By Kate Porter, CBC News Ottawa, January 25, 2021
Property owners and developers whose lands didn't make the City of Ottawa's cut for being included inside a new urban boundary tried to make the case Monday for why they should be let in.
City staff released a map of which 1,011 hectares should be urbanized to meet the needs of a growing population, and nearly 50 people weighed in during a joint meeting of the planning and agricultural affairs committees.
(...)The Algonquins of Ontario were the first to address councillors, and argued they should be allowed to develop a vast parcel of some 2,000 hectares in the rural south-east now, instead of waiting years longer.
They have been working with developers Taggart on a sustainable community of up to 45,000 residents they call Tewin, and have held several meetings with the city.
(...)Coun. Eli El-Chantiry praised the idea as a way to protect food production and keep urban areas from encroaching on rural villages through to the end of the century.
But many delegations said the "Gold Belt" came as a surprise that could cause home owners to move beyond Ottawa's city limits.
"Are we setting ourselves up for leapfrogging yet again? Are Carleton Place and Rockland going to send us a thank you card because now they can have that many more residents interested in coming?" asked Kevin Yemm, vice-president of land development for Richcraft.
Others welcomed the idea, but worried the Gold Belt left large gaps where tens of thousands more homes could be built.
"It's more like a very loosely fitted sash. This worries me," said Daniel Buckles of A People's Official Plan for Ottawa's Climate Emergency.
Councillors will reconvene Tuesday to ask questions of staff and vote on recommendations.