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Published on Monday, September 25, 2017

ClubLink applies to demolish golf course

Council going ahead with meeting next day on development application

ClubLink applies to demolish golf course
— Oakville Beaver file photo
A Glen Abbey Golf Course view
By David Lea, Oakville Beaver

ClubLink, the company that owns Glen Abbey Golf Course, announced today (Monday, Sept. 25) that it has filed an application to demolish the site.

In a letter sent to the Town, ClubLink lawyer Mark Flowers said ClubLink “will be proceeding with an application to the Town under section 34 of the Ontario Heritage Act to remove the golf course and demolish all buildings on the lands other than those that are proposed to be retained under ClubLink’s redevelopment proposal.

The RayDor Estate House, which is currently leased to Golf Canada for its offices, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Stables would be spared.

The golf giant is hoping to build 3,222 residential units including nine nine-to-12 storey apartment buildings on the Glen Abbey Golf Course property at 1333 Dorval Dr.

This proposal has created a great deal of concern among area residents, who fear what the development will do to traffic levels in the area.

Others worry about the loss of green space, some have a problem with the proposed development’s density levels while others do not want to see a world-class golf course leave Oakville.

Flowers said the demolition application was in response to the Aug. 21 decision by Oakville’s Planning and Development Council to pass a notice of intention to designate the entire 229-acre property under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Experts cited the fact the course was designed by golf superstar Jack Nicklaus and its “spoke-and-wheel” design as evidence of cultural significance worth preserving.

ClubLink officials called the council decision extremely broad and overreaching.

They also noted they would not be appealing that decision because recommendations by the Conservation Review Board, which would hear the matter, are not binding on the Town of Oakville.

This decision not to appeal didn’t stop ClubLink from lashing out about the notice to designate.

“The Town’s insistence that the entire golf course has heritage value and that the removal of the golf course cannot conserve the heritage resource might mean that ClubLink would be required to operate and maintain the golf course in perpetuity,” said ClubLink Chair and CEO Rai Sahi in a press release.

“That’s simply not how the Ontario Heritage Act works.”

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton says he’s not surprised by ClubLink’s demolition application.

“The lands are currently deemed to be designated under Section 33 of the Heritage Act,” he said.

“The applicant appears to be following the prescribed procedure to begin the process to seek approval for demolition of a designated property. Council will give this new application the consideration it is due within the required timeframe of 90 days from completion of the requirements.”

It should be noted that if council rules against ClubLink in the demolition matter, ClubLink would have the option of appealing the matter to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

The application to demolish Glen Abbey comes as the Town prepares to consider ClubLink’s development plans for the site at its Tuesday, Sept. 26 special council meeting.

Town staff has recommended council refuse this development request.

In the same press release that ClubLink announced it had applied to demolish Glen Abbey Golf Course, the company also called on the Town to get on board with the development proposal.

The developer again noted that 54 per cent of the overall site would be preserved as publicly accessible green space and that ClubLink would pay $126 million in development charges.

“This is an incredible opportunity and an enormous public benefit for the people of Oakville and the surrounding regions,” said Sahi.

“Oakville Council should not miss this opportunity to take ownership of these lands for the public benefit.”
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