreational opportunities; excellent schools both elementary and high school; good access to transit; complete streets where people feel safe walking or biking and where cars move slowly through the neighbourhood and finally lots of nature and green space!
If it is the general consensus that the above type of community is what we want in Ottawa, then all neighbourhoods have got to be prepared for a major “shake up” with regard to the built form in their neighbourhoods. Although I personally support the above model and the increased intensification that will have to happen to make it a reality, I am not sure the general public understands what this means. I agree with the point that the Great Ottawa Homebuilders are making that the City has not communicated what 51% intensification in the existing urban boundary area will mean. I believe that it will not be the horror story the GOHBA is painting, but still people need to know. Also, and likewise, Councillor Moffatt says the “mapping exercise” for the lands that might meet the criteria for the expanded greenfield development won’t happen until the Fall, also fails in providing citizens of Ottawa with an accurate picture of what this expansion means for the City as well. It’s time for all the cards to be laid upon the table, before any vote on this matter takes place!