Aug 31

Despite the fact that people have lived in their front yard and had workshops or light industrial uses in their backyards for generations, the City of Ottawa recently told a small developer that they would not be able to support her proposed future industrial/residential subdivision (image 1 above). Their reasoning (if such it can be called)?

·         An industrial subdivision such as the proposed use is not compatible with the neighboring uses (e.g., a residential subdivision)

·         An industrial subdivision with associated accessory residential dwellings on each lot is not good planning. These two uses, particularly within a subdivision of this nature are not compatible with one another.

The other images shown above are for a light industrial use (mini-storage) on a 15-acre parcel piece of land in rural Dunrobin Village, located at the northern edge of Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa. Note that in front is a high-level, 2-storey bungalow. The manager lives on the upper floor; the lower level is rented out.

Blue Heron Storage (now called Blue Moon) has a gate which has never been locked or, in fact, shut. The only reason it has a gate is that the City of Kanata (now part of Ottawa) insisted on it. They also wanted a fence around the entire 15 acres– a six foot chain link fence topped by barbed wire around its perimeter.

They also wanted lighting installed that would pollute the entire village. The developer rejected both the fence and the lighting not solely as a cost saving measure—first, it was inconsistent with village ambiance and environment and, second, the best security is not a fence (which is nothing but an attractive challenge to teen vandals) but on-site eyes— people who live and work there.

In the more than 15 years the use has been in existence, there have been zero cases of stolen property.

Ottawa’s rejection of what once was acceptable opens up an enormous opportunity for nearby municipalities, townships, counties and regions to attract entrepreneurs who want to live and work on the same property, one they own and control.


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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.