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Disputed North Vancouver park to become dedicated disc golf space

While disc golf will be the primary use for Eastview Park, staff said they would look to accommodate people passing through as well
North Shore Disc Golf Club board member Logan Nazareno is 'pleasantly surprised' with City of North Vancouver’s decision to make Eastview Park a primary use disc golf location. | Paul McGrath / North Shore News

Like the many other dedicated sporting facilities in the community, disc golf will have a permanent home in the City of North Vancouver.

At a Monday meeting, a 5-2 majority of council voted in favour of a plan to have disc golfing be the primary use of Eastview Park, a location that’s been the centre of a conflict between some disapproving neighbours and the many visitors coming to toss discs into baskets.

Following the motion passed by council, staff will consult with experts to design a course that is separate from other park activities with a budget of $30,000, along with other improvements including fencing and trail upgrades.

While most of council agreed that the location for the city’s only disc golf course was a good one, Couns. Don Bell and Tony Valente didn’t support disc golf becoming the primary use of the park.

In a presentation, staff said that a public engagement process showed that a majority of respondents (69 per cent) rated their typical experience at Eastview Park as positive, compared to negative (24 per cent) or neutral (7 per cent). More than half of the respondents played disc golf.

People surveyed selected the disc golf course among the things they enjoyed most about the park, as well as the things they were most concerned about, according to staff.

In response to interim changes made last year that reduced the number and position of holes on the course, respondents said those modifications didn’t achieve the desired outcomes, and deterred many from coming to the park.

The next steps involve engaging a disc golf course designer, and staff will report to council later this spring or summer. The park modifications are set to be in place by the fall, staff said.

Disc golf is great because everyone can afford to play, councillor says

Coun. Holly Back introduced the motion. She said she lives in the area, and has met young families, grandparents and grandkids, as well as firefighters and community groups hanging out in Eastview.

“They have a barbecue, they go have a game of disc golf,” Back said. “And people just on their own playing for themselves.

“One of the great things [about disc golf] is everyone can afford to play because it’s free. And in this day and age, we realize the very high cost of everything, so free is very inviting,” she said. “We dedicate space or parks for soccer, baseball, football, skateboard, tennis, pickleball and bike lanes. So I feel that for some reason we are discriminating against disc golf and not recognizing it as the sport it is.”

But Bell and Valente dissented to the motion, stating concerns about disc golf as the primary use of the park.

Bell highlighted that Eastview is currently designated as a neighbourhood park. Putting a disc golf course in there was a mistake in the first place, he said.

“It didn’t come to council, it was put in by the staff as part of the expansion of recreational opportunities just as we’ve had pickleball and some of the other [sports] accommodated,” Bell said. “And then we find that when we get those in there, what the potentials for conflict are.”

A better opportunity for a full-length disc golf course might be at Sunrise Park, he suggested.

Logan Nazareno, board member for the North Shore Disc Golf Club and 10-year player, was at the council meeting among several other supporters who urged council to save the course.

Nazareno said he was pleasantly surprised by the decision. “We didn’t know what direction it was going to go,” he said.

“Couns. Holly Back, [Shervin] Shahriari, Jessica McIlroy, Angela Gerard, and even Mayor [Linda] Buchanan all agreed that Eastview Park is essential to the North Shore and it’s unique, and it should be protected,” Nazareno said. “We’re really happy.”

The disc golf enthusiast said his group plans to use the momentum to advocate for other courses in the community – in the District of North Vancouver, for example – to reduce the surge of players to Eastview.

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