Road project delays ahead as Ottawa falls short of development targets

Major road projects could careen off schedule if local development doesn’t perk up, some councillors warn.

By Emma Jackson.

The Airport Parkway widening project has already been pushed back because development charges aren’t hitting the targets the city laid out in its five-year transportation master plan three years ago.

The city will only receive $26 million in development charges annually instead of the plan’s projected $43 to $45 million, according to planning manager Michael Mizzi.

That could throw off the whole plan, which lays out transportation priorities until 2031.

“I would be somewhat skeptical about staying on that schedule now,” said Capital Coun. David Chernushenko.

Kanata South Coun. Allan Hubley said the city needs to actively encourage developers to invest in the city.

“If we do things such as work with the industry to try and stimulate development, we’re not going to have to cancel or postpone projects,” he said.

Last summer he lobbied staff to lower building permit fees to give developers and homeowners a break. The planning department is reviewing its fee structure.

Mr. Hubley said he’s particularly worried about a $50-million, west-end project that would widen Hope Side Road and other south-end arterials to accommodate 15,000 new homes planned for the area.

That project will largely be covered by development charges.

This article originally appeared on metronews.ca on Jan. 12.