Vancouver park board votes on golf courses and pool chlorine

CBC

The Vancouver park board has voted to review the operation of its three public golf courses, despite the efforts of more than 60 seniors who turned up at the meeting on Monday night to show their support for the game.

Board chair Aaron Jasper has suggested the land is underutilized and the board should consider cutting the Langara Golf Course down to nine holes and converting the rest of the space into a park.

Tempers flared as dozens of elderly golfers and others who use the Langara golf course spoke out, questioning what the review may mean for the future of the course.

"We are here to defend our land," said one speaker.

"You generate a million dollars. You have other fish to fry — go fry them. Leave the golf courses alone," said another.

The Langara course is the easiest and most affordable of the three full-length courses owned by the city, and seniors receive a further discount when they play.

"We need those public golf courses. We need the affordability," one senior told the board.

Jasper, who tabled the motion to take a more detailed look at what the public golf courses cost and how much revenue they generate for the city, defended the review.

"Is there harm in asking the question — just asking the question?" said Jasper.

After several hours of listening to the golfers, the commissioners voted four to two in favour of going forward with a review of the courses, but stipulated the review will not include any suggestion of commercial or residential development on the land.

The park board also voted on Monday night to cap the levels of chlorine in public pools at 1.5 parts per million — three times the minimum level required by the B.C. Health Act.

And to ensure pools are properly sanitized, Vancouver parks will move towards installing ozone or ultra-violet technology, according to park board commissioner Trevor Loke, who tabled the motion.

The board has asked staff to examine the costs involved and come up with a plan to implement the systems at the nine indoor and five outdoor pools it operates.

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