, 2022-09-16 14:05:11,
Disc golf enthusiasts hoping to play on an official course in Camarillo are going to have to wait.
Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District board members voted 5-0 at a Sept. 7 meeting to send plans for a course at Heritage Park back to the drawing board.
Instead, an ad hoc committee will consider safety concerns voiced by nearly 20 residents at the meeting. It will also consider whether any of the district’s other 27 parks could be a suitable location for a disc golf course.
“Tonight was democracy in action,” board Chair Bob Kelley said regarding the public’s participation.
Disc golf, which first gained popularity in the 1960s, saw growth during the pandemic.
Acting on requests for a permanent course, district staff, along with a planning committee made up of directors Bev Dransfeldt and Jordan Roberts, looked into the possibility, taking into account the size of parks, amenities and use. They also researched costs and liabilities associated with the sport.
The result was a plan that would call for the creation of a pilot nine-hole disc golf program at Heritage Park.
Of the 19 people who spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting, 17 opposed the course, mainly due to concerns that the discs could injure passersby, including the children on the park’s playgrounds.
One man who lives nearby said he would not feel comfortable allowing his grandchildren to play at the park.
“I have three grandsons, and if something like this would go through, I think that we would not have the freedom to use the park,” he said.
Other residents mentioned disruption to the surrounding homeowners, stating that discs can fly over fences and prompt players to trespass to retrieve them.
The two people who spoke in support of the course said that although every sport involves some risk, disc golf would ultimately benefit the Camarillo community.
“It’s a little upsetting because what we’re hearing tonight sounds nothing like what disc golf actually is. . . .” one man said. “I don’t want to downplay the risk—that could certainly happen—but I think you’re not giving enough credit to the players themselves to respect the park and respect their neighbors.”
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