An Ontario Court of Appeal decision on Friday once again swings the plans to develop the Kanata Golf & Country Club in favour of the owner, ClubLink, along with their development partners.
Two years ago Clublink applied to develop the Kanata Golf & Country property in partnership with Richcraft Homes and Minto Communities. While that circumstance of a golf course being redeveloped for housing is not uncommon in some communities, objectors to the plan pointed to a 1981 agreement in what was then the City of Kanata. It required that 40 percent of the property in the Kanata Lakes Development was to be kept as green space. The golf course, first established as a 9-hole property in 1968 and later expanded to 18 holes, was part of that space. While the suburb of Kanata is now part of the greater city of Ottawa, that agreement was upheld in Ontario Superior Court this past February but ClubLink and partners appealed the decision.
Friday’s decision on the appeal by the City of Ottawa to stop the development paves the way for the golf course and surrounding area to be developed, but there still may another hurdle to be cleared for the plan to move forward.
In similar battle in Oakville, Ontario where ClubLink was looking to develop the Glen Abbey Golf Club, a long legal battle ended with Clublink withdrawing their application after the intervention of Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark.
An hour prior to the public reveal of the Ontario Court of Appeals decision in the Kanata situation, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson released a statement regarding a further appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada followed by an additional Tweet about seeking the same reprieve for Kanata G&CC as Glen Abbey GC was granted.
“I am greatly disappointed by the Decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal,” Watson shared on social media. “I am heartened to hear that, in light of the importance of this is issue to the City, the City Solicitor has advised that he will be seeking to leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.”
Jenna Sudds, the current Member of Parliament for Kanata – Carleton, who had been a loud voice in opposition of the Kanata development as a City Council member for Kanata North, also issued a statement of disappointment about the Ontario Court of Appeal decision.
In today’s decision by Justice Marc R. Labrosse, full text here, he declared the 1981 40% greenspace agreement as void and unenforceable. He also rules that per an agreement between both parties reached this past June, the City of Ottawa is responsible for the $59,000 cost of the legal appeal to be payable to ClubLink.