City staff propose 'gold belt' to hem in future Ottawa development

By Kate Porter, CBC News Ottawa, January 16, 2021

The City of Ottawa is about to have a second marathon debate about where to allow future suburbs to be built, and this time staff propose hemming in development by creating what's being dubbed the "gold belt."

Eight months after city council decided to expand the urban boundary by 1,281 hectares to help house a growing population, senior city planners have released the map of which properties should be developed — and which property owners stand to see values soar if their lands are rezoned. 

(...)With council determined to protect farmland, staff have also proposed a way to rein in urban development through to the end of the century.

They recommend establishing a "gold belt" or "countryside belt" of farm fields and mineral deposits that would separate existing Kanata, Orléans, Barrhaven and other new communities from rural villages.

(...)Last May, a joint meeting of Ottawa's planning and rural affairs committees went on for three days and heard from more than 100 people.

The discussions are watched closely because there's money to be made when the city brings land inside the urban line and allows it to be developed.

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