LETTER: Royal Oak land a community asset

LETTER: Royal Oak land a community asset

Re: Future plans for Royal Oak Golf Course. The Royal Oak Golf Course, which closed in the fall of 2015, was purchased last summer for development. The golf course is zoned as Recreation and Open Space, with the bulk of it in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and also outside of the Urban Containment Boundary. It is one of the last large parcels of land available in Saanich. There is little park space in the area other than Beaver and Elk Lakes, which are adjacent to the property, and many people are currently using the old golf course as a park.

The city of Saanich could develop it in a number of ways to improve the quality of life of Saanich residents. It would be an excellent addition to the Saanich Commonwealth Place facility as it would provide space for athletes to exercise, space for summer programs and after school programs. The old clubhouse could be repurposed for use by teens and seniors. The importance of access to recreation and nature for one’s health maintenance and health promotion was emphasized in the Saanich Parks and Recreation report “Older Adults Strategy 2017 – 2022”. There are already paths on the course which could be extended, providing safe walkways for Saanich’s older residents.

There is a portion of the property that is currently zoned for child or adult daycare which could be developed as a privately funded stand-alone adult daycare facility, providing support and care of medically fragile seniors, reducing hospitalizations and enabling them to remain in their homes.

Saanich is currently considering whether to request that the property be removed from the ALR. Residents need to speak up now if they wish to see the property remain as green space.

Margot Hogg

Saanich