The city moved a step closer on Tuesday to freezing the supply of land available for residential development for the next five years.
Rows of suburban homes, as seen from the air.
Councillors on the planning committee voted to approve a staff report that argued the city has an adequate supply of land for the next 20 years, as mandated by the province.
The matter now goes before full council.
Environmentalists and anti-sprawl advocates frequently argue that holding the line on the urban boundary will encourage more high-density developments that will reduce pollution and lower municipal infrastructure costs by negating the need for new roads and sewers.
Others, however, say such a move just encourages more sprawl by forcing homebuyers to Ottawa’s outlying municipalities, such as Carleton Place, Kemptville and Rockland, where homes are larger and less expensive. These people still commute to Ottawa and use the city’s infrastructure, but fail to pay property taxes in this municipality.
During its last review, the city added 1,103 hectares to the urban boundary. Councillors initially wanted to only bring in 222 hectares but were forced to add more as a result of an OMB decision.