Location of driving range irks resident
A Tsawwassen homeowner is concerned the upgraded driving range at Tsawwassen Springs Golf Course will obstruct his view and cause his property value to plummet, but the project developer differs, saying changes to the range are negligible and future amenities will boost the price of nearby homes.
Malcolm Johnston's bluff-top house on Cliff Place has been in his family since 1963. He says last week a crane began erecting tall poles—including one abutting his property line—as part of the new driving range. Once the netting is installed, he says his north-facing view will be no more.
"I have no problem with them running a golf course here," said Johnston, who chairs the Light Rail Committee advocating for public passenger rail service. "The problem I have is I got these 120-foot poles or so in front of my property.
"Whatever vestige of a view I have left is gone."
After consulting a real estate agent, Johnston says the obstructed view, combined with Delta's steep slope guidelines—which protect sloped land from development that could risk stability—have reduced his property value by $300,000.
"It's almost made the lot unsalable, unless you want to get it on the cheap," he said.
But Sarah Toigo, director of sales and marketing for Tsawwassen Springs, says the upgraded, lengthened golf course and other amenities being built at the new residential community will have the opposite effect.
"I don't think it will decrease his property value. In fact, the golf course would increase his property value. It's not going to block his view either," she said.
The $400-million, 490-home development based at the par-70, all-season golf course is the project of Shato Holdings and Talisman homes, and also includes a new golf course clubhouse.
Toigo said the project has already helped houses sell in the neighbouring Imperial Village community across 52 Street.
"Other realtors agree that having amenities close to Imperial Village does increase its value," she said.
She explained the new driving range is essentially in the same spot as the old one, but will now run parallel to 52 Street.
While no construction notices were mailed out to residents, she said the developer keeps interested parties in the know.
"Everybody's welcome to come down here (to the presentation centre). We send out e-newsletters with construction updates to anybody who would like to be informed," she said.
But for Johnston, the driving range changes came as an unwelcome surprise.
"Nobody told me this was going to happen," he said. "There was no notification or anything."
He said he is considering taking legal action.
"They're (Tsawwassen Springs) going to make a profit on my loss and that irks the hell out of me," he said.
Managing director of Shato Holdings Ron Toigo said the golf course architect decided to move one set of driving range poles to create "the best possible flow."
"It's just to improve the golf course and how it all ties together," he said, noting a store and cafe, tennis court and putting green will be built in the same area.
"There's new trees being planted and it's still early in the process and once it's all grown in, it'll look the same as it did before," he said.
"If people don't like something, they don't like something, but for the most part I would say more people were happy with it than not happy with it," he said of the Tsawwassen Springs development.