The (almost) five-hour Port Townsend City Council meeting Monday night was (almost) the culmination of 10 months of meetings with stakeholder groups, all focused on the problem with the Port Townsend …
The (almost) five-hour Port Townsend City Council meeting Monday night was (almost) the culmination of 10 months of meetings with stakeholder groups, all focused on the problem with the Port Townsend Golf Course.
At this point, “nothing” may be the best option for our nine-holer which suffers mostly from a lack of use.
According to Save PT Golf, “130 species of birds have been seen on the golf course in the past two years, including bald eagles, California quail, and the short eared owl,” so the idea of converting the course into a sort of Central Park for the City has merit.
Some envision a hybrid golf course with multiple uses such as dog parks but in truth, golfers usually prefer to have their pitch quiet when trying to place the little white ball inside a hole in the big green ball.
How could we banish golf from those hallowed grounds on the eve of its 100th birthday?
The council vote ended with two nays and three yays for an alternate design that would include golf in some respect which reflects what citizens (at Monday’s meeting anyway) seem to want in their golf course.
The consulting firm hired by the city, Groundswell of Seattle, put forth two solutions but both were rejected.
The solutions budgeted about
$5 million on renovations that could include everything from affordable housing to Frisbee golf.
What we don’t want apparently, is a fully restored golf course. That idea garnered just one third of the votes from an open house intended to help determine the public ground’s future.
With a timeline for completion somewhere in the early 2040s, our more mature golfers will most likely not see any of these plans come to fruition.
Which is probably just fine with them.
Mayor David Faber has opined that the sport of golf is declining in popularity with younger generations everywhere and the people of Port Townsend have been voting as much, with their feet, as play at the course is in steady decline.
But it is a beautiful patch of land and Councilman Ben Thomas argues against any radical transformation, proposing legacy (golf) in some form at the renovated space.
The real winners in the process thus far are the consultants, who will now go back to the drawing board where they will, in the coming months, create a more focused future for the links, and more billable hours for themselves.
Lloyd Mullen, publisher