Lifting 30 Centimetre Reserve

A 30 cm reserve is a strip of land 30 cm wide, running along the street frontage or perimeter of a property or perpendicularly across a road right-of-way, that is deeded temporarily to the City as a condition of an approval or agreement. This reserve has the effect of technically denying access to a property, or adjacent lands because the law requires that all land must have frontage on a public street to qualify for a building permit. The reserve is used as a means to control development until such time as various conditions are met or to prohibit development on lands that are not yet scheduled for development.

Before you begin

Before making an application, you should discuss your proposal with staff through a pre-consultation. The pre-application process is designed to help promote the exchange of information and development considerations early in the planning process and a customized list of the studies and plans required in support of a development application is provided. If you fail to consult with staff, the City cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of your application submission which may result in processing delays.


If the conditions no longer apply, an application may be made to request that the City "lift" the requirement for the reserve, giving the property owner direct access to a public street. The lifting of these reserves can result in the dedication of the land as public highways, the reconveyance of the land back to the owner or in some cases both. For Lifting of 30 cm Reserves that result in the dedication as public highway, the City’s Legal staff prepare a By-law and forward the By-law to City Council.

There are no formal appeal procedures in the event that the City does not approve your application. However, you could seek private legal advice to see if action could be taken to enforce lifting the 30 cm reserve.

Lifting 30 cm Reserve applications are one of five types of applications included within the City’s Guaranteed Application Timeline Initiative (GATI). Since July 1, 2012, the City of Ottawa has been committed to rendering a decision on certain classes of development applications within the Council approved timeline, in this case 44 days, or else the applicant’s next application of that type will be free of charge.

For additional details on the steps associated with the processing and review of development applications, please refer to the City’s development application process information.


The following fees (effective January 1, 2024) apply to an application for Lifting 30 cm Reserve.

  • $3,077.81 (includes $937.00 Legal Fee + HST) plus an initial Conservation Authority fee of $235.00
  • $2,069.81 (includes $937.00 Legal Fee + HST), on a per lot basis, where such reserve is in place in the Rural area to ensure compliance with findings of a previously approved hydrogeological study.

Please see additional information related to the City’s Development Application Fees including information on reductions for multiple applications, engineering design review and inspections, fourth and subsequent engineering reviews as well as refunds.


Applications can be submitted to accompanied by required plans, studies and any other information that may be needed to assess your application.

  • Note: If using a file sharing / transfer site to submit supporting documents, please select one that does not restrict access to a single planning staff member or email address.

Lifting 30cm Reserve Application Form

Upon application submission, staff will provide confirmation of the amount due, the specific payment methods available for the application type, and the necessary details for the different payment methods.

Application commissioning, fees and payments

Client Service Centres will continue to offer commissioning services for applications and handle payments for new applications. Please ensure the payer’s name and address are indicated on the cheque.


If you require assistance using an electronic application form please contact a Development Information Officer, located at any of the Client Service Centres. You can make an appointment by calling 3-1-1 and asking to speak with a Development Information Officer.

If you would like to speak with planning staff please contact the appropriate development review Planner III by calling 3-1-1 and providing the address of the property you wish to discuss.