A successful appeal to Ontario’s highest court could pave the way for ClubLink to proceed with the Kanata Golf and Country Club redevelopment, marking a major loss – but perhaps not the end – of the city’s saga to protect green spaces on the site.
The Ontario Court of Appeal released a ruling Friday saying it sided with the golf course owner in a dispute over whether a 1981 agreement involving the former Municipality of Kanata (before its merger with the City of Ottawa) applied to its proposed redevelopment of the land.
The deal stipulated that 40 percent of the green space in the Kanata Lakes neighborhood was to be protected from future development, with the golf course being included in the pie. He also indicated that the owner must first offer to cede the land to the city if it no longer wishes to operate a golf course on the site.
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In February of this year, a Superior Court judge sided with residents of the Kanata area and the City of Ottawa’s legal team in upholding these protections – a decision that ClubLink has by the suite appealed.
Judge Lois B. Roberts wrote in the ruling on Friday that she felt the original judge had misinterpreted the 1981 agreement and found ClubLink’s appeal to be valid.
Mayor Jim Watson said on Twitter Friday morning that he was “greatly disappointed” with the appeal court’s decision, but added that the fight was not over.
He said the town’s lawyer would seek to take the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.
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He also said he would ask Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark to step in to ensure the site is protected, as his office recently did for the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville. , which is also owned by ClubLink.
Seeking to offset the decline in its golf-related business, ClubLink’s plan in Kanata calls for the construction of more than 1,500 suburban homes on the site, in partnership with Richcraft Homes and Minto Communities.
Former Kanata — Carleton town councilor and MP Jenna Sudds expressed disappointment with the decision on Friday, as did her newly appointed successor in Kanata North, county. Cathy Curry.
Both said the fight would continue.
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