What becomes of the vacant restaurant occupying the Cedar Hill Golf Course clubhouse’s second floor will be up for discussion at a June 20 open house.
Saanich hired a third-party consultant to conduct the public engagement process, which will help inform council of its options regarding the future of the facility.
“What we’re trying to do now is get a sense from the community of what we are thinking would be the best use of the upstairs space from October on,” said Doug Henderson, director of parks and recreation.
The clubhouse restaurant was shut down in February after council made a closed-door decision to restructure the food and beverage service, in an effort to reduce the golf course’s $820,000 deficit.
That decision didn’t sit well with many community members, who turned out in droves to three open houses in January and February to discuss deficit reduction options.
While Henderson said the consultant will be conducting stakeholder meetings with golfers, neighbours and the community to hear recommendations on how to best use the space, one option is off the table.
“My sense is that another restaurant is the one piece that’s outside of likely where we would end up,” he said. “We said at the beginning of the year it’s questionable whether a restaurant service is a core municipal service. I think we’re probably looking at something alternative to the status quo than what’s been up there before.”
John Schmuck, president of the Quadra/ Cedar Hill Community Association, says he’s optimistic the consultation will result in a positive outcome for the community.
“I know that the councillors collectively took a lot of heat for the way the whole process went down. And I think they wish they had done that consultation better – so I hope they’ll be keeping that in mind this time around,” he said.
“We feel that (clubhouse area) should remain as space for public use, and not ultimately wind up as some other use by Saanich,” Schmuck added, citing it as an ideal spot for meetings and workshops.
The open house happens Wed. June 20 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Cedar Hill Golf Course clubhouse, 1400 Derby Rd.
A survey will be posted online, at saanich.ca/chgc, following the meeting for interested citizens to provide their input.
Henderson expects Elevate Consulting will complete its work in July. A report should be sent to council in August.