Saanich lines up rezoning for Cedar Hill pro shop

District considers providing other recreational services at Saanich-owned golf course

A golf course owned by the District of Saanich hopes to generate more green by rezoning parts of its property.

Cedar Hill Golf Course will hold an open house Dec. 5 to present its plans to rezone its pro shop, golf course and parking lot. If the rezoning goes through, the district would be able to offer the same type of programming and services currently available at its four recreation centres.

This would help the course generate additional revenues, said manager Carole Ireland.

“It buffers us against bad weather,” she said.

The golf course currently generates revenue from two income streams: golf from green fees and food and beverage sales from the attached restaurant serving the golf course and its customers.

Both, of course, depend on the weather, increasingly unpredictable in light of climate change, she said.

“What we are trying to do [now] is to create a third, more predictable revenue stream.”

According to city documents, pro shop operations generated $723,800 in net revenues, whereas food and beverage services recorded a net loss of $45,000. Overall, the difference between net revenues and net costs was $724,000 in the minus.

It is not clear what sort of services would be available if the rezoning goes through, said Ireland, noting that the district faces two choices.

It could offer programs that resemble programs available at local community centres or lease out the space, she said.

“We haven’t formalized our plans yet,” she said.

Ireland said the expansion of services also offers the golf course a chance to become more inclusive of the community by drawing individuals to the course who live around it but do not access it.

“We still hear that people don’t know that there is a restaurant there,” she said.

According to a document on the district’s website, the proposed rezoning corrects an “anomaly” that staff uncovered when it was trying to develop strategies to improve the financial sustainability of the course.

The district has no plans to alter the identified buildings or redevelop the course.

“This application has been made to ensure the zoning is reflective of the long-standing current business and to expand the uses of the existing space,” it reads.

Ireland said public reaction to the proposed rezoning has been entirely positive.

Susan Haddon, president of the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association, however wonders about the timing of the proposed rezoning.

“Essentially, we the QCHCA [executive] feel that, if the zoning change request to have the (clubhouse), pro shop and parking lot area changed from P4 to P4HR is a housecleaning matter to correct something that has been in place since the clubhouse operations began, there shouldn’t be any hurry to remedy the situation and, given that a parks management planning process is about to get underway, this matter could easily wait and be part of the [park] planning process [for the area],” she said.

Waiting on the proposed rezoning until the completion of that planning process would be in line with other area projects such as the proposed renaming of the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre, she said.

The open house is set for Monday from 3 to 8 p.m.

 

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