Burlington wants Queen’s Park to step in and halt golf course development plans


Published September 25, 2023 at 2:31 pm

Burlington golf Millcroft Ontario development
A development plan has been proposed for the Millcroft Golf Club in Burlington. Both the City and neighbouring residents are opposed.

The City of Burlington is expected to ask the Ontario government to step in and put a halt to plans that call for homes to be built on a local golf course.

A motion that will go before City council tomorrow (Sept. 26) essentially asks Queen’s Park to consider the ongoing matter “of provincial interest”, a move that would stall plans to build the homes on parts of Millcroft Golf Club.

Those opposed to the development — which includes local ratepayers and politicians — believe if the Provincial government gets involved it will take the issue out of the hands of the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) which could rule in favour of the developers and approve the zoning changes that will allow the houses to be built.

The proposed subdivision calls for the building of about 100 homes along Millcroft Golf Club and reducing the size of the playing area of the golf course.

Those behind the Millcroft Greens subdivision have argued that development will bring much-needed housing to Burlington which is a priority for Premier Doug Ford’s government. The developers have asked the OLT to intervene because the City of Burlington has failed to process their application to proceed with the project. The OLT hearings are expected to begin in March.

Many residents who live near the golf course are opposed to the housing plans over concerns that it may eliminate wildlife in the area along with how it will affect flood management. Some are also concerned about the potential for increased traffic and the elimination of a natural area in the heart of the city.

Although the City is not opposed to all aspects of the development, it believes parts will unnecessarily eliminate greenspace and encroach on a floodplain.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, who is putting forward tomorrow’s motion, has stated that although the City is behind growth, it does not support converting greenspace to housing whether the lands are publicly or privately owned or in the greenbelt.

“Development on greenspace in a floodplain is not the right place for development — and it’s not needed, given we have adequate urban land identified in our Official Plan to accommodate Burlington’s share of growth identified by the Province,” she has said.

The part of the plan the City doesn’t oppose is a parcel of land on Dundas St. that currently houses a parking lot and shed for the golf course.

Getting the Provincial government involved in these types of disputes is not without precedent. In 2021 then Ontario Housing Minister Steve Clark, after strong pressure from the Town of Oakville and its residents, stepped in to convince owners of Glen Abbey Golf Club to stop redevelopment plans.

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