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  • Writer's pictureChristoph Jalkotzy

Urban Boundaries & Missing Middle Buildings

I was around in the 1980's in Ottawa and was Chair of Ecovision when, we as a city started including the future operating costs that would come from capital spending on roads etc. We also decided to exempt downtown housing from development fees to kickstart downtown residential development. Both things worked. When participating in the planning for the Kanada Town Centre I had an occasion to catch a ride with the president of one of the bigger residential developers. He said something interesting, "Chris, when times are tough, we aren't prepared to change the way we do things, too much risk; and when times are good, why would we change". There is a saying, "necessity is the mother of invention".

Currently Ottawa is considering adding more urban land. That will be a mistake. You can create necessity by not increasing the urban boundary.

I have attached a presentation that reviews the numbers in the staff report and presents the kind of innovation we can encourage. In addition, we don't need to act "now". We have multiple opportunities to expand the boundary before we run out land in 20 years. The only way that we will get the existing bigger private sector developers to innovate around housing types and density is if they are under economic pressure to do so and in competition with new smaller developers. There are significant cost and GHG benefits to zero side yard R4 zones. Anyone reading this, I hope you can support this approach in the R4 zone as a trial. I would be happy to make a presentation to any group

and answer questions.

presentation 2020 05 08 revised
Download PDF • 6.68MB

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