Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Don't Build It So They Don't Come

It's been a while since I've posted here at Mr. Anchovy's. Usually, I write about flora and fauna here in my little corner of BC, and today I'm going to not going to deviate from that too much by bringing to your attention a local Rossland controversy: the building of a huge new golf course in a currently wooded area near Granite Mountain on our local ski hill.

Already, Red Mountain has seen enormous development with something like 3000 units (i.e. condos) either built or going to be built. The effects of this are both aesthetic and impact negatively on the environment, as well as pissing of some locals because of a rise in taxes. Aesthetically, the abundance of condos now blocks out any decent view of the mountain and makes the area look like a high-priced, exclusive slum, with buildings on top of buildings and very little room for anything else (like, say, a parking lot for hill users to park while they ski). Environmentally, 3000 units requires enormous sewer upgrades and a huge increase in water consumption. Locals are pissed because their property taxes have increased in order to fund the upgrades. Housing prices have also risen sharply due to development and Rossland is swiftly becoming a place where only the wealthy are going to be able to afford to live. The rental market sucks and there is no affordable housing for those who need it.

So now, a new golf course is being proposed for the ski hill. This will involve clearing a huge swath of land, obviously, but there is also more development proposed as well, including 310 new homes, a conference centre/hotel/spa, and a golf academy.

This is the most ludicrous, environmentally irresponsible idea you could possibly put forth in this area. The proposed golf course will be built right in Rossland's watershed. The current watershed, predominantly coming from Topping Creek, barely provides enough water for the town as it is. By August, reservoir levels are extremely low and water restrictions become especially keen for those of us in town. According to this, the average North American golf course consumes 400 million litres of water annually. For six months (the other six being ski months at Red), that would be 200 million litres of water. Where is this supposed to come from? Not to mention the pesticides and crap they use to keep the greens unnaturally green. The runoff from that will also go into local creeks and waterways.

This is in no way a viable project. We already have way too much development up at the ski hill as it is (it's hideous, too), and recently the local golf course has just expanded to 18 holes from 9, and put in a new housing development. Do we really need another golf course? I say NO. There is a lot of rhetoric in town about this proposed golf course, and there is a petition at many downtown businesses for people sign. I have put my name on it, and I hope it makes the statement to city council it needs to.


mister anchovy said...

Bad news and it's happening all over the place. I read recently of huge plans for resorts in the Crowsnest as well, in Alberta where they also have sprawl heading south from Calgary.

Excellent post WC

Wandering Coyote said...

Thanks, Mr. A.

Yes, it's happening everywhere. The almighty dollar is consistently taking precedence over preserving the environment. Of course the huge irony is, as we've talked about before, is that we wind up ruining the very things we came to enjoy.

Maria said...

What? didn't you live in Toronto? I thought you were a Roncesvalles guy.
I posted something new on Garlicster, finally!! (it's not even garlic-intensive, but at least it's something)

Maria said...

Wandering Coyote posted? No wonder I'm confused!

mister anchovy said...

Hey Maria, thanks for dropping by. Yes Wandering Coyote occasionally posts over here!

Half of my family lived a long time in the Roncesvalles area - on Galley and on Sorauren. Anchovy World Headquarters is near St. Clair and Caledonia.

Candy Minx said...

Yeah you see one day I'm going to have my doomsday cult up and running and the first thing I will get rid of is fucking golf. Then corn farms. Then products made in china...