Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Golf course the priority - Hill Bros.
(as published in the Daily Gleaner, February 09/11)

A meeting is being held for West Hills residents to talk about the completion of Rebel Ridge Golf Course. The session has been set for 7 p.m. at Killarney Lake Lodge on Feb. 23. Homeowners will be able to ask questions about the plan to develop the course this spring and about additional plans for a condominium-style building on property between the golf course and Brookside Drive.

Hill Bros. has sent a written notice to all residents of West Hills that title to the golf course lands has been reclaimed from the Business Development Bank of Canada which foreclosed on the property and purchased it for $1 million in April.

Hill Bros. is a local real estate development, apartment rental, home building and commercial leasing firm. It developed the West Hills housing project off Brookside Drive with the intention of having a signature 18-hole golf course available to residents.

As the subdivision progressed, the golf course design and construction ran into roadblocks. The course was supposed to be finished in 2007, but only part of the greens were completed and a clubhouse was never built. Fairways Design and Holdings Inc. and Rebel Ridge Golf Club Ltd., and its principal David Loten, ran into financial difficulty with the project prompting the foreclosure.

Darren Hill, vice-president of Hill Bros., said a group of investors led by Chippins Ltd., Heron Heights Ltd. and Hill Bros. has now been formed with the intention of completing the golf course. A couple of additional investors may be folded into the group. West Hills Development will own the shares of West Hills Golf in order to complete the 18-hole course.

Hill said in order to raise the capital needed to finish the public golf course, it will be necessary to develop condominiums. "We identified some surplus land which is adjacent to our existing Hill Bros. land on Brookside, so we combined it and that's what we're proposing. So we want the residents' input because some of it is going to be high density and we don't want to surprise people. We want to get their input."

Residents of single-family housing will be buffered from the proposed apartment-style condos. Between their homes and Brookside Drive, the developer will introduce low-density, garden-style homes with medium-density development bordering Brookside Drive. Hill said current and future residents of West Hills are welcome. Golfers are also invited to attend the building as the company gathers opinion through informal and open discussions.

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