The Federation of Citizens Associations (FCA), representing 74 community groups in the City of Ottawa, and its members are often involved in planning matters, as it affects the neighbourhoods our residents live in and the taxes they pay. These are not trivial matters. Planning decisions have quality-of-life implications for our residents as well as for practical issues such as parking, parkland, municipal services, and taxes. While we can appreciate the goal of the Ontario Task Force on Housing Affordability to facilitate the development of affordable housing in Ontario, we have serious concerns regarding some of the 55 recommendations that the Task Force makes.
Specifically, our concerns are:
The section of the Task Force report Focus on getting more homes built proposes development “as of right” of residential housing up to 4 units and up to 4 storeys on a single residential lot (rec. #3) and multi-tenant housing province-wide (rec. #6). These recommendations fail to recognize that such open-ended language ignores the need to balance such development with appropriate infrastructure, including not only hard services but greenspace, tree canopy, access to services, etc. The object should be to build communities, not just houses. As the City of Ottawa in its response to the Task Force recommendations rightly notes, permitting 4 dwellings units and up to 4 storeys on every residential lot may be appropriate in some instances but not in others. Simply put: one size does not fit all. The FCA opposes these recommendations.