Minto nears approval for 897-home development in Manotick

Nearly a decade after a loss at the Ontario Municipal Board, the city's agriculture and rural affairs committee has approved nearly 900 homes in Minto's Mahogany community.

Opposition led to plans being turned down a decade ago

Nearly 900 homes are to be built as part of Phases 2, 3 and 4 of Minto's Mahogany development in Manotick. The site on First Line Road is bounded by Mahogany Creek (formerly known as "Unnamed Drain") to the east, Century Road to the south, and Manotick Estates to the north. (Google Maps)

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  • City council approved the zoning changes at its meeting on Oct. 10, 2018.

Ottawa city council should approve a zoning change on Wednesday to allow Minto Communities Inc. to build nearly 900 homes as part of its massive Mahogany community in Manotick.

But the decision will attract none of the opposition it did a decade ago.

In 2008, the city and community association rejected Minto's plans, arguing it would quickly double the size of the rural south Ottawa village and ruin its character.

That led Minto to take the fight to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), as it was known then, and the developer won its appeal.

Fast forward to last Thursday, when the city's agriculture and rural affairs committee approved a zoning bylaw amendment to allow for the subdivision's second, third and fourth phases.

Together, they cover 85 hectares and would mean 897 new homes.

Not a single resident registered their opposition.

The zoning change for the subdivision still requires full council approval and is on the agenda for today's meeting. 

According to this design brief prepared for Minto by NAK Design Strategies in 2018, the entire Mahogany community will eventually number 1,400 homes, the number set out in a 2009 Ontario Municipal Board decision. (Source: Nak Design Strategies, for Minto, 2018)

Minto advertises on its website that homes in its second phase go on sale Oct. 20 and is celebrating the development's two parks and future school. 

In total, Minto plans to build 1,400 homes through five phases of its Mahogany development.

That number of homes was set in the 2009 OMB decision.

Manotick didn't get quick growth it feared

The 211 homes in the first phase of the Mahogany project have been built more slowly than people expected and residents have adapted, said Grace Thrasher, president of the Manotick and Village Community Association and one of the residents who fought the original plan.

In fact, the focus these days is on helping residents of the new development feel connected to the existing village through recreational pathways, for instance.

"There are people who grew up in the village who are now buying homes in the Mahogany development, so they're coming back to the village," she said.

Minto has done a good job consulting residents about its plans, said Thrasher. 

The one outstanding concern for the community association is the traffic that will come to area roads as more people move in.

Traffic is a concern shared by every area of the city where homes are going up and the city is trying to keep up with road infrastructure.

A decade ago, the Vimy Memorial Bridge across the Rideau River had not yet been built and that bridge has helped.

Some intersections still need better lights or a roundabout, said Thrasher.