Letter to the Editor: Oakville Town Council Should Be Ashamed Over Saw-Whet

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Letter to the Editor: Oakville Town Council Should Be Ashamed Over Saw-Whet
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About the Author

Fraser Damoff

Fraser Damoff

Fraser Damoff is a long time resident of Oakville. He is also a highly skilled energy sector professional with a specialization in the Ontario Green Energy sector. With a keen focus on aboriginal energy project financing, Fraser has been involved in financing agreements with Ontario First Nations all over the Province. He is also a dedicated volunteer and community activist who has been involved with the Kerr Street Mission, the Terry Fox Run and the Oakville United Way.

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Oakville is set to say goodbye to yet another vital piece of green-space after the developers of the Saw-Whet Golf Course lands struck a backroom deal with the Town of Oakville early last week.

Not only is this a horrible deal for Oakville residents, but it will also have lasting implications on our Official Plan and our Town as a whole.

The Town of Oakville’s Official Plan (the Livable Oakville Plan) was developed over months of consultation with Oakville residents. This plan designates six growth areas throughout Oakville where the Town has designated for the type of growth it wants to see for our community. One of those growth areas is Kerr Village, where new development in the form of Condos brings with it new shoppers that will in turn revitalize the Kerr Village.

Saw-Whet is not a designated growth area and should remain as green-space, plain and simple.

Oakville’s Town Council should be vigorously defending our Official Plan at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and fighting back against the destruction of our green-space.

They should be defending our Official Plan, not making side-deals that undermine the direction of the Livable Oakville Plan.

What is the point of even having an Official Plan if Town Council is just going to ignore it when faced with difficult situations?

Thanks to this new deal struck with Bronte Green, the Town of Oakville has in turn made our Official Plan worth less than the paper it’s printed on and made our traffic issues even worse.

Thanks to an in-camera, closed to the public FIVE HOUR Council meeting at the Town level, we will never know for certain who voted in favour of settling with the developer, Bronte Green.

What we do know, is that at the Halton Regional Council level, we had five of our seven Halton Regional Council Representatives vote to settle with Bronte Green. Only two of Oakville’s Regional Councillors voted against settling with Bronte Green.

To make matters even worse, this deal with Bronte Green, actually raises the number of residential units on the Saw-Whet Lands by an incredible 35%. Originally planned for 875 residential units, the approved settlement now lists 1181 residential units.

Adding even more residents to one of the most congested areas of Oakville is what the Town would have us believe is a “victory”.

I suspect the people already stuck in traffic on Bronte Road every morning and every night, aren’t calling this a victory…

One of the most troubling things about this deal with Bronte Green, is the fact that on Monday December 1, 2014 Mayor Rob Burton stated at Town Council that he would save “all of the Merton lands”. Along with the like-minded Oakville residents who felt strongly that our Mayor and Council would ensure that the Saw-Whet Lands were protected, I am extremely disappointed.

This issue has made one thing very clear. Our current Town Council, many of whom were elected on a promise to protect Green-space, seems sadly unable to fulfil that mandate.

I fear that the treasured green-space at Glen Abbey Golf Course is now doomed to the same kind of closed door deal and same type of “victory” that befell the Saw-Whet lands.

Oakville resident deserve better from our elected representatives if we are truly to be the most livable town in Canada.


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