Nearly 1,400 homes called too big for village
A major local developer is fuming after city council yesterday rejected amendments to Ottawa’s official plan that would allow for a mega subdivision in Manotick, doubling the village’s population.
“This is very disappointing,” said Minto vice-president of development, Jack Sterling. “There were an awful lot of harsh and pointed words that were not in the spirit of the discussions that I thought we were having.”
Minto has asked Ottawa to alter the Manotick plan to allow for construction of nearly 1,400 new homes on 430 acres of land over nine years.
Manotick residents rejected the rate of growth as too fast, claiming infrastructure was already stretched to the limit.
“We’ve never been opposed to growth,” said Brian Tansley, with the West Manotick Community Association. “We’re opposed to the pace of the development. Our infrastructure is already such that we won’t be able to accommodate our new neighbours.”
Last week Sterling had mentioned appealing to the Ontario Municipal Board, if the ruling didn’t go Minto’s way.
Coun. Jan Harder, one of the councillors pushing for a compromise deal, said the OMB would almost certainly rule in Minto’s favour.
“I really feel sorry for those people,” she said of opponents. “I know they haven’t got a strong case.”
Harder said the decision yesterday took a compromise deal off the table, and put one of the city’s best developers into an adversarial position. A challenge, she said, could cost the city up to $750,000.
Coun. Glen Brooks (Rideau-Goulbourn), who represents Manotick, acknowledged that Ottawa was entering a situation where the developer could still win approval for the full development.
“It’s not without considerable thought. We had a solicitor at all the negotiations. We know the upsides and downsides of bringing this to the OMB,” he said.
“There is a danger in it, no question. But that is the course we’ve chosen to take.”