Potential development of Saw-whet Golf Course goes to OMB

Developer plans include 780 houses and 2 multi-story buildings.

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Potential development of Saw-whet Golf Course goes to OMB
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About the Author

Allan Elgar

Allan Elgar

Allan Elgar is the councillor for Ward 4. Previously he was a founding president of Oakvillegreen, and held various management position at Bell Canada. He was elected in 2000 to town council.

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Last year a developer submitted an application to the Town of Oakville to build about 780 houses and 2 multi-story buildings on Saw-whet Golf Course. There was a loud public outcry against the plan. Hundreds of you wrote passionate letters to the Mayor and Council and attended meetings that attracted overflowing crowds.

Largely as a result of the public outcry (and flawed environmental studies conducted by the developer), Council did not pass the subdivision plan for Saw-whet. The mayor promised to save all of the Merton Lands of which Saw-whet is part. (Deerfield is also part of Merton Lands).

But last fall the developer side-stepped your elected Council by taking the development plan to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). I find it deeply frustrating that an un-elected OMB member has the power to trump the wishes of your elected representatives. The pre-hearing is set for May 1 and the hearing is scheduled to start in October.

So now, once again the public needs to speak up – this time to the OMB. There are so many reasons to protect Saw-whet from development.

  • It is an important habitat for wildlife, and an appreciated recreation facility.
  • People feel our roads are already over-crowded – this development will add hundreds more cars to our roads.
  • Oakville has already met its growth obligations to 2031 (set by the Province). We have lost so much of our greenspace to development over recent years.
  • Growth costs taxpayers a lot of money, so why should we endure more growth than Provincially mandated?
  • If Saw-whet is developed, will Deerfield and Glen Abbey Golf Courses be next? They all have the same zoning.

What can you do?

  • The OMB needs to hear from the public! The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ted McMeekin, has indicated he wants more input from the public during OMB hearings. Find out about the OMB process and how to have your voice heard by attending a public meeting on April 14, 7 pm, Halton Region Bldg., 1151 Bronte Rd.
  • Read more about this development plan, and the costs of growth in the Ward 4 section of “Let’s Talk Oakville” magazine that should be in your mailbox shortly.
  • Check out www.elgar.ca for background information about this issue.
  • Tell your friends and neighbours about this issue. Ask them to email me so I can add their contact info. to my data base and keep as many people engaged as possible.

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or comments on this issue and other matters of Municipal or Regional importance.

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Readers Comments (6)

  1. Chad Brooks says:

    We need to make it much easier for area residents to become much more informed/educated on this matter and develop a more formal strategy for gathering/accumulating/tracking the input from residents and sharing it publicly… this is critical for building positive momentum. Ad hoc letters to politicians just won’t cut it. Let’s leverage the tools available to us… social media is a great starting point. I look to our local politicians to put this strategy in place to enable timely, cost effective, trackable and shareable input for all key stakeholders.

     Reply
  2. Annie Kuni says:

    Please don’t allow them to do this! The beauty of Oakville is that there is more green space here than any other town in GTA. If we go forward with this it will start to look like just another overpopulated and unattractive area of development that has become the GTA. We need to stand out above all the rest and keep Oakville a more desirable and prestigious place to live so that the value of this area keeps increasing. One day we will be the most attractive and expensive area to live in because it’s not overdevolped and still has beauty and charm. You take that away and your left with a bunch of brick boxes that no one will think is pretty!

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  3. Elaine Csire says:

    We do not live in Oakville, but have read this article. It is a shame that green space and good agricultural land get gobbled up and covered up with cement. We support your battle to save this Land.
    Writing from Tillsonburg–an agricultural area that has to fight to keep it green!

     Reply
  4. Tom Dilworth says:

    Keep the golf course and reduce parkettes in new subdivisions. GC is more cost effective for Oakville and already maintained….TFD

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  5. John McLaughlin says:

    Don’t worry, a web-site (robburton.org) claims Mayor Burton has a 67% winning record before the OMB in his 8 years as Mayor!

    Those “stats” of course don’t assist in this case, as each matter is decided on the merits and particular facts.

    The real question is why does Oakville incur the “risk” of appearing before the OMB so often? Council may win a battle, but if it loses this war – it must re-think its approach.

     Reply
  6. John Jones says:

    Herw is the dirty little secret your elected officials don’t want you to know. They love the OMB!!! It means they don’t have to make a decision on unpopular applications. So don’t be fooled by politicians who cry for the abolishment of the OMB because they don’t really mean it.

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