COMMENT: Three ways Stittsville could benefit from more high-density development

A map showing Stittsville's density levels, based on the 2016 census. Low density is white to light blue, while higher densities are indicated by purple.

The image above visualizes the density levels around Stittsville. The darker the colour, the more people per hectare reside there. Here’s an interactive version.

What would the community look like with more density? Here are three ways we could benefit.

1. Better transit

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to low-density development is in the added cost of delivering municipal services — for example, it’s cheaper and easier to run water lines into a 30-unit apartment building than a 30-unit single-detached subdivision.

This logic also applies to transportation infrastructure. Urban sprawl, caused by low density, requires more roads — increasing construction and maintenance costs.

Transit is affected too. OC Transpo tries its best to serve Stittsville’s winding boulevards, but they can never do that effectively. High-density residences put a larger number of riders into a smaller geographic area, making it easier for them to get to bus stops and easier for the city to provide buses.

The good news is the city encourages high-density development along transit corridors — so we can expect to see that around Palladium when the Confederation Line eventually makes its way out here (in the 2030s.)

2. Great for business

High-density development would enable a stronger local business community in Stittsville.

Imagine more residential spaces along Stittsville Main Street. Each building would put a clump of potential customers within walking distance of any number of local businesses. No business wouldn’t want that.

This is also why it’s important to ensure there is a good mix of business in areas where we want to see high-density development — but that’s a planning issue for another day.

3. More people can live here affordably

By the laws of economics, more residential units — of any kind — means they cost less. High-density development would maximize the supply of available units, allowing more people to either join our community, or prevent existing residents from being priced out of Stittsville.

However, this requires attention to ensure there is a good mix of units being built. As previously covered by StittsvilleCentral.ca, the majority of existing apartment stock are luxury units. While there is nothing wrong with building more of that, we must also ensure that there is ample opportunity for developers to provide affordable housing as well — for rental and for ownership (do we want to turn into just another high-end Condoville?)


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11 thoughts on “COMMENT: Three ways Stittsville could benefit from more high-density development”

  1. 1) I think you missed the Amberwood Village area north of the golf course
    2) I am all for higher density and increased public transportation but they don’t always show up together or when its convenient. Apartment buildings do a fairly good job of providing parking, but, I have noticed streets with row houses do not. My observation when going to visit someone in the Tall Tree, Jackson Trails or Fairwinds areas, are it is impossible to park near one of those homes. The driveways in front of the homes are so close together, parking on the street between driveways can only be done by short cars. A lot of homes have two cars, people are not ready yet to give up. There seem to be more twists with corners and fire hydrants where you can’t park. To make it worse the roads are much narrower. If a courier or furniture delivery truck need to make a stop, the whole road is blocked. This to me is a safety hazard.

    I did live in a row house in Blackburn Hamlet and there were several parking lots for second cars and visitors. When they weren’t used for cars, the kids used them to play street hockey. It seems today the city does not have any stipulation for builders to provide that kind of space. Until we have a car sharing infrastructure in place and public transit outside of rush hours, in my opinion this type of density is dangerous.

      1. So what you’re saying is break everything and make it absolutely unbearable for people to function (which Stittsville is not far from) and then have it fixed?! Brilliant logic (insert sarcasm).
        Creating more density in the community that cannot be supported by a proper infrastructure is what brought the community to state it’s in right now.

        1. This is why people need to pay attention to the core council if you read there blogs etc they push this idea we don’t need development in the core as the suburbs have lots of room.

        2. Thank you Mary – I couldn’t have said it any better.

          How can more people, more traffic, improve our town. We don’t want more large stinking buses – We need streets like we used to have – take a walk down Birdstone, Pullman, Conductor, Coach, Emberglow – that is the way Stittsville is supposed to look. We don’t need families stacked up on top of one another – We need homes where a father and son can play catch on the lawn. A yard where a pet can play, not these 10 x10 fenced off ‘yards’

          1. I would rather have “more large stinking buses” than the hundreds of small stinking cars that we currently have. We are no longer a small rural community and are expected to grow by 75% by 2031. Transit is the only way we can resolve these transportation. Building more roads to solve traffic problems is such a 1960 way of thinking. We need to move to the 21st century.

            As for Birdstone, Pullman, Conductor, Coach, Emberglow, good luck taking a walk down them as they have no sidewalks and with all the parents racing down them to drop their kids at school on time, they are a death trap waiting to happen.

  2. You forgot the human social benefit. It is easier to get to know your neighbours, (if you chose to) the closer you live together.

  3. I’m sorry, but if you high density living stay in downtown Ottawa, There is a real reason for people moving to the rural areas, and it is NOT having the city impose its beliefs on us. If you think I am being selfish, that;s fine. I moved here 45 years ago and am not happy at what is happening to this once quaint and friendly village.

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