City poised to open 72 acres of Urbandale’s Leitrim land for development

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The community of Leitrim in south Ottawa could see more than 500 new homes in the coming years if city councillors accept the advice of municipal staff and open a large swath of land off Bank Street to development.

Ottawa homebuilder Urbandale is seeking an official plan amendment that would allow it to build on the currently undeveloped property, known as the Kellam Lands at 4789 Bank St., south of Findlay Creek Drive and a proposed Claridge subdivision.

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A concept plan referenced in a city report says Urbandale envisions constructing about 562 homes, including 254 single-detached houses, 254 multiple units and 54 apartments.

Mixed-use nodes – such as low-rise apartments above ground-floor commercial units – would be constructed along the east side of Bank Street in a “compact format that is easily accessible from the immediate neighbourhood and surrounding community.”

Before any construction could begin, the land needs to be designated part of Ottawa’s “general urban area” in the city’s official plan. It’s currently considered an “urban expansion study area.”

Councillors on the city’s planning committee will consider the request next Tuesday, Sept. 12.

City staff argue that the proposal “reflects planned growth in the city” and say it “represents a natural extension of the adjacent Leitrim community.”

During a community consultation, several residents raised concerns about the current traffic constraints on Bank Street. City staff responded that Bank Street is scheduled to be widened to four lanes from Leitrim Road to south of Blais Road sometime between 2020 and 2025.