The jewel of Vancouver was recently featured on the evening news. For those of you fortunate to have visited Stanley Park and marvelled at its amenities, know this. Developers have been after this property forever. Fortunately, the city has been adamant in preserving this wonderful park for its residents and the millions of visitors who enjoy it each year, in spite of the possible enormous taxation benefit. Hopefully this does not lead to its eventual demise which would be a travesty.
For nearby Chase, the same scenario, with similar bait. Eight hundred fifty of its 1,300 residents have rallied several times with a petition to support the current recreational zoning. They were—but not without a struggle—financially supported locally.
Earlier, a developer purchased the golf course, was approached by a society, retained a portion and sold the remainder to the society. With 60 members, this nine-hole golf course is thriving. With an aging population, nine-hole golf courses make sense.
Armstrong mirrors both Vancouver and Chase with respect to its only green space, currently zoned recreational. The privately owned Royal York Golf Course is undeniably Armstrong’s “jewel” and its best asset for all ages. An offer has been accepted by the owners, but the sale has not been finalized and is subject to a change to the OCP and rezoning, a requirement for residential development. The course has been supported by members, residents and visitors annually for six months of the year and is an opportunity to participate in healthy physical activity.
It is ironic that the business of golf is failing locally when so many Canadian men and women from humble beginnings in small towns are becoming prominent on the world stage of golf. The numbers of participants are there, but with the overabundance of golf courses in close proximity in the Okanagan, attendance is diluted and therefore needs to be marketed aggressively. Thank goodness for the leadership of the local curling fraternity in Armstrong, encouraging the involvement of all ages during the other portion of the calendar year.
The Armstrong Green Space Society is committed to supporting the current OCP and zoning of this recreational property and hope negotiations will make our Stanley Park an enduring legacy, long after our passing.