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Armstrong Golf Course reconfiguration moves to next teeing area – lake country calendar


Depending on where you are heading from, the fourth hole at the Overlander Golf and Events Center in Armstrong (formerly the Royal York Golf Course) has water on the line, some dogleg left on the par 4 green and some sand protecting the putting surface.

Also coming into play, although out of bounds, depending on where you hit the ball, is Dave and Patti Ferguson’s backyard on Okanagan Street where, during their many years of living next to Armstrong Golf Course , they rounded up many Titleist, Maxfli, Callaway and Taylor Made who smashed into their homes, smashed their windows and ended up resting peacefully in their grass.

The Fergusons, who will give Overlander pro Jesse Crowe buckets of balls found for his successful junior program on the course, won’t be sad to see the fourth hole go. And, on Monday, September 27, after a 65-minute public hearing, the reconfiguration of the nine-hole golf course went one step further.

Council adopted on third reading a proposed by-law to re-designate local developer Patrick Place for the former Royal York golf course, still owned by the York family, which would allow the construction of 141 single-family dwellings and the reconfiguration of the golf course. into a smaller track with a new putting green to install.

“While Dave and I weren’t jumping for joy that the golf course is shrinking, we’re happy to lose the fourth hole to a neighbor,” Ferguson said. “We hope that our board will ensure that if it authorizes the construction of 141 houses, it will be able to access Armstrong’s safe, quality drinking water and have good drainage …”

At one of Armstrong’s largest pandemic board meetings at Zoom, eight people joined developer Place, with Todd York representing family, engineer Mike Nolan and Crowe to talk about the proposed development.

“We offer a choice of diverse housing options that will be available in a wide variety of sizes and price ranges,” Place said. “We are dedicating 2.5 acres of first-class publicly accessible parkland.”

Crowe told the board and the Observation Gallery that his junior program has grown to 55 golfers after introducing students at Armstrong’s four schools to after-school golf in the 2020-21 school years, and hopes to have 100 playing on a smaller reconfigured course.

“What we plan to do at Overlander is spectacular for the growth of golf,” said Crowe. “Continue to promote junior golf and youth activity in the city. The putting course offered on site will be great for non-golfers and golfers.

The loss of the original course in the proposal drew much criticism from the Armstrong Green Space Society and other golfers. However, Erwin (Red) Leibel, a member of Royal York since moving to Armstrong in 1994, is not one of them. He gladly supports the candidacy.

“In my opinion, the proposed development plans make the property financially viable and, in addition, will provide a first-class golf course as well as associated green spaces,” said Leibel. “The proposal strikes a good achievable balance. The project will be of net benefit to the city.

Del Honeybourne suggested that Place retain ownership of the golf course and abandon the housing development project.

“The small par 3 golf course will not equal what is currently there,” said Honeybourne. “You won’t be around the players you have now. The current nine hole course is fantastic and a credit to Bruce York and his family for planning and managing it for many years.

Eli Silver, a resident of Okanagan Street, spoke out against the development for many reasons, including the additional traffic, the location of the parks proposed in the plan, and parking.

“I am just disappointed with the way this has been communicated and is handled,” he said. “For something of this magnitude, I don’t think I had the time to look at this in five working days to digest it and get feedback. I don’t feel like I’ve received enough time and documentation from the city, and I’m disappointed my advisers have moved it here.

Council voted 6-1 to go ahead with third reading on proposed bylaw changes that would see the property’s formal community land use designation change from multiple residential units (low density) to park, change the land use designation of 10 hectares from commercial recreation property to one or two residential units, and change part of one hectare from commercial recreation to park.

Jim Wright, as he has done since the proposal was first presented to the board almost two years ago, was the lone opponent. Com. Shirley Fowler said she heard no further comments from the public during the hearing and voted in favor. Com. Gary Froats called it the most difficult decision he has made since his tenure on the board, and Coun. Linda Fisher changed her vote after listening to public support for the plan.

Calls by Wright and other members of the public for a referendum on the plan just before the 2o22 municipal election were dashed when Coun. Paul Britton pointed out and confirmed by Executive Director Dawn Low that the subject did not correspond to the referendum.

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