Oakville Town Council Opposes ClubLink Demolition Plan For Glen Abbey Golf Course

Glen Abbey Golf Club (Photo: Grant Fraser)

The governing body for the municipality of Oakville has struck down the latest ClubLink plan to make the Glen Abbey golf course disappear.

After the golf course owner filed an application on Monday outlining a desire to “demolish or remove” the eighteen hole Jack Nicklaus designed golf course in favour of development of various residential and commercial properties, the plan was rejected unanimously by Oakville Town Council during their Tuesday meeting. The proposed redevelopment of the Glen Abbey Golf Course includes a total of 3,222 units, 5,429 m2 of office commercial, 5,841 m2 of retail commercial space, and 546 m2 community amenity uses, parks and open space and natural heritage system.

“The town’s Livable Oakville Official Plan sets out the vision for our community to preserve the stability of residential neighbourhoods and identify specific areas where growth should occur,” Mayor Burton noted. “ClubLink’s proposal did not adhere to our official plan, nor did it conserve the golf course, which is subject to a Notice of Intention to Designate as a significant cultural heritage landscape issued by Council under s. 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act.”

Under ClubLink’s plan some of the historic buildings are set to remain. The RayDor Estate office building is included in that. It was designated a Heritage site under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1993.

ClubLink had applied to the town for an official plan amendment, a zoning by-law amendment and approval of a plan of subdivision to redevelop the golf course property into 3222 residential units and mixed commercial and retail uses, as well as a dedication of the club’s valley lands as natural heritage. Council’s decision refuses the official plan and zoning amendments required for the development to proceed. Pursuant to a Planning Act requirement, the application for the approval of a plan of subdivision must still come back to Planning and Development Council on November 6, 2017 for decision.

Town Planning staff had recommended refusal of the application to Council. According to Mark Simeoni, the town’s director of Planning, “The town’s cultural heritage landscape study identified the Glen Abbey property as a significant cultural heritage landscape that should be conserved. The town-wide urban structure review identified where and how the town should grow, and Glen Abbey was not identified as a potential site for future growth. These conclusions are so significant that staff must recommend that the applications not proceed.”

The Town of Oakville intends to produce a draft plan for Glen Abbey by December 19, 2017.

This Cultural Heritage Landscape Conservation Plan, according to Council documents, will:

  • be based on the Statement of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest
  • address the heritage attributes identified for the property in the NOID
  • consider applicable official plan policies and zoning regulations for the property
  • be prepared by a team including Town staff and other retained qualified persons
  • consider the property as a whole and address all heritage values and attributes of the property
  • identify operational and maintenance requirements
  • guide the review of changes to the property that may or may not affect its cultural heritage value and heritage attributes, whether and the extent to which the change will require heritage approval from the Town, and use of practical timelines
  • provide guidance on technical studies that may be required (e.g. Heritage Impact Assessments, archaeological assessments)
  • consider the input from the property owner and interested persons or organizations

With a huge financial stake in the matter you can expect that the latest hurdle will not deter ClubLink in their efforts to execute their plans. How the Town Council reacts and accepts them remains to be seen.

The Heritage Oakville Advisory Committee indicates that after a draft plan for Glen Abbey is completed there will be a period of public review and further consultation.

The target for the final plan is January 31, 2018.

The Glen Abbey Golf Club is set to host the RBC Canadian Open for the 30th time on July 23-29, 2018.