Welcome to spring fellow Riverview residents.
As most of you have heard, the redevelopment of the golf course is back on the table. The golf course owner is applying to the courts to have the Restrictive Covenant removed. The Restrictive Covenant is the document that restricts any development of the golf course to golf course related activities. Removing that Covenant could allow the golf course to be open for non-golf course related development.
The RCA had distributed a newsletter related to this matter on March 28, 2021 via e-mails (to those residents who we have that contact information), flyers and our community notice signboards. To enable this message to be distributed to as many Riverview residents as possible, we provide that newsletter below.
We encourage you to become involved in this matter. Removing the Restrictive Covenant could have significant implications to the future of our community.
As always, if you have any questions, you can contact us at:
Action Required: Cochrane Golf Club Originating Application
Hello Riverview residents,
The RCA Board understands that the Cochrane Golf Club Ltd. has sent a copy of its filed Originating Application, and presumably the accompanying Affidavits in support, to homeowners through out the community. The purpose of the Originating Application is to have a court declare a restrictive covenant void and unenforceable so that it can pursue commercial activities on the property where the golf course is located. The restrictive covenant in question was agreed to and formalized between the Cochrane Golf Club with the Town of Cochrane and multiple homeowners in 2007.
As many of you will know, the Board has been aware of the Cochrane Golf Club’s desire to invalidate the restrictive covenant for some period of time and in the process, it has retained Peter Major, Q.C from McLennan Ross LLP, in Calgary as legal council. The Board has also consulted with Mr. Major since learning about the filing of the Originating Application and there are a number of issues that exist and impact the rights of individual homeowners.
Following this consultation, the RCA would like to clarify some important information for individual homeowners and to encourage individual homeowners to become informed and take action to defend your legal interests.
1. The RCA operates as an organization for its members but does not own real property. Without owning real property, it is not, and cannot, be a party to the lawsuit.
2. The Board does not have a mandate or legal authority on behalf of the RCA to represent property owners’ interests in court. The Board also cannot provide legal advice. The Board can, however, assist by gathering relevant and helpful information, and advising/assisting our residents in other ways.
3. In our last newsletter, the Board advised members of our community that we had approached the Town of Cochrane, requesting confirmation of their previous position that they would oppose efforts by the Cochrane Golf Club to remove or invalidate the restricted covenant. Since that time, we have received a response from the Town of Cochrane’s, Chief Operating Officer, stating that
“the Town’s position has not changed in any material way following Mr. Hyndman’s letter of last summer. We remain watchful of this file and are active in advocating for appropriate adherence to the existing instruments. We will be certain to connect with your group as needed as this process continues to unfold and I thank you for your willingness to assist.”
4. We believe this position is encouraging for those who are aware of and oppose the Cochrane Golf Club’s plans, but also wish to caution that the Town’s interest in this matter may not be entirely aligned with all of the different interests of individual homeowners and other legal rights should be considered.
5. As presently drafted and filed, we understand that there are issues that adversely negate individual homeowners’ rights granted in the restrictive covenant and ability to have those rights communicated to the Court. If individual homeowners have a position concerning the efforts being pursed by the Cochrane Golf Club and wish to have that position communicated to the Court, that individual’s right needs to be properly advanced before the Court.
6. There is strength in numbers. The more people that engage and wish to express their position concerning the issue in the Originating Application, the better. This applies not only to the arguments that would be advanced before the Court but the sharing of legal fees or costs.
7. Since the Originating Application and supporting Affidavits have been filed with the Court and notice has been provided to a significant number of homeowners in the community, the lawsuit has been formally commenced. Before any next formal step is scheduled it is critical that individual homeowners who are interested in understanding their legal rights and participating in the legal process get legal representation as soon as possible.
8. Peter Major, Q.C. has advised the Board that he is prepared to speak to all of the individual homeowners who are concerned about the action being pursued by the Cochrane Golf Club to understand the rights each homeowner has and how they can be addressed. If you are interested in hearing from Mr. Major, who has accumulated significant information about the dispute and has experience in this area of the law, the Board would ask you to contact us so that we can help facilitate a meeting, via Zoom, as soon as possible.
9. The RCA will continue to remain involved to facilitate individual homeowners’ awareness of this legal issue but reiterate it remains the individual homeowner’s responsibility to decide if and how their individual rights are affected.
10. The three Affidavits filed in this matter can be sent to you, upon request.
If you oppose development of the golf course and are prepared to defend the Restrictive Covenant, please reply to this email by FRIDAY, APRIL 9, 2021.
Please feel welcome to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns.
Jennifer Foy, President
Riverview Community Association