Saanich resident Allen Wiseley writes a suggestion on a Post-It note affixed to the wall of the Cedar Hill golf course clubhouse during an open house to gather feedback from the community on the future of the vacant restaurant space.

Saanich resident Allen Wiseley writes a suggestion on a Post-It note affixed to the wall of the Cedar Hill golf course clubhouse during an open house to gather feedback from the community on the future of the vacant restaurant space.

Residents call for renewed restaurant at Cedar Hill golf course

Saanich seeking input on use for vacant space in clubhouse

Fluorescent pink, purple and green Post-it notes cover the beige walls that overlook the Cedar Hill golf course. Scrawled on each one is an idea or suggestion from a Saanichite, intent on seeing the clubhouse thrive and survive.

“Today is all about letting you have a say in what you want to see,” Jae Cooper, managing partner of Elevate Consulting, tells a group of residents.

Saanich hired the consultant firm as part of a recommendation from council in February that followed a series of heated meetings on the golf course and clubhouse’s $820,000 deficit for 2012.

While council made an in-camera decision in January to close the second-floor restaurant to save money, councillors felt what becomes of that space should be up to their constituents.

“It’s obvious everybody still wants a restaurant,” Saanich resident Cathy Ruszel says to an Elevate consultant after perusing the Post-it note suggestions, most of which called for reopening the restaurant, “and you’re going to say that to council, and they’re not going to OK that.”

Ruszel attended the Wednesday (June 20) open house at the golf course, along with another 150-or-so interested parties.

Saanich parks and recreation director, Doug Henderson, acknowledges that council could hear the direction of residents’ input, but stick with the status quo.

“Returning to what we had before, in terms of a full service operation restaurant, that’s not something being considered. I don’t think that rules out that there’s some type of food service,” he said.

“All the input we get will be reflected, but whatever finally is determined has to fit … in the context of the deficit reduction strategy and restructured food and beverage operations.”

Henderson says the municipality can’t contract out the space to a private food service provider, as there are successor rights for past unionized restaurant employees under the B.C. Labour Relations Code.

“You can’t just close a service down for a year or two years, pop it open again and say, ‘Oh well, we haven’t done it for a while. And now (it’s different because) it’s contracted out,'” the parks and rec director said.

In a document the News obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Saanich sought advice from two consultants on its best options, prior to the Jan. 12 decision to close the restaurant. Both advised that Saanich should seriously consider shutting it down.

“Given the current cost (wage and benefits) structure (at the Cedar Hill restaurant) the likelihood of this turning a gross profit sufficient to sustain operations in the future is very minimal,” says the report, paraphrasing Frank Bouree from Chemistry Consulting.

“If contracting out of the restaurant service is not a viable alternative to reduce costs, serious consideration should be given to reducing the service, while protecting the grab and run operation …,” the report reads, paraphrasing Ryan Crook with TruStar Golf Inc.

A Saanich staff report from last December had suggested keeping the restaurant open during the summer and Christmas, but council ultimately voted to close it to keep a lid on tax increases.

Henderson expects the summarized results of Wednesday’s Elevate consultation to be in by the end of July. He wants to see a report before council sometime in August.

Individuals who did not attend the meeting and would like to provide their feedback have an opportunity to fill out an online survey until July 5. That questionnaire can be found at saanich.ca/chgc.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Proposed design for the Topaz Park bike and skate park elements. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria requesting feedback on Topaz Park redesign

Public input now being taken for proposed skate, bike park ideas

Improving safety at Keating Cross Road and the Pat Bay Highway is the goal of the flyover project currently in the works. The province aims to reveal the final cost and design this fall. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Final budget, design of Keating flyover in Central Saanich still in the works

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says information coming by this fall

Colin Davidson won $100K on a Set for Life scratch ticket in Sooke. (BCLC photo)
Sooke man does ‘happy dance’ after scratching a $100,000 Set for Life win

Colin Davidson plans to renovate his home and invest in his daughter’s education

West Shore RCMP K9 Halla. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sound of RCMP dog enough to stop suspects in Oak Bay

West Shore RCMP K9 unit called in, didn’t get to chase

Saanich Neighbourhood Place is hoping to open the doors to its new centre in July, pending final council approval. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich childcare agency awaits final approval on much-needed new facility

Saanich Neighbourhood Place keen to open new centre this summer, expand options for community

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Island man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Most Read