Brewery planned at Central Saanich driving range

Owners applying for new designation to allow craft brewery, distillery.

Valerie Lindholm with her dog at what was Island View Golf Centre.

After continuously passing the large, abandoned nets on the side of the highway on the way into Sidney, Valerie and Mark Lindholm decided to buy what was Island View Golf Centre, and they  have big plans for it.

The pair plan to turn the former driving range into a distillery and craft brewery.

They have submitted their application for zoning change to the District of Central Saanich, along with an application to the Agricultural Land Commission to seek new uses on the property.

Valerie said the land was overgrown and needed a lot of work.

The plan is to see the existing mini-golf course improved and running by this spring.

The large green space stretching from the clubhouse to the Pat Bay Highway, Lindholm said, will be a crop, most likely barley, but they will wait and see.

There will be fruit trees along the sides, some nectarines and apples and barley, to help supply their planned small operation.

The two became owners of the 10-acre property last summer. The land is already categorized as agricultural but it’s zoning is specifically for golf. Lindholm said they are hoping to change the zoning to A1, which is strictly agricultural.

“We’ve had an agrologist report which is essential to change the zoning to A1, agricultural level one, and he says it is fertile soil and can produce a variety of crops and produces its own water,” she said adding, “so at one point I hope we’ll be looking as good as Michell’s (across the highway).”

A special entitlement is also being requested to allow a craft distillery and brewery, along with the 18-hole mini-golf course. Having picked up many golfballs over the summer, Lindhom said they will not be doing a driving range, keeping it just for mini-golf.

To help level five berms on the property, the acreage has been tilled by a local farmer, which Lindholm said has helped lift a lot of stuff up.

“There were … many blackberries, you could pick pounds out of it. So it’s really come a long way,” she said.

Lindholm said neighbours have been supportive of the plan, including Silver Rill Corn, their next door neighbours who she heard picked up 10,000 golf balls, throwing them on the floor of Central Saanich council at one point.

“It shows a level of frustration,” she said of the area’s farming community regarding its conflict with neighbours. “People are trying to make a living …  a tough living … an essential living,” she said. “And that’s the thing — is it essential for life — and this golfing is something people do for fun and to have them cross like that in a negative way, it just spoils everybody’s living experience.”

The land will be tilled again and seeded with barley in early March, which Lindholm said could potentially be used for the future brewery.

They are looking at early 2018 for the new business if approvals come through.

“It’s nice to be part of a community. I’m really enjoying that farm community.”

Just Posted

Fate of accused in Saanich couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Brentwood Bay fruit stand plundered on first day of season

Leeanne and Jack Guthrie dismayed to find money and fruit stolen from roadside stand

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read