The Armstrong Green Space Society is calling for the preservation of the Royal York Golf Course, which may be in jeopardy pending an application to use the land for a major housing development. (File photo)

Armstrong group calls on council to spare local golf course from housing development

The Armstrong Green Space Society was formed in 2019 after word of the development surfaced

  • Nov. 28, 2020 12:00 a.m.

A local environmental group is calling for Armstrong’s Royal York Golf Course to be preserved.

An application is in the works to revise the Official Community Plan (OCP), which would rezone the golf course lands to make way for a major housing development.

Lindsay Thachuk, president of the Armstrong Green Space Society (AGSS), detailed the group’s opposition to the development in an open letter dated Wednesday, Nov. 24, suggesting that officials “… totally reject this application on the first reading and end this costly process to the taxpayer and the developer.”

The application by Armstrong-based developer Patrick Place would see the par-3 course reduced to make room for up to 200 homes over 10 years. But while the York family has previously reached an agreement with the developer, Armstrong council must approve the proposed rezoning application.

In a public information session in January 2019, owner Todd York said the golf course had been losing money for years and was no longer viable as a business.

The AGSS has spent the last two years gathering support to have the development agreement quashed.

“One major concern of the community was the loss of a major recreational area within the city limits,” the Thachuk’s letter states. “The golf course attracts many new people to live in Armstrong and even to Vernon.”

With 41 per cent of Armstrong’s population over the age of 55, Thachuk says the golf course is a staple in local senior life.

Thachuk also cited the city’s population density as a concern when it comes to adding a major development. She pointed to a regional growth study tabled by city administration at council’s Nov. 9 meeting, which showed Armstrong to be the most densely populated city in the Okanagan with 979 residents per square kilometre.

Thachuk also cited additional demands on existing water supply and sewage services as key concerns.

An amended OCP and rezoning application has been submitted, and city staff are working on a report to bring to a future committee of the whole meeting, according to a memo to council Nov. 18.

This story has been updated Sunday, Nov. 29, to correct the name of the developer

READ MORE: Another public meeting slated for Armstrong golf course plan

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Brendan Shykora

Reporter, Vernon Morning Star

Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com

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