Interim Control By-law

Current status

Council voted unanimously at Planning and Development Council on November 1, 2016, to extend Interim Control By-law 2016-24 (ICB) that restricts the use of the Glen Abbey Golf Course to its existing uses for one additional year. The ICB was originally passed on February 1, 2016 and with a one-year extension, will now remain in effect up to and including January 31, 2018.

The town put in place the ICB to allow it time to complete three key studies on the property:

Club Link, the owners of Glen Abbey, appealed the town’s ICB to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and a hearing was held earlier this year. On May 10, 2017 the OMB issued its decision upholding the town’s Interim Control By-law (ICB) and its one year extension, concluding that the ICB was appropriate and necessary. The Board’s decision noted that the town’s ICB was based on a legitimate planning rationale, was enacted in good faith, and was in conformity with the Region of Halton Official Plan and the Provincial Growth Plan.

Summary of decision

For more information, review the full decision (pdf).

The Board agreed with the Town that the development contemplated by the ClubLink proposal for the Glen Abbey site is completely unexpected and unplanned and merits a growth study and analysis that takes account of town-wide growth patterns before proceeding. The magnitude of the proposal along with the potential for impact warrant consideration of the planned function and overall Town-scaled urban structure, as well as local character and compatibility. “No matter how it measures up to other approved growth areas in the Town, the proposal will be very significant to the future structure of the Town and will have implications that warrant study and carefully planned change.” (para. 33)

The Urban Structure review and the Cultural Heritage Landscape Assessment are proper land use planning studies that the Town requires to assess the pending ClubLink redevelopment applications and provide ample justification for the interim control by-law.

Town staff and Council did not act in bad faith, but to the contrary acted properly and professionally in their conduct of the interim control by-law process and related Council meetings, including interactions with the public and ClubLink.

The interim control by-law did not unfairly target the Glen Abbey Golf Club lands. More specifically, the proposals to redevelop the Saw Whet Golf Course and the Life Sciences Technology District reflect different fact situations and the application of different policy frameworks based on those fact situations.

The interim control by-law conforms to the Region of Halton Official Plan and the Provincial Growth Plan, and is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement. “The Town’s OP carefully and strictly complies with the Growth Plan in accepting and accommodating the growth allocation by the Region, based on the original Growth Plan and on Amendment 2. The ICBL maintains conformity by ensuring that a significant new growth proposal would support or more importantly would not imperil the Town’s policies for accommodating future growth and that it would not disrupt the structure and growth pattern planned for the Town.” (para. 87)

The studies undertaken by the Town are complex and comprehensive, require the time that the interim control by-law affords, and are being conducted expeditiously by the Town.

In its conclusion, the Board found that the interim control by-law is appropriate and necessary. “It is justified and based on a legitimate planning rationale. It has been enacted in good faith, does not unfairly target the subject proposal in comparison with others and there is no evidence that it has been enacted for purpose of delay or to frustrate the proper assessment of the merits of a development application. It is in conformity with the Region of Halton Official Plan and the Provincial Growth Plan, and is consistent with the PPS.” (para. 93)

As indicated previously, the end result of the decision is that the interim control by-law affecting the golf course lands will remain in full force and effect while the contemplated studies continue and are implemented.