"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday, 23 August 2017


HBefore  I came back on council in 2003, the Province made changes to the Heritage Act. A property could be designated without owner consent . Once designated, It had to be maintained in good condition. Changes can be made but not so's you'd notice. Municipalities can raise taxes to make loans to owners without sufficient resources for property upkeep. 

Any time legislation is amended ,you can count on it being the result of a lobby to suit somebody's advantage. Not necessarily the public's. 

Oakville has designated Glen Abbey golf course heritage, following  a petition of  7000 names. Club Link,owners of Glen Abbey filed a development application two years ago. The plan leaves 124 acres as Open Space. 

The Ontario Municipal Board has ruled the application complete. On Sept 26, council must decide 
on the plan. The  decision on heritage designation is just in time to put the kibosh on the development .

The Mayor says designation is the first step in a process. They will now proceed to delineate features of the 240 acre  parcel of Open Space that makes it historic. 

Even with  limited details of the Toronto Star's report, the Mayor's justification for designation at this point is assuredly ass backwards. 

Oakville, aside from being wealthiest, really is an old original Ontario settlement. The area south of Lakeshore Road is charming , romantic and beautifully preserved. It's easy to transport oneself in
time in the  lakeshore park with the tiny wooden structure of the first post office. It's not clear Oakville 
is much interested in tourism.There's  plenty to see and savour but  tourist promotion is conspicuous in its absence. 

The upscale neighbourhood  on the lake is quiet and secluded. People live there.the homes are plaqued. Obviously privacy is valued. Overcrowded streets and shops of the same vintage in Niagara-on-the-Lake are in total contrast. 

Something new has been added to the Heritage Act since I was last involved. A Conservation Review Board is in place. Club Link will likely take advantage of the right of review. 

The municipality will undoubtedly embark on lavish legal expense from the municipal treasury to prevent the property owner from exercising their legal rights. The enterprise will be cloaked in virtue 
to escape scrutiny. 
The developers will equal the expense in legal fees and whatever other ransom is demanded. Years
will pass, all kinds of people will be kept in lucratively employed.

Whatever housing units are eventually constructed will reflect a cost for which there is not a farthing of commensurate value. Not a stone upon a stone, nor brick upon brick will have been paid with the  millions spent to process the plan. 

Taxes will rise and be attributed by a high-priced financial officer, to the cost of growth

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oakville's council however are very short-sighted. The same legislation that they are using to protect Glen Abbey from development also restricts the property from being used as.........

a golf course!!

So, while they will prevent the development... they will also prevent it from it's current role.

Just to let you know, in case you do not know where Glen Abbey is located. It is north of the QEW. When it was built, it was in the middle of no where. now, Oakville has grown around it. Hardly in the beautiful part of Oakville (Bronte Harbour).