Builders add more parkland to Kanata Golf Course redevelopment plan

The developers behind a controversial plan to convert a Kanata golf course into a residential development have submitted a revised proposal that calls for slightly more parkland and a reconfiguration of the housing units on the 71-hectare site.

ClubLink, which has owned the Kanata Golf and Country Club since 1996, filed an application with the city last fall to redevelop the land in the city’s west end. 

Revised Kanata Golf Course plan

The firm 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.

ClubLink officials say golf revenues have been falling for nearly a decade and some of the organization’s properties need to be redeveloped in order to remain financially viable.

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

The developers’ original proposal called for up to 1,502 new residential units divided among single-family homes, townhouses and apartments, along with 19.44 hectares of parks, stormwater ponds, landscaped buffers and other open space. 

A revised plan submitted earlier this month boosts the overall number of housing units to 1,544 but reduces the number of front-drive and back-to-back townhouses, replacing many of them with stacked townhouses while raising the number of detached homes from 545 to 630. The overall housing footprint in the new configuration would drop slightly from 37.8 hectares to 36.9 hectares.

More 'active amenities'

Meanwhile, an additional park would boost the total open space component to 20.06 hectares. The builders say the changes would add more “active amenities” and green space to the development. According to planning documents, the revised plan would “enhance the sense of community by preserving a larger number of existing natural heritage features, including large portions of the three woodlots” in the proposal.

A 1981 agreement between the former city of Kanata and the course’s then-owner stipulates that 40 per cent of the Kanata Lakes property is to be maintained as green space, including the golf course, and gives the city the right to take over the land at no cost if the owners no longer want to operate the course and cannot find another operator or buyer who wants to maintain it.

ClubLink bought the golf course in 1996. The City of Ottawa took over all legal agreements signed by all former municipalities in the former region of Ottawa-Carleton, including Kanata, when they were amalgamated in 2001.

In a statement on her website on Friday, Kanata North Coun. Jenna Sudds said she hopes the court will issue its ruling on the 1981 pact “in the next few months” and vowed to keep fighting the proposal.

“I will continue to work to ensure everything possible is done to stop this development,” Sudds said.