Case against Burlington golf course development is strong, mayor says
Published October 10, 2023 at 1:50 pm
Burlington’s mayor believes the City has a strong case in its fight to keep homes from being built at Millcroft Golf Club.
Marianne Meed Ward said protecting the diverse ecosystem on the site, potential flooding issues, and the City’s plan to supply housing elsewhere should be enough to convince provincially appointed adjudicators to rule against the proposed plan to add about 90 homes to the golf course property.
In an exclusive interview with Khaled Iwamura of inhalton.com, Meed Ward said the proposed housing development that would see the homes added and the golf playing area reduced, won’t solve the housing crisis while at that same time destroy the much-needed greenspace in the heart of the city.
“We don’t need the 90-plus homes here to meet our housing pledge, we can do that and then some with our existing plan that doesn’t compromise greenspace,” she said. “We can do our share on housing without this. we’ve learned that greenspace is critically important for our community.
Residents who live near the golf course have been opposed to the development since the plan was first raised. The City only recently took steps to officially voice its opposition and has asked the Ontario government to step in and put a halt to the housing plan before the dispute heads to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).
The OLT is a Provincial government agency that hears arguments and rules on land use disputes
Many residents who live near the golf course are opposed to the housing plans over concerns that it may eliminate wildlife in the area and how it will affect flood management. Some are also concerned about the potential for increased traffic as well as the loss of greenspace.
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.
Meed Ward said she doesn’t buy the arguments presented by the developer to build at the site.
“There is not going to be affordable housing or rental units. projections say they are going to be $1.5 million to $2 million dollar homes,” she said.
The City is not opposed to all aspects of the development, however. It does approve of a small apartment building proposed on a non-greenspace area near Dundas St.
She added that preserving greenspace is important to the residents of Burlington especially when wildlife and the ecosystem are at risk as well as the flooding issues.
“We believe we have a better plan to accommodate growth than to put it on greenspace, we will absolutely make that case at the tribunal. I think it is a strong one (case),” she said.
Meed Ward added that she hopes Queen’s Park gets involved in the case to protect the greenspace, and get developers to back off, much like the government did recently when it decided it would not proceed with plans to build on Ontario’s greenbelt.
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