Glen Abbey Golf Course Designated a Cultural Heritage Landscape

Oakville’s Glen Abbey Golf Course has formally been designated a property of cultural heritage value or interest.

Town council voted unanimously to pass By-law 2017-138, which designates Glen Abbey Golf Course property as a property of cultural heritage value or interest, at a Dec. 20 meeting.

"This by-law is the end result of a very comprehensive process in which town staff, heritage experts and members of the community all put forth compelling evidence of the significant cultural heritage value and attributes of the Glen Abbey property," said Mayor Rob Burton.

"Council remains committed to conserving our cultural heritage."The town will now issue a notice of designation to ClubLink, the owner of the property, and register this designation on the title of the property.

The property will also be added to the Oakville, provincial and Canadian registers of designated properties.

Here’s a recap of how it came about.

Council directed staff to proceed with a Notice of Intention to Designate the Glen Abbey Golf Course property on Aug. 21, 2017.

Under the Ontario Heritage Act (the Act), anyone who objects to the Notice of Intention to Designate must file an objection within 30 days of the Notice being issued. The owner did not file an objection.

The only objector to the town's Notice was the Pacific Life Insurance Company, the mortgagee.

On Dec. 18, 2017, Pacific Life wrote to the Conservation Review Board to withdraw its objection.

As there were no outstanding objections, the Conservation Review Board closed its file, returning the matter back to town council to proceed as if no objection had been received.

Council was required to either proceed with the by-law designating the Glen Abbey Golf Course property, or withdraw the Notice of Intention to Designate.

Town council’s decision to proceed with this designation provides certainty to both the town and the property owner on the specific cultural heritage landscape value and interest of the property and the description of heritage attributes.

Council members say they believe this designation is important to implementing provincial policy. Section 3 of the Planning Act directs municipalities making decisions that may affect a planning matter to ensure that their decisions are consistent with provincial policy and conform to provincial plans.

Today, provincial policies and plans direct municipalities to ensure that significant cultural heritage landscapes are conserved. They further advise that "conserved" means retaining the cultural heritage value or interest of a property under the Act.

While this Ontario Heritage Act designation is an important step toward conservation of the Glen Abbey Golf Course property as a cultural heritage landscape, town staff is continuing work on supporting official plan and zoning by-law amendments, and municipal by-laws to further these conservation efforts,” reads a news release.

Public input on these proposed amendments and by-laws can be given at these upcoming meetings:

A public open house on Jan. 10, 2018 to share information and get feedback on the proposed conservation plan and related by-laws, official plan and zoning amendments.

A planning and development council meeting on Jan. 30, 2018.

The town is also preparing for an Ontario Municipal Board hearing on ClubLink's appeal of Council's decision of September 27, 2017 to refuse its applications to redevelop the Glen Abbey Golf Course property. A pre-hearing date has not yet been set but is expected to take place in the spring of 2018.

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