Development Plans For Bright's Grove Golf Course courtesy of planning.smartsarnia.com.

Golf course housing project approved

After a public meeting over three hours in length, Sarnia council has approved in principle the controversial redevelopment of the former Crabbies Golf Course into residential housing.

The Bright’s Grove Golf Club has proposed an active residential community on the northern portion of the golf course, between the south extension of Estella, Robert and James streets and Lakeshore Road.

Council asked that the rezoning, draft subdivision and condominium applications be brought back to their April 15 regular meeting and that current zoning provisions apply to plans for erosion and flooding.

Councillor Nathan Colquhoun supported the decision but made a point to assure residents in the gallery that their traffic concerns were heard.

“The way I look at this development, is that we are replacing a commercial entity where hundreds of people were going in and out of it a day, that do not live in the neighbourhood, with more neighbours who will be standing alongside of the rest of you fighting for a safe, sustainable and beautiful community,” said Colquhoun. “Safety should be our ultimate concern. But, we should put the implementation of that concern into the hands of professionals and the same goes with traffic concerns. They have been trained and educated in ensuring that we are making safe decisions in our development. Listening and incorporating public input and needs and taking all precautions necessary to ensure the environmental protection of the area.”

Colquhoun said he trusts city staff and the other professionals that have participated in process, since the project was first presented to council in 2013.

Councillors Brian White and Margaret Bird opposed council’s decision.

Many of the speakers Monday wanted a road that would connect the subdivision to Lakeshore Road, but the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority didn’t support the access point.

“The conservation authority has concerns with access through the floodway, as this is an area of high risk to public safety and to the maintenance of future infrastructure,” said SCRCA planner Erica Ogden.

Representatives from the home builders association, real estate board and chamber of commerce spoke in favour of the project.

Over 70 units — single detached homes and condominiums — and a nine-hole golf course are planned.