In bid to stop housing on golf course, Burlington reaches out to Province for help
Published September 26, 2023 at 5:18 pm
There may have been a council chamber full of residents who came to voice their opposition against plans to build houses on Millcroft Golf Club, but in the end, it didn’t take a lot of arm-twisting to convince local politicians to take up the cause.
Burlington council today (Sept. 26) showed where it stands on the issue by moving to lobby the Ontario government to use its influence to quash the development plan.
City councillors want Queen’s Park to declare the matter “of provincial interest” and stop the developers from taking their plans to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT), the agency that could approve the zoning changes that would allow houses to be built on a large part of the golf course.
“I’m so inspired by the engagement of the community,” said Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte. “We do need more homes (in Burlington) but I want to say loud and clear…we do not need more homes here (at Millcroft). It’s about doing it the right way, not at the expense of the environment, not at the expense of our community and not at the expense of today and tomorrow.”
The City hopes the Ontario government will agree with its position and either convince the owners of the golf club to halt their plans, or become involved in the OLT hearings and argue against the housing.
The dispute between residents who live near the golf club and the operators at Millcroft has been simmering for several years but the matter could come to a head next year when all sides are expected to present their case to the OLT.
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 against all aspects of the development, it believes the major component of the proposal will unnecessarily eliminate greenspace and encroach on a floodplain.
The part of the plan the City doesn’t oppose concerns a parcel of land on Dundas St. wear a small apartment building is slated to go.
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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