"Ottawa council could avoid a series of fights at the Ontario Municipal Board by holding the line on its urban boundary, according to its top planning lawyer.
Tim Marc says changes to the provincial Planning Act since 2003 have strengthened the city's hand in controlling development. If any urban
expansion in the official plan is permitted, the revised plan can be appealed to the provincial board, which has the power to overrule city land-use decisions. However, if no expansion is approved, no appeals can be made to the board.
City council is considering the revision of its official plan, the document that guides all residential and commercial development. Planning staff recommended an expansion of 842 hectares.
But Bay Councillor Alex Cullen said Tuesday that council could end up with even more than the 842 hectares added to the city's urban area if the municipal board agrees with developers on expanding the urban area even farther."