Stupid Zoning and Planning Rules

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

May 17

A client of mine has a home in Little Italy (in Ottawa, Canada). He wanted to divide his ground floor into 2 smaller apartments (instead of one larger one) to provide more affordable housing.

Total cost of the reno?


The city’s view?

He needed a full site plan application and a streetscape study (despite the fact that there was 0, that’s right, 0 change in the streetscape because the place already had 2 doors).

The cost?

$35,000 in studies and fees.

Guess what?

He didn’t do it.

And guess what else?

The city didn’t get another affordable unit.

They talk a good game about making more units available for the less advantaged but it’s all just talk…

Decades ago, the planning department would have just waived these fees and studies for something this minor (one wall and one micro kitchen). Not any longer.


Prof Bruce

Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD
Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc broker
Ottawa Senators founder
Real Estate Investment and Business coach



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