Qualicum Beach council decided not to entertain any proposals which would undermine Eaglecrest Golf Course’s continued operation as an 18-hole course.
Mayor Brian Weise released an open letter to the public to say he and council fully support continued operations as is.
“We have got a lot of emails,” Coun. Scott Harrison said. “A lot of people are worried — are we going to change the reality on the ground? I don’t think that’s the intent for any of us.”
The Semiahmoo Golf Centre leases nearly seven acres for the 17th fairway and 18th tee box area from the town for Eaglecrest Golf Course. After a five-year lease expired in December, the town said the owners rejected a proposal to renew and said the increased rates were too high. The rate increase, according to the town, was set to be the same as it is for all town encroachments.
“Our last communication with the owners included a proposed lease agreement that would see no increase in lease rates for 2021 and a two per cent increase each year for the remaining four years of the agreement,” reads the letter. “The owners have indicated that this is not an offer they are willing to accept.”
On Jan. 19, Eaglecrest said it decided not to renew the lease with the town. The town said in an FAQ, it does not intend to take access to the land away from the golf course and will continue renting month-to-month at the current rental rate.
“The Town remains open to negotiations with Semiahmoo Golf Centre and hopes to settle an agreement that will leave the 18-hole course open,” reads the FAQ.
The town said without a lease or insurance, Eaglecrest will not be able to use town land as part of its course and council would need to consider alternatives for the land.
Coun. Teunis Westbroek said the golf course is integral to Qualicum Beach and is part of the community’s attraction.
“This is important to our culture, important to our business community as far as attracting tourism and for people to move and invest and to live here. So this is critical and I think I would like to convey that from a town perspective,” he said.