The small consortium of developers who bought the former 27-acre Royal Oak Golf Course in September are mum on any plans beyond testing the agricultural productivity of the soil. File photo

The small consortium of developers who bought the former 27-acre Royal Oak Golf Course in September are mum on any plans beyond testing the agricultural productivity of the soil. File photo

Owners quiet about future of former Royal Oak golf course

Neighbours assume development plans are in the works for the former golf course

A new group of owners has purchased the former Royal Oak Golf Course site for $3.5 million but the neighbours who live around the course aren’t sold on what that likely means.

The consortium of owners, some local and one from Saskatchewan, retained local planner Deane Strongitharm of CitySpaces to lead the first steps in turning the overgrown 27-acre golf course into something else.

Before they sold the course, the former owners, the Cordero family, proposed a mixed use of single-family detached homes. It’s too early to tell exactly what the plans are now, Strongitharm said.

Most of the property is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, though it’s hard to imagine the site will be farmed. A golf course would also not be considered a profitable business for the site.

Strongitharm has been involved in many local developments but said he was retained on a preliminary basis for his experience in potentially rezoning the land.

However, he did say the soils are currently being testing and the results will be analyzed by the ALR.

“Before even thinking about future uses there has to be a determination as to the agricultural capability,” Strongitharm said. “We understand that a lot of soil was brought in when the golf course was created and until [the soil is analyzed] there’s no plans afoot for any future use of the land.”

A representative of the new owners did hold a brief meeting with some members from the adjacent housing units in September. Among those who attended was Bob Law, president of the Royal Links North strata council, and member of a group committee that represents all four neighbouring strata councils.

Law said his group asked what the plan was but was only told it will possibly require rezoning to get the land out of the ALR.

In the meantime, the state of the golf course has neighbours concerned for other reasons.

“It’s overgrowing, we actually put pressure on Saanich in the spring and summer, who managed to get the former owners to run a rough mower over the thing [before selling],” Law said. “We were worried [during the drought] about it being a fire hazard.”

Law also said locals are treating the former golf course grounds as an extension of Beaver Lake Park.

“There are trails through it, I’ve seen runners go through and people on horseback.”

Lifelong Royal Oak resident Donna Cino is among those who is getting used to the former links as a green space. Cino believes “the 27-acre green space should be left undeveloped, cherished for the use of this and future generations to enjoy.”

“Do we want the Royal Oak area to become like Stu Young’s Langford?,” Cino said in a letter to the editor.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s economy is expected to bounce back fairly easily, according to a new report from BMO Capital Markets released April 15. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria in good position to bounce back post-pandemic, says BMO

City’s smaller size, lower COVID-19 caseload and diverse industry base bode well

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in Greater Victoria rose to 5.7 per cent in March 2021, an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to February 2021. But the local unemployment rate remains the among the lowest in Canada. (Black Press Media File)
Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate rises to 5.7 per cent

The increase marks a reversal from recent months, but local economy among the strongest in Canada

Former Oak Bay High Grade 12 student Brandon Kip plays the $100,000 Steinway piano in the Dave Dunnet Theatre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay High Alumni Association passes torch to new president

The association has given back more than $70,000 in its 16 years

Saanich police officers were one group of dozens that submitted dance clips to the Greater Victoria Festival Society, to help create the Dance Across Victoria video montage. (Youtube/Screenshot)
WATCH: Saanich police, Victoria mayor bust some moves in new Dance Across Victoria video

Montage features submitted dance clips from across Greater Victoria

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read