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Published on Sunday, September 17, 2017

Staff say no to Glen Abbey development

Town staff recommends Oakville Council refuse Glen Abbey development application

Staff say no to Glen Abbey development
Town staff recommends Oakville council refuse Glen Abbey development request
Glen Abbey Golf Course - Oakville Beaver file photo
By David Lea, Oakville Beaver

Town staff are recommending that Oakville council refuse a request by Glen Abbey Golf Course owner ClubLink to build more than 3,200 residential units on the property.

In a report to council released Sept. 12 Senior Planner Paul Barrette argued the applications put forward by ClubLink do not represent good planning and their approval would not be in the public interest.

Council will consider the development application along with Town staff’s recommendation during a special meeting at Town Hall on Sept. 26.

ClubLink’s desire to build not only 3,222 residential units, but 69,000 square feet of commercial/retail and 107,000 square feet of office space at the Glen Abbey site has attracted considerable attention from area residents.

Some have voiced concerns about the traffic impact the development might have on the surrounding area while others have spoken against the potential loss of a world famous golf course and heritage site.

Still others are opposed to the development because of the potential loss of green space and the height of the proposed structures, which would reach 12 storeys in several cases.

ClubLink officials have previously pointed out 50.11 hectares (54 per cent of the total site) would be made up of publicly-accessible green space.

Town staff came out against the development proposal for a number of reasons.

One reason focuses on the preservation of cultural heritage.

On Aug. 21 Town council voted unanimously to issue a notice of intention to designate the entire 229-acre property, citing its significance to the town’s cultural heritage.

Arguments for this designation focused on things like the golf course’s ‘spoke-and-wheel’ design and the fact that golf superstar Jack Nicklaus designed it.

“Staff are of the opinion that any proposal resulting in the removal of the golf course would not conserve the cultural heritage value and the heritage attributes of the cultural heritage landscape,” wrote Barrette in his report to council.

Town staff also pointed out that the proposed development would essentially turn the Glen Abbey Golf Course into an unplanned growth area.

They argued this would cause problems as the area is not served by any existing or planned level of transit service.

This could result in transit resources being diverted to this area, which Town staff note would go against the provincial Growth Plan, which wants growth directed to areas with a high transit level and not the other way around.

“The applications are inconsistent with the Town’s policy framework in the Livable Oakville Plan that establishes where and how the town will accommodate growth,” said Barrette.

“The Town has confirmed through its Urban Structure Review where and how the Town will accommodate future growth to achieve its intensification target to 2031, and its estimated population and employment forecast to 2041.”

Town staff said that due to the scale of this proposed development if it was allowed to go through it could actually undermine the Town’s growth plans by redirecting growth from identified growth areas and delaying timely development.

They also noted that many of the reports and studies submitted in support of the development application contained technical deficiencies that did not fully demonstrate conformity with the provincial, regional and/or local policies or practice.

The special council meeting in which council will discuss the ClubLink application will take place Tuesday, Sept. 26 at Oakville’s Town Hall at 7 p.m.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News

Tags: ClubLink , Heritage Preservation , Livable Oakville , Glen Abbey Golf Course

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