Developers stunned by recommendation to remove lands from boundary expansion to help Algonquins project

By Jon Willing, Ottawa Citizen, January 27, 2021

Councillors blindsided four development companies on Tuesday by recommending the removal of high-scoring development land from inside a proposed urban boundary in the Kanata area so the Algonquins of Ontario can build a major residential community on low-scoring development land in the rural east.

A joint meeting of the planning and agriculture and rural affairs committee established which additional lands should be included in a shifted urban boundary to satisfy growth projections in a new official plan.

(...)It is incredibly surprising that in an unprecedented move that politics has taken over a prescribed scoring process and months of work by city staff and included a parcel of land with a zero score on servicing over lands which have some of highest scores and support the growth and maturation of an existing complete community where jobs, services and houses co-exist,” Claridge, Multivesco, Uniform and EQ Homes said in a statement.

“The joint committee has taken a step backwards in their supposed step into the future with a new official plan. It has taken one of the biggest employment nodes and one of the only true 15-minute communities out of the equation that these same politicians drew up to start the process.”

Instead, councillors took the roughly 175 hectares of land and packaged it with 270 hectares that still needed to be slotted into the urban boundary, ultimately assigning the 445 hectares of land to the “Tewin” project pursued by the Algonquins of Ontario and Taggart Investments west of Carlsbad Springs.

(...)Then Coun. Tim Tierney shifted his colleagues’ attention with a motion to include the Algonquin lands inside the urban boundary. He said the city should seize the chance to acknowledge reconciliation.

(...)It wasn’t the only controversy.

Coun. Carol Anne Meehan won support to swap out staff-recommended land in Riverside South with nearby agricultural land to allow residential development closer to the new Trillium Line extension.

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