A successful appeal in Ontario’s superior court could pave the way for ClubLink to proceed with the redevelopment of the Kanata Golf and Country Club, but the City of Ottawa legal team sees room in the ruling to maintain legacy protections in the green space. of the site.
The Ontario Court of Appeal issued a decision on Friday indicating that it had sided with the golf course owner in a dispute over whether a 1981 settlement involving the former Kanata Township (prior to its merger in the city of Ottawa) applied to his remodeling proposal. the land with a subdivision of 1,500 homes.
That agreement held that 40 percent of the green space in the Kanata Lakes neighborhood must be protected from future development, with the golf course land included in the pie. He also said the owner must first offer to hand over the land to the city if he no longer wants to run a golf course on the site.
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In February of this year, Superior Court Judge Marc Labrosse sided with Kanata-area residents and the City of Ottawa legal team in defending those protections, a move that ClubLink later appealed.
Judge Lois B. Roberts wrote in the decision released Friday that she felt the original judge was wrong in his interpretation of the 1981 settlement and found ClubLink’s appeal valid.
Specifically, the appeals court ruled on Labrosse’s interpretation of aspects of the land transfer agreement and ruled that those provisions could not be upheld 40 years after the original agreement.
This is where city and community advocates see room for interpretation in the decision.
Ottawa city attorney David White said in a memo to the city council Friday afternoon that there is nothing in the appeal decision that overrides the 40 percent green space protections.
Under White’s interpretation of the appeals court’s decision, ClubLink would still have to continue to operate the golf course, offer the city the first right of rejection on any potential sale, and ensure that any other interested buyers also honor the agreement of 1981.
In other words, the ClubLink proposed subdivision could not yet replace the Kanata Golf and Country Club.
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White cautioned that the appeals court ruling “may” affect other aspects of the settlement.
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If ClubLink, the city, and other parties such as the Kanata Green Space Protection Coalition (KGPC) that are also listed in the action cannot reach a consensus on how the rest of the agreement plays out from here, the matter could be referred. to the original. Justice Labrosse.
White said he will also seek to take the case to the Supreme Court of Canada for a higher opinion.
Mayor Jim Watson said on Twitter Friday morning that he was “very disappointed” with the appeals court’s decision, but added that the fight was not over.
Watson said he would ask Ontario Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs Steve Clark to step in to secure protections for the site, as his office for the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, which is also owned by ClubLink, recently did.
Global News reached out to Clark’s office for comment on Friday, but received no response.
For its part, the KGPC said in a statement Friday that it was “deeply disappointed and frustrated” by the appeals court’s decision, but said it will continue to defend the coveted community green space. The coalition also pointed to the still valid 40 percent agreement as a sticking point in the ruling.
Former Kanata-Carleton City Councilor and MP Jenna Sudds expressed disappointment at the decision on Friday, as did her newly appointed successor in Kanata North, Coun. Cathy Curry.
They both said the fight will continue.
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