Why the urban boundary firestorm will end with council's most consequential decision of the term

By Jon Willing, Ottawa Citizen, April 30, 2020

At city hall, there are few political firestorms as hot as those about where more homes should be built for a growing population, especially when staff recommend expanding the suburbs.

This is the kind of controversy that touches on several sensitive municipal topics like property taxes, transportation and affordable housing.

Council’s political fissure will swell, perhaps like never again this term, over a proposal by the planning department to add between 1,350 and 1,650 hectares of allowable development land inside the “urban boundary.”

A joint planning and agriculture and rural affairs committee will consider the guidance from the planning department on May 11 before sending a recommendation to council.

To anyone disengaged from the municipal government, the urban boundary fight might be dismissed as another clash between tree-hugging daydreamers and money-grubbing landowners.


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