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Care About the Air Out There? Donate to Plant Trees!

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We are excited to announce that Lululemon Athletic Lakeshore, in beautiful downtown Oakville, is supporting our tree planting efforts and helping to keep ‘the air out there’ clean!  

Watch for our in-store display this winter and donate to help us plant trees! Click here to DONATE.4x6-oca-donation all-about-oca

Attend the OMB hearing regarding Saw Whet Development!

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We have heard dismay and disappointment from so many Oakville residents in the past few days as residents come to learn that a negotiated settlement was reached approving the development of 1181 units on the 55-hectare parcel of land at 1401 Bronte Road, formerly the Saw Whet Golf Course. The last contiguous large greenspace south of Dundas St. will be irreparably altered because of this decision.

Letters to our elected Town, Regional and Provincial officials have been flying and we have heard many eloquent pleas for preservation over pavement.

Here are a few ways to continue to make your voice heard:

  1. Attend the OMB hearing! We want to fill the OMB hearing rooms at Town Hall with our supporters.

Oakvillegreen, along with several other resident associations and many residents, which previously registered as ‘participants’, will be permitted to speak at the OMB hearing on Wednesday, November 23 and Thursday November 24, 2016. We are encouraging all registered ‘participants’ to appear in person at 10am on Wednesday to share their issues with the Board. If you did not register, OMB hearings are open to the public and your presence will convey your concern about the settlement decision.

  1. Write a letter to tell the Ontario Provincial government that you want Municipalities to be able to have the final say in their land use planning. Contact the Attorney General of Ontario, Yasir Naqvi and the OMB review office and copy Town Council, and the Halton Regional Council chair:

ynaqvi.mpp@liberal.ola.org

OMBReview@ontario.ca

council@oakville.ca

gary.carr@halton.ca

Here is a sample letter to the Province.

Good day,

Please find attached my comments in reaction to the recent negotiated settlement of the Saw Whet Golf Course Lands in Oakville.

This week, countless Oakville citizens were appalled at the decision to allow massive development on 55 hectares of greenspace, that science clearly demonstrates is of high ecological importance. Developers are using the OMB process to bully municipalities into rezoning greenspaces that should be preserved. I strongly supports the abolishment of or immediate changes to the OMB process.

Sincerely, 

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Source: Town of Oakville website – http://www.oakville.ca/business/da-8844.html

For more information:

See our previous posts about this issue here.

Read Oakvillegreen’s Statement to the OMB opposing the Saw Whet development proposal.

Read the concerns of over 50 other residents and resident associations that are against Saw Whet development.

Watch: How Councillors Voted at Regional Council on Nov 9 2016 on the Bronte Green Corporation (Confidential) LPS119-16 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qryfVjomV90b

Read this thoughtful point/counterpoint chart prepared by a concerned Oakville resident: saw-whet-settlement-developer-town-otherssaw-whet-settlement-developer-2

Saw Whet: A Bad Outcome from a Flawed Process

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For immediate release: November 16, 2016

A bad outcome from a flawed process: how Livable Oakville just became a lot less Livable

Development has won another battle in gobbling up Oakville green spaces. The Town of Oakville and Halton Region have just backed down in their efforts to enforce a natural space zoning in their own official plan. As we sift through the documents just released, it appears that the Town has given approval for 1000+ residential units, on an area where the original application only contemplated 700 odd units.

Oakvillegreen had been hopeful, and even confident, that science and broad municipal opposition, would prove that the Saw Whet Golf Course lands were the wrong area to develop and clearly required protection. “We are angry and disheartened that environmentally sensitive greenspace and nature will once again lose out to developmental pressures”, said Karen Brock, President of Oakvillegreen. The “zone it, don’t own it” strategy used by the Town has proved ineffective in preserving greenspace.

The question we are now asking is: Why did the Town of Oakville settle when the Saw Whet area was NOT identified in the Official Plan as an area targeted for growth?

Municipalities with a solid Official Plan should be able to choose, where they want development. The proposal to develop Saw Whet was widely opposed by Oakville citizens and the Town Council. Once again, the municipality’s wishes appear to have fallen to defeat in the face of an Ontario Municipal Board review. It is unclear and frustrating to us why the Town settled. It is hard to imagine a worse outcome from the OMB than the recent settlement reached by all parties.

The Town will talk about ‘environmental wins’ and percentages of space protected, but we believe they are putting a brave face on a big loss.

The Saw Whet Lands are an integral part of the Fourteen Mile Creek Valley and catchment area, which has been identified as an Environmentally Sensitive Area. Scientific alarm bells went off everywhere with the first mention of developing the golf course lands. There was even a scientific recommendation years ago to ADD to this environmentally sensitive area in order to protect this habitat and its numerous endangered species. This development approval becomes a case of death by a thousand cuts. No amount of mitigation efforts will ever preserve this sensitive valley now.

We are all daily witnesses to the results of climate change and environmental degradation. There is a scientific consensus that greenspaces and their ecosystems provide immeasurable benefits yet we continue in a downward spiral gobbling up valuable greenspace for private sector profit.

Which greenspace is going next?

Amid the noise of the Bronte Green application, we can see that through this settlement, the Bronte West Lands, an area on the west side of Bronte Road and part of the Bronte Creek watershed, have also been approved for development.

The net result: a large area zoned Parkway Belt and Natural Area is being developed.

Shoe-horning over a 1000 + residential units and commercial buildings on a sensitive greenspace, and calling yourself Bronte Green is a gross act of “greenwashing”.  The only green they can be referring to is the colour of the money lining their pockets.

More importantly, what does this decision and flawed process mean for the fate of Deerfield Golf Course and Glen Abbey Golf Course?

This is a case of another developer victory. A broken process reaches a flawed result. The winner: The developer, the bully with deep pockets. The loser: Nature and the wildlife and humans who rely on it.

What can you do?

Let the politicians know how you feel: council@oakville.ca

The Town of Oakville is holding an open house for participants to ask questions with respect to the revised plan on Thursday November 17th from 6-8pm at Town Hall, 1225 Trafalgar Road.

Tell the Ontario Provincial government that you want Municipalities to be able to have the final say in their land use planning. Contact Yasir Naqvi, the Attorney General of Ontario, to tell him the OMB needs to be eliminated or reformed: ynaqvi.mpp@liberal.ola.org

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For inquiries please contact Karen Brock, President, Oakvillegreen Conservation Association president@oakvillegreen.org or via: 289-813-1568

 

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Photo credit: Forest adjacent to Fourteen Mile Creek, David d’Entremont