I have been informed by our external legal Counsel that the city is scheduled to be in court on February 27th and 28th with respect to the city’s application submitted on October 25th, 2019.
In its application, the city is seeking an order for specific performance of ClubLink’s contractual obligations. Among other things, the city is asking the court to order that ClubLink must either withdraw its applications under the Planning Act or offer to convey the golf course lands to the city at no cost.
I wholeheartedly believe that ClubLink, as a signatory to the Forty Percent Agreement, is required to uphold their contractual obligations, and I look forward to having this matter before the court.
I also wanted to share that I recently submitted a Councillor’s inquiry to city staff for their response. The questions and answers are provided below. These have also been circulated to all Ottawa City Councillors for their information.
- Why are the Clublink applications being processed by city staff while the Forty Percent agreement is before the courts?
The time periods set forth under the Planning Act begins once an application is filed. There is no provision within section 34 (zoning) nor section 51 (subdivisions) of the Planning Act that allows the timelines to pause if there is a related court matter proceeding. Thus, where a complete application has been filed, it is expected under the Planning Act that the City will, subject to the comments in response to question 3 below, process the application.
- In the opinion of legal and planning staff, what would happen if city staff did not process the ClubLink applications until the legal process ends?
It has been the experience of the City that where the processing of an application is continuing, applicants will not appeal the matter (s) to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal at the first opportunity to do so. However, where the processing of an application has not moved forward or has ceased moving forward, an applicant is more likely to appeal the matter(s) to the Tribunal
- Does the 120-day period, in respect of the application for draft plan approval, allow sufficient time for the proper analysis, assessment and recommendations by staff with respect to the matters required to be examined under the Planning Act¸ section 51 (plans of subdivision)?
The application has been reviewed by subject matter experts at the City including professional planners and engineers, an urban designer, forester, environmental and transportation planners. Staff have provided comments in their respective disciplines to the file lead during the 28-day circulation period, and these technical comments have now been provided to the applicant. Numerous comments have been provided to the applicant, as the application presents complex issues that will require a response from the applicant. It is very unlikely to receive a second submission from the applicant prior to the 120-day period, therefore, staff will not be able to reach a decision within the prescribed timelines required by the Planning Act.
- What happen if there’s no decision made in 90 days or 120 days as set out in the Planning Act and the applicant appeals?
The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal will have sole jurisdiction over the plan of subdivision and will also have jurisdiction over zoning in respect of the subject lands. A case management conference will be scheduled, likely towards the end of the second quarter of 2020. It is anticipated that a decision on the City’s court application will be available at that time
How can you help?
There are two opportunities in February for us to come together as a community and demonstrate our opposition to this proposed application:
- Join me on February 23rd for my Kanata North Greenspace Appreciation Day. This day is all about getting outside and enjoying our greenspace. It is happening throughout Kanata North. More details can be found on my website.
- Join me at the Ottawa Courthouse on February 27th and 28th at 10:00 am. The courthouse is located downtown next to City Hall at 161 Elgin Street. Parking is available at City Hall.
Please continue to reach out with your questions or concerns. I will provide further updates as I have them.