When Navin Naresh moved into his home beside the Maple Ridge Golf Course eight years ago, he thought the odd golf ball might fly over the fence.
He wasn’t prepared for such a barrage.
Golf balls fly over his fence and that of his neighbours constantly.
Naresh and his neighbours – Paul Pryce, his son Jason Pryce and daughter-in-law Sarah – say that in the past year hundreds of golf balls have landed on their properties, damaging their homes and cars.
They fear someone will get hit.
They live on Golf Lane, along the north side of the golf course. All the homes in the Golf Estates subdivision have registered covenants, including a statutory right-of-way.
That means the City of Maple Ridge and golfers on the course have the right to hit balls on, through, over and above the residential properties, and are not liable for any damage.
Darrell Denton, property and risk manager with the City of Maple Ridge, explained that to Paul Pryce in a letter sent in 2015.
Denton wrote that Pryce’s home sits parallel to the 7th hole on the course that is owned by the City of Maple Ridge and operated and managed by an independent contractor.
Denton described the hole as an uphill Par 4, which generally necessitates the use of a driver, a club that some golfers struggle with and that can produce a slice or hook.
“This would most likely be the cause of golf balls ending up on or near your property,” Denton wrote.
Denton suggested that Pryce contact the golf course operator about increasing the height of fencing that borders Golf Lane.
However, he said, based on the right-of-way title, the golf course is not obligated to “undertake any works to support alleviation of your concern.”
Denton said if the property owners were to collectively support a solution on paper, as well as financially, then the operators of the course may be willing to consider the option.
Denton also said that real estate agents would have disclosed the right-of-way covenant to the buyers at the time of purchase.
Both Naresh and Pryce say they were told nothing about the right-of-way clause.
They have suggested realigning the 7th hole tee box to decrease the number of golf balls flying over the fence, or installing a screened fence high enough to stop them.
Naresh is tired of hearing that he chose to buy next to a golf course.
“I love having the golf course there, we all do. We love the view. We love watching the golfers. But work with us somehow. Because someday, all the damage aside, someone is going to get hurt,” Naresh said.
Denton is away until April 2 and no one else with the city was available to comment.
The operators of Maple Ridge Golf Course were also unavailable for comment.