City committee rejects developer's plan to redevelop Kanata golf course

The city’s planning committee voted Thursday to reject a controversial plan to convert a Kanata golf course into a residential development.

A staff report released last week urged the committee to reject ClubLink’s proposal to build more than 1,500 housing units on the current site of the Kanata Golf and Country Club. The plan is the subject of a dispute between the city and the developer that went to court earlier this year.

ClubLink is partnering with local developers Minto Communities and Richcraft Homes on the plan that would see slightly more than half of the existing golf course property earmarked for housing, with other parts reserved for open spaces, ponds, parks and new roads.

Staff say the proposal is “not compatible with the existing neighbourhood in terms of lot layout and setbacks” and does not match the scale of development in other nearby streets. The report also lists several other reasons for rejecting the plan, including “several unresolved issues related to creating drainage services to ensure safe, well-drained sites.”

Opponents say the Kanata proposal violates a longstanding agreement to keep the property as green space. A virtual provincial court hearing was held in July to rule on the validity of the decades-old agreement, but the court has yet to issue its decision. 

Meanwhile, ClubLink appealed to the province’s Local Appeal Planning Tribunal in March because the city didn’t rule on the rezoning application within the provincially mandated timeline. A hearing is slated for January and February 2022.

The committee is recommending that council urge the tribunal not to approve the application, but LPAT will ultimately have the final say.

Also Thursday, the committee gave the green light to a proposal to rebuild a pair of historic buildings in the ByWard Market that were badly damaged in a fire last year.

The owners of 35-37 William St. want to repair the stone facade of the buildings ​– which housed the Vittoria Trattoria restaurant before the April 2019 blaze ​– and build a four-storey L-shaped addition that would extend to the rear of 62 York St. and include 16 hotel units. 

A new restaurant is expected to occupy the ground floor of the building along the east side of William Street.

James Street pub demolition approved

The committee also approved a developer’s plan to tear down the former home of one of Bank Street’s best-known watering holes and replace it with a nine-storey mix of retail space and housing units.

Urban Capital filed an application last fall to build a 128-unit apartment complex at 390 and 394 Bank St., near the corner of James Street. The plan also calls for retail space on the ground floor and two levels of underground parking.

James Street pub

For more than three decades, the property was home to taverns – first under the James Street Feed Co. name and later as the James Street Pub. 

The developers want to demolish the former pub, which closed last year, as well as a neighbouring building, but because the property is located in a heritage conservation district, the city’s planning committee and full council are required to sign off on the plan.

Full council will consider the committee’s recommendations at its next meeting on Dec. 9.