Cedar Hill clay court decision won’t come until fall

Saanich mayor suggests more public consultation needed from tennis society

Plans to build a private eight-court clay tennis facility behind the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre won’t come before Saanich council until the fall at the earliest.

Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard said the proposal is too contentious to come before council in the summer months, when many residents are out of town.

“If (the tennis proponents) are carrying on as planned, it will come to a committee of the whole in the fall,” he said.

But the mayor acknowledged that there’s a lot of opposition to the plan from the community, and the Cedar Hill Clay Court Tennis Society may want to better engage the public over these next couple months.

“The community associations have made it clear they haven’t been happy with consultations at this point, and proponents know they’ll encounter that at committee of the whole,” Leonard said.

“This council’s always put a pretty high value on consultation. There’s a certain risk if they do come to committee of the whole with so much opposition.”

In late May, John Miller, president of the tennis society, fielded a lot of angry questions at a meeting looking at the tennis court proposal.

Neighbours argue there’s nothing that indicates a demand or need for more tennis courts in Saanich, nor has the municipality properly gauged what the community wants in terms of future use for the land in question.

Leonard predicts when the proposal does come before council, especially in its current incarnation, the meeting will likely need to be held at a larger venue than council chambers to accommodate an anticipated large crowd.

kslavin@saanichnews.com