Pineridge Golf Course is up for rezoning, with plans to transform the 18-hole, par three executive course into a residential development, including potentially nearly 400 units, and parkland.
The golf course remains open for now, but would be closed with redevelopment.
“The best use for this land is residential development,” co-owner Dave Yard told KTW, noting significant development on either side of the golf course in recent years, including Orchards Walk and condos next to the Petro Canada gas station.
“It’s happening. We’re in the middle of it, actually.”
The 30-hectare (75-acre) property, located at 4725 East Trans Canada Hwy. between Dallas and Valleyview, is zoned agricultural. The rezoning application calls for multi-family-medium residential, comprehensive residential and open space.
Though plans remain tentative and in flux, Yard said 12 hectares (30 acres) would be redeveloped into housing — currently planned for 390 units, a mix of condos, duplexes, townhouses and single-family homes — with the city taking over 18 hectares (45 acres) for open park space. Yard said the rezoning is contingent upon the city park space and negotiations are also in the works with the Ministry of Transportation to address access to Holman Road, Dallas Drive and the East Trans-Canada Highway. There are also discussions about a frontage road developed adjacent to the highway.
Yard sees the project as a benefit to the community, including residential opportunities, parkland and improved road safety.
“It’s a pretty big possibility,” he said.
The golf course was built in 1990. It changed ownership in 2008, at which time Yard, living in the Lower Mainland, bought in. He now lives in Merritt. Yard said the golf industry has been in a slump during the past five years, with fewer young people joining the sport due to increased entertainment options.
Pineridge, a pitch-and-putt style course, attracts ladies and beginners, he said, but not golfers who wish to pull out a driver, due to the short nature of the course, which consists mainly of par three-holes. McArthur Island Golf Course was a similar-style track that shuttered in 2017.
In addition, Pineridge does not have practice facilities, nor a large enough clubhouse to host weddings or other functions that supplement green fees at other course, such as Rivershore Estate and Golf Links and The Dunes at Kamloops.
Supply of courses both locally and across North America exceeds demand, Yard said.
“Golf, as a sport, has taken a big hit,” he said.
BC Assessment has the Pineridge property valued at $1.7 million. The total value of a residential subdivision, with individual lots sold, is untold. Asked if the decision was due to bottom line, Yard called that a “legitimate” consideration.
The property is not for sale. Yard said if approved, the project would be built out over 10 years, driven by the market. No timeline could be provided. The date of the public hearing for rezoning is not known. For now, Pineridge remains open for tee times.
“We plan to continue as a golf course for the foreseeable future,” Yard said.
The last course to close in Kamloops and have housing pop up where fairways and greens once lured duffers was Aberdeen Hills Golf Links. The 18-hole course was cut to nine holes as development began, with the final nine holes closing in 2011.
Golfers react to news
Pineridge fairways were calling Ziggy Morash and Mary Strandt on a sunny Monday in Kamloops — and they were disappointed to hear of development plans for the course. They have played Pineridge for about two decades, with about half of their season spent at the course.
Morash said Pineridge is suitable due to its length, price point and walkability for beginners, kids and seniors. Most holes are par-three and green fees are $25 for 18 holes. Memberships are the cheapest in town.
“For seniors and for new golfers, this is the only option,” Morash said. “Once that’s gone, where do you golf? There’s not really any other places to go.”
Strandt said she understands the area’s potential for housing and noted the course has also been vandalized over the years. She noted the lack of driving range and suggested more work could be put into the course. People would pay more, Morash added.
“They could charge double the green fees,” she said. “Everybody would still be happy because everywhere else it’s $80 to $100. Twenty-five dollars for 18 holes!”