What is the Town of Oakville doing that the City of Burlington cannot manage to do?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 12th, 2017



Without looking too deeply into what they do in Oakville it is interesting to note that when they go to the Ontario Municipal Board they tend to win.

The town passed an Interim Control By-law (ICBL) and its one year extension, to put a hold on the plans the Glen Abbey golf club has to develop the property. The OMB concluded that the ICBL was appropriate and necessary.

Glen Abbey – home to 27 Canadian Opens and site of one the most famous shots in this country’s golf history – could become a huge housing and commercial project if its owner follows through on a preliminary proposal to redevelop the prime property.

Glen Abbey’s parent, ClubLink Corp., filed a request on Friday to turn the famed 230-acre golf course into a residential community of about 3,000 homes, as well as offices and retail stores. There is no provision for a golf course in the plan. A valley protected by law will remain undeveloped.


Home to a residential community of about 3,000 homes? Not if Oakville Town Council has it’s way.

The OMB decision noted that the town’s ICBL 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.

“Council is very pleased that the Board recognized that the magnitude of the Glen Abbey proposal and its potential for impact on the community warrant further study,” Mayor Burton said. “Our Livable Oakville Official Plan specifically identifies suitable growth areas in order to protect the character of our stable residential neighbourhoods and Council looks forward to hearing the results of the town’s studies.”

The world-famous Glen Abbey property is also home to the Academies of ClubLink, the headquarters of Golf Canada, the Canadian Golf Museum and Hall of Fame, and the TaylorMade Performance Lab – ClubLink.

The OMB’s decision ensures the town will have sufficient time to complete its studies on the Glen Abbey property. Staff will be reporting to Council over the next month on all three studies. Any further work directed by Council as a result of the studies is expected to be completed before the ICBL expires on February 1, 2018.

What is the Town of Oakville doing that the City of Burlington cannot manage to do?

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4 comments to What is the Town of Oakville doing that the City of Burlington cannot manage to do?

  • Stephen White

    It isn’t just winning OMB decisions that makes Oakville unique. Their whole attitude to planning, municipal administration and leadership is light years ahead of Burlington.

    To start with, they have a Mayor who isn’t afraid to stand up and take a stand on critical issues and isn’t a feckless shill for developers. Mayor Burton is no pushover and a strong personality who is clearly attuned to the needs and interests of local residents. Second, they have a larger Council with a clear delineation between Regional and Local Councillors. That promotes greater diversity of opinion and perspective and makes it harder for special interest groups to co-opt. Third, they have local ratepayers’ groups that are well-organized and take a strong and definitive stand on important issues. When the provincial Liberal government tried to ram through a gas powered hydro generating plant it was ratepayers’ groups that challenged the government and forced them to back down. When they wanted to erect satellite towers for cell phone providers the number of signs opposing this measure appeared on properties almost overnight, especially in Bronte. They know how to galvanize and mobilize people quickly. It clearly worked in the case of the Glen Abbey preservation.

    Yes…Oakville does a lot of things well that Burlington clearly doesn’t. Hopefully, our Mayor and Council will observe and learn a thing or two. If you can’t originate, plagarize, and if you can’t lead then quit.

  • Lynn

    This is an interesting question because I was under the impression that cities almost always lose at OMB. I would be interested in knowing what Burlington’s record is.

  • I'm alright now

    Well of course there was that little bit that current sitting councillor of nearly 20 years Won on Appeal to the OMB but who is counting?
    This is Timbits town, who keeps score?
    Not surprisingly the city does not measure or publish their record in this regard.
    If the management of this town was in any free market enterprise my bet is they would be bankrupt in short order.
    What happened to the waterfront trail? Private sale of public land behind closed doors.
    The official plan has been shot through with so many holes it perhaps might only be adequate as a sieve.

  • Bernstein

    The headline and last line of the article suggest that Burlington tends to lose at the OMB. What have they lost lately? Seems like they settle a lot before things get to a hearing. If anything, they are more risk averse and willing to compromise than Oakville is.