Re: Public Play Loss at Seymour Golf Course.
The proposed lease changes will reduce by two-thirds the public's access to golf on these district-owned lands, including a reduction for district residents, contrary to Seymour's claims. Those living in the City of North Vancouver, West Vancouver or elsewhere, will have zero access unless invited by a member or a district resident playcard holder.
The "well thought out public engagement process" council asked for was a sham in our opinion. It was hastily arranged in the dead of winter, soon after the proposal was made public, and was virtually unadvertised. It is no surprise that fewer than 20 public golfers attended, versus 7,000 public rounds played annually at Seymour.
The estimated financial benefits to the district are not at all certain, and are based on numbers only partly available to the public.
As the population grows and the economy recovers from very difficult times, the recent downturn in golf is highly likely to reverse. In that context, eliminating access for those not able or willing to join private clubs makes no sense to us.
We believe Seymour needs to show what options, other than reduced public play, they have considered to address their issues. This spring and summer could be used to collect information and substantiate the issues and assumptions in the Seymour proposal. Clear, current data is needed to define where Seymour public players reside, how many would actually go to Northlands if Seymour becomes unavailable, and the reasons for that choice.
We can understand Seymour's motivation to improve their own financial situation, but we strenuously object to the process thus far.
Dan H. Ellis, president North Shore Public Golf Course Society