Ottawa

Planning committee rejects Kanata golf course redevelopment

Ottawa's planning committee has rejected a proposal by the owner of the Kanata Golf and Country Club to turn the course into a housing subdivision, but two related legal challenges are still in play.

Councillors vote 7-1 against ClubLink's 1,500-home subdivision at Kanata Golf and Country Club

ClubLink has proposed 1,544 homes and apartments on its Kanata Golf and Country Club. The areas in yellow would contain detached homes. (City of Ottawa)

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  • City council agreed with staff and rejected ClubLink's application on Dec. 9, 2020.

Ottawa's planning committee has rejected a proposal by the owner of the Kanata Golf and Country Club to turn the course into a housing subdivision, but two related legal challenges are still in play.

City staff rarely recommend the committee reject a development, but called ClubLink's proposal to build 1,544 homes with developers Richcraft and Minto "premature."

High-tech magnate Terry Matthews weighed in during Thursday's virtual meeting, praising Kanata's existing balance of housing and green space, and urging the committee "not to screw it up."

It defies all his good planning principles, and the reason people choose to live there.- Chris Teron, son of 'Father of Kanata' Bill Teron

"And if you think I'm going to take an area like the two golf courses I own in Kanata North and have them changed into some kind of buildings — forget it! You have to hold the green space," Matthews said.

Chris Teron, son of the late "Father of Kanata" Bill Teron, said his dad would have been "horrified" at the loss of green space.

"It defies all his good planning principles, and the reason people choose to live there," said Teron.

Committee voted 7-1 to reject ClubLink's proposal, with only Coun. Jeff Leiper going against the grain. The file now goes to full city council Dec. 9. 

Leiper seeks 'coherent story'

"This was critically important. The community and myself have been opposing this for almost two years since it reared its head," said Kanata North Coun. Jenna Sudds. She said the zoning and subdivision applications had a "plethora of outstanding issues."

But Leiper, who has seen highrises and semi-detached homes sprout up in Westboro, wrestled with the rationale for rejecting the ClubLink proposal.

ClubLink had already appealed the matter to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. (Kate Porter/CBC)

"How am I going to tell the residents of Kitchissippi a coherent story about intensification when we're working to preserve the character of some neighbourhoods, but we're not working to protect the character of others?" he asked city staff.

ClubLink did not appear Thursday, but in a letter to the planning committee its Toronto-based lawyers said the report by city staff offers "little or no analysis as to why the proposed redevelopment would not be compatible with the existing surrounding residential neighbourhoods." According to the letter, ClubLink still believes the outstanding issues "can be resolved" by working cooperatively or through mediation.

ClubLink had already appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal after the city failed to respond to its development application within the required time period. A six-week hearing is scheduled to start in January 2022.

But first will come a decision from the courts. The City of Ottawa argued at a hearing in July that a nearly 40-year-old agreement that requires 40 per cent of the Kanata Lakes area be protected as green space remains valid. Sudds said she expects a decision on that any day.

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