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Published on Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Town stops Glen Abbey demolition

Oakville rejects ClubLink's Glen Abbey demolition request

Town stops Glen Abbey demolition
Metroland photo
Glen Abbey Golf Course
By Nathan Howes, Oakville Beaver

ClubLink continues to face an uphill battle in its quest to develop Oakville’s Glen Abbey Golf Course. 

On Monday, Feb. 12, the property owner’s application to demolish the 1333 Dorval Dr. site to make way for its redevelopment plans was unanimously rejected by town council at the planning and development meeting. 

Council’s decision, however, based on the planning and heritage merits of the application, is subject to court order and pending court proceedings.

ClubLink’s authority to bring the demolition application forward is the focus of legal action between the company and the town. A court hearing is set for July 16 and 17.

Should the property owner appeal the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), it will not move forward until after a decision has been made on the litigation and only if the court sides with ClubLink.

On Nov. 21, 2017, ClubLink filed an application under Section 34 of the Ontario Heritage Act to remove the golf course and demolish all buildings on the lands, other than those proposed to be retained under its redevelopment proposal. This would include the RayDor Estate House, currently leased to Golf Canada for its offices, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as the stables.

Shortly after ClubLink submitted its demolition application, the town designated the entire Glen Abbey Golf Course as a property of cultural value or interest under the Ontario Heritage Act on Dec. 20, 2017.

At Monday’s meeting, council heard from a few delegates, all in favour of rejecting ClubLink’s application, and town staff, who discussed the legal context for the process and vote on the request to demolish and the actual submission.

The town enlisted architect Julian Smith to review the application to remove the entire golf course, specifically a letter from ClubLink and the ERA Architects Inc. addendum.

Town heritage planner Susan Schappert discussed some of the report’s findings as part of her presentation to council.

She noted Smith’s review found that 11 of 12 of Glen Abbey’s heritage attributes would be damaged and/or destroyed by ClubLink’s proposed demolition.

“Taken as a whole, the loss of these attributes would destroy the values outlined in the designated bylaw,” said Schappert.

Lawyer Mark Flowers, ClubLink’s legal representative, didn't speak at the meeting but submitted a letter to the town on Monday as part of the public comments on the application.

In it, he references ERA Architects' reports that indicate the company’s proposed redevelopment incorporates a number of measures to ensure Glen Abbey’s cultural heritage value or interest is conserved.

He also claimed the town staff report “omits a significant amount of relevant information” for council to have when considering the application and accused the town of improperly using the Ontario Heritage Act in attempting to regulate land use and mandating a specific use for the golf course.

Despite another setback to ClubLink’s proposal, the future of the iconic golf course is still uncertain.

The property owner has appealed council’s rejection of its development application to the OMB and a pre-hearing on the issue will take place at town hall on April 27.

The town officially refused ClubLink’s development application on Sept. 27, 2017, less than a year after filing it.

ClubLink has proposed to build 3,222 residential units including nine to 12-storey apartment buildings on the Glen Abbey property at 1333 Dorval Dr.

The development plan would also see the construction of 69,000 sq. ft of commercial/retail space and 107,000 sq. ft of office space.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

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