Click on the dashes below the image to see many more photos
News this week that Pineridge Golf Course in Dallas is up for rezoning — with plans by owners to transform the 18-hole, par three executive course into a residential development, including potentially nearly 400 units, and parkland ‚ has led to much discussion among KTW readers. The golf course remains open for now, but would be closed with redevelopment. KTW decided to sit down with former golf course owner Cindy Piva and learn about the history of the land beneath the fairways and greens.
Plans for homes on land occupied by Pineridge Golf Course date back more than a half-century, but they were never developed due to linkage to agriculture.
Cindy Piva owned and operated the 18-hole, par-three golf course for nearly 20 years. In place of tee boxes and greens, imagine hay fields, apple orchards and market gardens.
Piva said land occupied by the course was initially owned by namesake of the Dallas neighbourhood, Dallas Johnston, whose farm spanned from Orchards Walk to Dallas elementary. Piva’s dad, Clarence Dixon, bought land from Johnston’s daughter, Wilma Bogetti, in the late 1950s. A farmhouse stood where golfers now tee off on the fourth hole. A garage from that era remains, used today by golf course employees as a work shed.
In 1967, Dixon planned a neighbourhood — a proposal stingingly familiar to the one revealed this week. Drawings still exist in a book Piva created on the history of the golf course and images shows about 150 residential lots.
Piva explained the NDP government of the day created the Agricultural Land Reserve and the farmland was prohibited from being developed. The book further notes: “had he [Clarence Dixon] registered these plans back then, the land wouldn’t have been frozen in the ALR in 1972 and the golf course would have been lots.”
The Dixons rented out the farmland over the years and grew alfalfa.Development was a no-go until the province allowed golf courses on agricultural land, paving way for Pineridge Golf Course, as well as many other courses in B.C., Piva said.
Construction of the course began in May 1989 and it opened in 1990. Wilma Bogetti, whose family had the original homestead, played the day the course opened. It was memorable for Piva because Bogetti gave her photos of what the area looked like when she grew up on the farm.
Piva’s parents died within a couple years of the course opening. She and brother Darrell Dixon continued to own and operate Pineridge.
The land was eventually pulled from the ALR in the mid-1990s. Piva said the land was never rich, dark soil one associates with fertile land. Instead, it was silt-like and required ample watering.
Years later, brother Darrell died and Piva sold the golf course in 2008 to an ownership group based out of the Lower Mainland.
She said she thought a hotel would one day rise in the space, as one of the purchasers was a hotelier. Some staff, including the current head pro, stayed on at Pineridge and Piva still lives in the area. Signs to rezone the property have recently sprung up on the property, piquing interest from Piva.
Though she said she would be “very sad” to see the golf course give way to development, Piva noted residential development circles back to her dad’s dream for the area 53 years earlier.