We have been holding off on this e-News waiting for something to break free on the legal flank of the ClubLink issue. Still no news from the Ontario Court of Appeal to derail ClubLink, Minto and Richcraft once and for all. In the meantime, we need to stay vigilant on their latest push on the planning side and cover other good news too.
Answers to all Your Questions
We have been holding off on this e-News waiting for something to break free on the legal flank of our ClubLink issue. Still no news from the Ontario Court of Appeal to derail ClubLink, Minto and Richcraft once and for all. In the meantime, we need to stay vigilant on their latest push on the planning side and cover other good news too. Let’s get to it!
Tell the City of Ottawa again… JUST SAY NO to ClubLink. Write an email today!
Thursday, August 5 is the deadline for your comments on the second resubmission by ClubLink and it should not pass without your comments to Laurel McCreight, City Planner
Our experts in planning, stormwater management and environmental engineering are working to complete their detailed submissions. We will be sharing them with you when they are complete early next week.
In the interim, however, we send these high level concerns which may help spark some additional thoughts for your letters of opposition. Remember, every letter counts. Previously noted concerns are valid and can be resent. The City should receive hundreds of emails about this submission and its failure to adopt and address previous feedback in any serious way.
- The functional design of the 175 acres of golf course lands are central to the original Kanata community masterplan both as a natural and recreational environment as well as a key sub watershed infrastructure for stormwater management. The development remains entirely inappropriate
- This is an infill development where compatibility with the existing community is a priority in the Official Plan. However, this submission continues ClubLink’s pretense of a greenfield development where stand-alone assumptions about design and density are viewed as legitimate.
- The development inappropriately applies policies related to rapid transit and community hub proximity to falsely justify the unwarranted intensification along with its inflated heights and densities.
- Changes made by the proponents in response to previous comments on compatibility and other shortcomings are not consistently applied. (e.g. a uniform size and presence and defined ownership of landscaped buffer zones; protection of major trees on adjacent private properties and design avoidance of lengthy cul-de-sacs )
Stormwater Management (SWM)
- A consensual expert model on the functional viability of the entire SWM system as proposed continues to be absent. Missing at the outset is a definition of the SWM performance criteria by the various SWM approval authorities (e.g. Ministry of Environment, City of Ottawa). As a result, ClubLink continues to propose a piece-meal approach to system design by modelling individual components of the system which they infer, will add to the sum of the parts. Unfortunately, there is no clarity on how the components of their proposed post-development sub watershed will integrate and function sustainably as a system. Our homeowners and the City will be left holding the proverbial wet bag.
- It is not evident that the SWM design proposal adequately meets applicable legal constraints. A restrictive covenant assumed by ClubLink in 1996 places limits on the impact(s) of land regrading as related to its SWM function. Negative impacts of this proposal on the riparian rights of downstream landowners continue to go unanswered.
- The portion of the Kizell Drain downstream of the Beaver Pond has technical problems at present that will only be exacerbated by this upstream development. The City has previously stated that it will not invest in the redesign of the existing SWM system and the National Capital Commission (NCC), a substantial downstream landowner, continues to oppose this development primarily on its expert forecasts of negative SWM impacts. The resubmissions cannot solve this juggernaut… they just push them down the road.
- The proposal fails to model the confounding issue of water storage to ensure post-development flows do not exceed pre-development flows through the Kizell Drain. Resultant damage to existing Kanata and downstream properties is a serious risk for the existing community and the various levels of government with this ongoing proposal.
The documents resubmitted as a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) do not adequately investigate or disclose the history of the mercury contamination on the property consistent with Ontario standards. The documentation does not adequately meet the requirements for a site assessment which we know, based on the very limited testing offered, well exceeds standards for safe residential use.
The Glen Abbey Affair – What Happened?
We had a good telephone chat with MPP Merrilee Fullerton last week.
The best part…. her message of support for our community and the KGPC!
“I would like to assure Kanata residents of my position.
Throughout this ordeal, I have been very clear about my support of the local efforts to stop the Clublink’s plans to develop the Kanata Golf Course and protect the 40 percent agreement. I have grown up and lived in Kanata since 1967 and, for a period of time, I lived in a home that backed onto the golf course. I can fully appreciate the detrimental impact a development on the golf course would have on the local community.
