When ClubLink first announced its plan to develop Glen Abbey, the longtime unofficial home of the RBC Canadian Open, CEO Rai Sahi said it could take five to 10 years before the project even gets going.
Since that plan was first announced two years ago, ClubLink has run into a vociferous group of residents from Oakville, Ont., and a town council that has resisted the residential/retail development.
In August, Oakville town council voted to support a heritage designation for the Abbey, with strong support from the community. You can read more here.
Shortly afterwards, members of Save Glen Abbey took to the street at several locations to spread their message, which you can read about here, and Oakville Mayor Rob Burton wrote an editorial in the Oakville Beaver here about why the golf course deserves such a designation.
In late September, however, a lawyer for ClubLink filed a letter that notified the town clerk that it would file an application to remove and demolish the golf course. Click here for more. After two nights of meetings, that application was rejected by council.
ClubLink countered with news that it would be appealing to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), which you can read about here, followed by Save Glen Abbey filing a letter with Ontario’s Standing Committee on Social Policy, which is considering reform to the OMB, seen by many in the province to be pro-development.
In November, Oakville initiated a court application to determine its rights and jurisdiction under the Ontario Heritage Act, which you can read about here. More meetings are planned in Oakville on the future of Glen Abbey as Golf Canada continues to study possible future venues for the Canadian Open, which will be held at the Abbey in 2018.
The showdown over the Abbey is a high-profile example of similar heated disagreements between residents and those who would develop golf courses at various venues across the country, pitting proponents of intensification, particularly in larger, urban centres, against those concerned with the effects of development on their communities, often called NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) by the other side of the argument.
With all the appeals and court proceedings ahead, there’s little doubt that this will be a long drawn-out battle in the public eyes, particularly with a provincial election scheduled for 2018 in Ontario.