A North Vancouver squash player wants the District of West Vancouver to hurry up and give his club a long-awaited lease on land the group has occupied for 44 years.
Dwight Jones, who spoke to the North Shore News as a member of the club, not as a spokesman, said the Evergreen Squash Club has been without a lease since 1998.
Now the drawn-out negotiations have jeopardized the club's ability to finance a much-needed expansion, he said.
"We have to have some sort of legal protection to assure the bank we might be there for a few years if they have to retrieve their money," said Jones.
While the club agreed to a five-year "licence to occupy" in 2011, mayor and council refused to sign that agreement and instead revised it to a three-year contract, according to the minutes of the club's annual general meeting on May 30. Evergreen's board of directors rejected the three-year option. Negotiations are now stalled.
The decision to knock two years off the agreement was part of an overall review of all district lands, said Bob Sokol, director of planning for the District of West Vancouver.
"(Council) wanted to do a shorter-term lease, because they are in a phase of wanting to evaluate the uses of all municipal lands to make sure the community is getting the most value out of these valuable assets," said Sokol.
The review will begin this fall and will likely continue into 2013, said Sokol.
Jones is frustrated that so much time has already been spent on the negotiations.
"Stop spending money on this and pretending it's a huge decision," said Jones. "Because you're not about to tear down the squash club, so what exactly is the issue?"
The president of the Evergreen Squash Club, Rob Forrest, refused to comment on this story.