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Future of former Candiac golf course green space in the hands of residents

Consultations to be held over former Candiac Golf Course
Candiac residents will soon have their say on what becomes of the sprawling green space which was once home to a golf course. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports.

Residents will be able to have their say on the future of the green space formerly known as the Candiac golf course.

The city will be holding public consultations in the coming fall on the eventual fate of the former links.

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Left in its natural state since being sold in September 2019, the future of the green space has been in limbo.

The more than  52 hectares of land is presently owned by a local developer Le Groupe Maison Candiac.

The land was acquired with plans of being the site of a future residential construction project but the territory remains under a recreational zoning bylaw.

A local citizens group, Regroupement des résidents de Candiac (RRC) have been urging the city to refrain from changing the zoning to residential in hopes to save the natural space.

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While opening the door to citizens on the future of the land, Candiac Mayor Normand Dyotte said in a statement that the city has never wished to change the zoning.

Several ideas have been suggested by residents ranging from maintaining the current zoning to a mixed development project.

The creation of a large nature park, open to the public, has been the main idea floated by RRC president Yves Couturier said.

“I think with the pandemic we realize such aspects are very important for physical and mental health of the population,” Couturier said.

“This is a huge asset for the city. It is a unique opportunity to seize for future generations.”

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In an online video, the city said they are open to the plethora of options.

“We would therefore like to pursue this discussion in a structured, transparent and serene manner, while evaluating all possible options, ensuring that we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each one,” Dyotte said.

Said to be the largest green space in the city, Couturier and residents have called on the city to protect the site.

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Resident for nearly two decades, Ronney Lippinghof was devastated when the golf course ceased operations.

He worries about the drop in property value if the land is developed.

“We felt like we lost a lot of value on the house,” Lippinghof said.

“This space is beautiful, I don’t want any houses to be developed in front mine after seeing this ( green space) for 14 years.”

Despite the scheduled public consultations and a petition against the residential project, George Toporowicz fears development is inevitable.

“I see this coming no matter what,” Toporowicz said.

“In a couple of years were going to wake up and there are going to be trucks and construction and we don’t want it.”

READ MORE: Public consultations begin on future of the old Hippodrome racetrack

Officials from Groupe Maison Candiac were unavailable for comment but said they are in favor of the public consultation process.

“This will allow residents to voice what the future will hold for this space, ” director general Sylive Simard said in a statement.

In the past, the company has said the development of the former golf course will be in the interests of residents.

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They say they want to keep much of the natural green space and strive for a best-of-both-worlds scenario.

The city says it will release details on this consultation process at a later date.