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Residents not allowed to weigh in on big subdivision, councillor says

A large new subdivision in Stittsville has been approved, despite the fact the last public consultation meeting happened more than a decade ago.

Councillors approve application to build 945 residential units on Maple Grove Road after decade of holdups

Richcraft got zoning approval from the planning committee on Tuesday to build 945 residential units on this land along Maple Grove Road in Stittsville. The development must still be approved by city council. (CBC)

A large new subdivision in Stittsville has been approved, despite the fact the last public consultation meeting happened more than a decade ago.

The planning committee approved the rezoning for Richcraft to build 945 residential units on Maple Grove Road.

The development has been in the works since early 2004 but was held up by an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. Richcraft then filed an appeal against the city because it's taken so long for the city to make a decision.

Coun. Shad Qadri asked the committee to hold off on the decision on behalf of the neighbouring Fairwinds community, which didn't exist when the initial public consultations were done.

"The area now didn't really have the opportunity to put their comments in," Qadri said, adding that planning documents were also not posted online.

Qadri lost the vote seven to one.

Development already delayed too long

Planning committee chair Jan Harder said the public had the opportunity to be heard at Tuesday's meeting.

The committee received two written statements responding to the report that was tabled last week.

If the committee held off on making a decision, the developer would simply withdraw the zoning application and go through the OMB instead, Harder said.

"And then we'll have a made-in-Toronto decision that may not be that great," said Coun. Rick Chiarreli.

Townhomes, detached houses, low-rise apartments

Chiarelli didn't want the decision to be made by the OMB because there's no way to appeal it, he said.

The developer has been working toward this subdivision for 13 years, and the city should not be holding up the process any longer, he added, comparing the application to a criminal trial. Serious charges would be dismissed after such a long period without a decision, he said.

A draft for the planned Richcraft subdivision on Maple Grove Road in Stittsville. (City of Ottawa)

The proposal includes townhomes, detached houses and low-rise apartment buildings. It also includes some commercial development along the south side of Maple Grove Road, which is currently entirely residential.

During the initial public meeting in 2004 the city received six responses, including concerns about the Carp River restoration project and the timing of the development.

Part of the development is expected to be built on the former floodplain of the Carp River, which is currently under construction to alleviate flood concerns.

The development must still be approved by city council.