I have been active in support of the Kanata Greenspace Protection Coalition and their work including attending related community and fundraising events. I have been in constant contact and have ongoing discussions with Councillor Jenna Sudds, KGPC head Barbara Ramsay as well as a number of active residents. I have also kept apprised of information from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.” Read Merilee’s full statement
Thank you Merrilee. Your support matters and your community needs you front and center on this critical issue. Here are a few thoughts from our call….
Why would ClubLink walk away from the Glen Abbey redevelopment after spending tens of millions and over 5 years fighting the residents and City of Oakville?
It appears that Oakville Mayor Rob Barton and two like-minded MPPs representing the area were the difference makers. Simply put, they drew a line in the sand and refused to negotiate despite the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) hearing looming in August. They leveraged their community’s opposition to Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to request his intervention with a Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZO). While MZOs are typically awarded to protect developers facing tough opposition from municipalities and communities, this MZO would protect Oakville from the proposed ClubLink development based on Glen Abbey’s previous designation as a heritage property.
It was simple but effective. While Minister Clark could not see his way to approve the MZO citing “awkward wording”, nonetheless, he chose to step in and negotiate ClubLink’s sudden but complete withdrawal of its development plans. MPP Fullerton remains unaware as to what ClubLink (or parent company Morguard) received for walking away…the ominous ‘quid pro quo’. The thinking individual suspects it must have had some good value.
What’s different between the Glen Abbey/Oakville and Kanata golf course development situations that would warrant the Minister’s involvement in the first and not the second?
Clark’s first hurdle to involving himself in Kanata is the unresolved legal question of the 40PA. The City of Oakville pursued ClubLink in the courts arguing its heritage designation of Glen Abbey should prevent the proposed development, however, the courts did not agree that it warranted stopping the development entirely. This left the OLT as the determining body for the disagreement. The obvious difference – a definitive legal solution is still before the courts in our case. Nobody wants to talk let alone act until the final 40PA decision is in.
The second hurdle appears to be the sheer doggedness of the City of Oakville in opposition. The City of Oakville spent more than $12 million dollars fighting ClubLink on the Glen Abbey issue and that community relies heavily on Mayor Rob Barton to lead the charge of opposition. We appreciate the good words of Mayor Jim Watson on the subject of urban greenspace protection and the $150,000 that Ottawa City Council put in to defend the 40PA. But Minister Clark may appreciate knowing that our community is also well steeped in history with Bill Teron’s garden community design embracing the environment and winning awards more than fifty years ago, long before environment appeared to matter. He may want to know that this proposal will dismantle watershed stormwater infrastructure well beyond its boundaries. Of course, let’s not forget the mercury contamination issue and unavailable social and transportation services etc.
MPP Fullerton assured the KGPC that over several discussions with the Minister on our issue, there was no laneway for provincial involvement. As a result, there was no encouragement to significantly engage Queen’s Park over the past 2 plus years. Who knew that Minister Clark would suddenly take action and involve himself to this degree on the Glen Abbey development issue?
And so, this is where we find ourselves as August approaches and with 2.5 years behind us. STILL IN THE FIGHT!.
Still writing the City of Ottawa to tell them to “Say NO” to the ClubLink planning proposal.
Still waiting for the Court of Appeal decision to light a path forward and launch our next steps.
On the better side, the KGPC has confidence that MPP Fullerton will make herself heard should our fight not end with the courts. Minister Clark can expect to hear from all of Kanata North.
We hope he hears from Mayor Jim Watson soon too. It’s time our Mayor starts shouting about our history and environment, to ensure our corner of Ontario gets the protection it deserves!
And you can bet the KGPC will keep asking how the residents of Kanata can get the same respect from our City Hall and Queen’s Park as our friends in Oakville seem to enjoy in their neck of Ontario’s woods. Celebrate your greenspace Oakville! We’re incredibly happy for you!
Enjoy the summer weather and our better freedoms as we all work to move beyond Covid. We’re better at this together!
Stay safe and take good care.