Driving range creates controversy

Residents worry work has started on a project that isn’t approved


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SOME RICHMOND HILL residents were surprised when it appeared that work had begun on a project to construct a controversial golf driving range on a provincially owned property behind their houses.

They were surprised because the project hasn’t been approved by the province yet. Atilla Yeter, who lives adjacent to the site at 8111 Leslie St., said he saw work beginning on the project that he has been working to block on a committee made up of his neighbours.

“Since... Tuesday, Sept. 8, there has been a frenzy of work on the premises,” Yeter said. “Heavy machinery was involved in earthworks on the north side of the land in question.… Many homeowners in that area, including myself and my committee mates, have already noticed the work and are very angry, repeat, angry, with this event.”

Yeter wrote to Michael Cole, a senior planner with the Ontario Realty Corporation, who said that the work is not connected to the driving range project.

“The Ontario Realty Corporation is undertaking removal of part of the existing soil stockpile at Highway 407 and Highway 404 as a fill supply for the flood protection landform in the West Don Lands project in downtown Toronto,”Cole wrote.

Yeter has collected signatures from neighbours who are against the development. He said a driving range would decrease the value of his property, disturb him and his neighbours and displace a variety of wildlife that resides in the green space.

Scott Rudiak, the applicant and owner of Within Range Golf Centres, said he wants to work with residents to build something everyone is happy with.

“If we can avoid annoying the residents, then that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.

Yeter said he plans to make an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board if the province’s planning department supports the project.

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