Municipalities are helping developers develop farmland

By Staff, StittsvilleCentral, December 4, 2018

While working with the city of Ottawa last year on their proposed Site Alteration By-law, staff insisted that it was important to protect agricultural land from development. The Carleton Landowners Association (CLA) voiced their skepticism that any bylaw would stop the development of farmland because the municipality allows that development. They may not be in favour of it, but they may be unintentionally putting farmland in harms way by allowing it to be designated and therefore not useable.

One of the ways in which this happens is that viable farmland (and other properties) are zoned as provincially significant wetlands (PSWs), which reduces the value of the land and restricts usage. This often results in the sale of the land to, you guessed it, a developer who somehow manages to get the PSW designation lifted and proceeds to build houses, condos, shopping centres or whatever will return a profit.

Goulbourn, a former township in the City of Ottawa, seems to be a prime target for PSW designations. Starting in 2000 (right after amalgamation), the former councillor representing Goulbourn, Janet Stavinga, and the city began working with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) to assess private property as wetlands.

Connect with us