Saturday, February 11, 2012

Is a Golf Course the Highest and Best use?

Saanich is consulting with the public on what should happen with the Cedar Hill Golf Course.   I am not sure the right question is being asked.   Is a golf course the best use for this land?

At the moment we have the following golf courses in this region other than Cedar Hill:

That is 288 holes of golf you can play in the CRD.   Something in the range of 800 hectares of land in the CRD is dedicated to golf courses.  That is more than 11 times the size of Beacon Hill Park

There are three more over the Malahat and four are on the Gulf Islands.

There are also some small courses
Henderson Park in Oak Bay - a par 3 course
Juan de Fuca in Colwood - a par 3 course
DeMamiel Creek in Sooke - an executive par 3 course

I think that we do not have a shortage of golf courses and options to play golf in this region.    Does Saanich really need to keep Cedar Hill as a gold course?

In the core of our region we really do not have a lot of large public green space.   We have Beacon Hill Park and Mount Doug Park that are actually larger than a golf course.   When we look at urban parks that are developed for public use, there is a single park larger and a golf course in this region - Beacon Hill Park.  Given how the Friends of Beacon Hill Park seem to work as hard as they can to ensure the park is not actually a place for everyone in the city, we really have very no large public parks.

I think this region could use a large well laid out public park that is manicured, has bandshells, can accommodate gatherings of people, and allow for dogs and kids to play in a large green space.  Off of the top of my head I can think of places like Bear Creek in Surrey, Campbell Valley in Langley, Deas Island in Ladner, Little Mountain in Vancouver, and Central Park and Deer Lake Park in Burnaby as the sort of park we could use here and do not have.

Golfers have more options in this region than they need, what we need is more just general green park space.

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