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Letter: Heritage Pointe driving range off target

Letters to the editor

Dear Editor,

After reading the article titled “Two-tiered driving range coming to Foothills” in the Jan. 6, 2021 issue of the Western Wheel, along with the latest articles and feedback, I feel that it is imperative that attention be given to those of us to whom this development will impact. It is my opinion that there are two issues that deserve to be addressed regarding this matter. First of which, the article read as more of an advertisement and attempt to convince the community that the apparent “two-tiered driving range structure” and “small commercial kitchen and lounge on-site” will be an asset to the small hamlet of Heritage Pointe, and secondly the fact that research of the project was obviously not done prior.

Unfortunately, it seems as if there has been a great deal of smoke and mirrors used in order to lead the area residents into believing that this improved driving range will benefit the community. Because, what golf focused community would not welcome an upgraded driving range and/or teaching facility? Well, unfortunately that is not what is being proposed as Barry Ehlert has very publicly made it known that this space will in fact be occupied by LaunchPad Golf.

As printed in the Dec. 21 issue of the Calgary Sun, and in Barry’s own words he describes it as “Canada’s first luxury mega-golf facility”. The article goes on to say that, “this is much more than just a driving range, which is probably what you were telling your friends after trying something similar in the desert in Arizona, just off the Las Vegas Strip or in numerous other markets in the U.S.”.

Anyone who has ever visited one of these facilities knows very well the truth that lies within that last statement. Do not get me wrong, I have played, eaten, and partied at some of these same facilities in the States and they are a great time. The only difference being is that they were not centred in the middle of quaint, quiet, rural communities.

The impact that this addition will have on our community will be devastating not only for those homeowners who back on to the proposed facility site, but also for those of us who live within the community and on surrounding acreages.

As Ehlert states, he is expecting to employ 75 to 100 part-time staff as well as 20 to 25 full-time staff on a four-season basis. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of practicing their game or playing a round of golf on a sunny summer day at Heritage Pointe’s golf facility, knows all to well that the existing parking is already at capacity.

Tell us where they are going to find room for the new employees to park, let alone the potentially 250 people who will visit the facility on a daily basis? There has been an application made to the MD proposing a change in zoning to the parcel of land that includes a portion of the Desert nine holes of the golf course.

Anyone who uses Dunbow Road during their daily commute already know how busy this road has become.

More often than not it is used as a link connecting the far south-east community of Seton to the communities on the south side of Macleod Trail such as Silverado, Legacy, and Walden. This piece of roadway is often overwhelmed by the amount of traffic that travels it on a regular basis. Ehlert’s project, along with another that is currently in the works within the community of Heritage Pointe called Serenity, does not possibly have the existing infrastructure to support it.

Coinciding with that are the real-life consequences of drinking and driving. The fact that the proposed LaunchPad Golf facility is suggested to be located in a rural community where easy access to taxi/Uber is limited, and when it is available the cost of the service is a deterrent to the average patron, is absolutely baffling.

As fun and exciting as LaunchPad Golf sound, and as I am sure it will be a welcome addition to Calgary and surrounding communities, the hamlet of Heritage Pointe is not where this facility should call home.

Please, become informed and participate in the conversation to have this proposal denied.

Kim Schamp

Dunbow Road homeowner