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Feb. 25, 2021 | Thursday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: Distinctive NOTL architecture makes development controls difficult

Dear editor:

Architecture in our community is one of the attractions that is the envy of others. The variety is extensive in such a small area as shown in Brian Marshall's weekly column “ArchiText.”

The need for "clear, architectural and heritage guidelines," as expressed in the column, is long overdue.

However, the blame for a “threatened heritage landscape” should not be assigned to developers, commercial development and abandonment of historical buildings.

Developers provide required housing and commercial development provides required jobs through developments based on guidelines and restrictions imposed by municipal and regional planners.

It is the responsibility of our city and regional planners, as well town and regional planning committees, and by extension town and regional councils, to develop and enforce these guidelines through legislation. This is exacerbated by the fact municipalities benefit through increased property taxes on building as many houses as possible in a development project.

Before Kanata was incorporated into the City of Ottawa it was able to legislate development by design of a style of house and lot size, resulting in a uniform community of housing. Any changes had to follow restrictive guidelines.

The problem in our community is that there is such a vast number of choices of architecture – which would be the best choice to pursue and still maintain our distinctiveness?

Derek Insley