Allow wider driveways in Ottawa suburbs, report recommends

Councillors on Ottawa's planning committee will next week consider a proposal to allow suburban homeowners to widen their driveways.

Loosened rules would allow driveways to take up to 50 per cent width of lot

Councillors on Ottawa's planning committee will next week consider a proposal to allow suburban homeowners to widen their driveways.

Currently in most cases, a driveway can only be as wide as the garage it serves.

Some residents in the suburbs park their second car on the street because of a lack of driveway space. (CBC)
But some residents say that's a problem in suburban neighbourhoods, where some homes have single car garages with narrow and short driveways.

As a result, anyone with more than one car tends to park on the street.

The report recommends allowing homeowners to widen their driveways to cover up to 50 per cent the width of the property.

As well, restrictions currently in place that don't allow driveways to extend in front of the main part of the house or into the side yard would be removed, though the driveway can never be more than 50 per cent the width of the lot. The report estimates a driveway would need to be about 5.2 metres wide to accommodate two vehicles.

Report said suburban residents support plan

The report said city staff polled residents about the possible changes and said a majority of more than 1,000 people who responded were in support of the changes.

Stittsville Coun. Shad Qadri pushed for the report over resident's concern for lack of street parking.

"People are using garages for other purposes rather than using it for a parked car," said Qadri.

"Suburban life is about two vehicles, minimum, and in those cases we have to provide the required parking spots within the property of the resident and manage that better," he said.

Kanata resident Mary Kay said getting vehicles off the street when snow ploughs come presents problems for many residents.

"We will lose our trees, unfortunately, if people widen their driveways, and I'm not really happy about that, but we just don't have enough room for cars. There are so many cars on the road," said Kay.

The report will be tabled at a planning committee meeting next Tuesday.

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The proposed changes would apply to suburban residents living in the above neighbourhoods. (City of Ottawa)