Vancouverites Urge City to Rezone Golf Course for Housing
Housing activists and developers say South Vancouver's population is growing
Reported by Nikitha Martins
Vancouver housing activists and developers are urging the city to rezone the Langara Golf Course for housing to accommodate South Vancouver’s growing population.
Michael Geller, a developer and SFU lecturer, said the course is prime for housing development because of its proximity to bus routes and the SkyTrain.
A need for balance
He said the city should balance housing and green space by only developing a portion of the area.
“There’s a unique opportunity for the city to generate some significant revenue to create some affordable housing,” Geller said.
According to a Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation report, the golf course located on Cambie Street, is known as one of the most unplayable in the Lower Mainland due to winter floods.
Mayor holds off plans
Recently, Mayor Gregor Robertson halted the park board’s plans to spend $3 million dollars on improving the Langara Golf Course’s drainage system and suggested that part of the course should be turned into a public park.
Brendan Dawe, a member of Abundant Housing Vancouver, a pro-housing group, said the area should be rezoned for anything but to play golf.
“Golf is a particularly exclusionary use of land,” said Dawe, adding that green space should be a public area enjoyed by everyone.
Casey Crawford, Vancouver Park Board commissioner, said since the course is owned by the city it is actually inexpensive and accessible.
Cheaper than other golf courses
A game of golf during regular hours at the Langara Golf Course costs $37, while private golf courses require memberships that can cost over $2,500.
Crawford said the city owns other land sites that can be rezoned for multi-storey buildings.
“The Cambie corridor [has] about 35,000 people right now and within 25 years, it’ll be 70,000 people,” he said. “The amount of green space that is available for people to enjoy is decreasing quickly.”