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Beach volleyball courts proposed for former PARDS site

Grande Prairie is on track to get another set of beach volleyball courts. A change in the land use bylaw at a city council meeting on Monday has made it possible for two indoor and two outdoor volleyball courts and an indoor play place to be built on the old Peace Area Riding for the Disabled site off 84 Street. Owner Kara Endresen has been working on this idea since January 2018 and says she based her plan off of other facilities in Alberta and BC.

“Calgary and Vancouver have indoor beach volleyball courts so I thought beach volleyball’s popular, Grande Prairie is a big volleyball town and I thought that would be a fun thing to have. There are lots of kids that need lots of stuff to do, wear off energy and I figured we could just use some sand in the winter.”

The courts would be located at the east end of the property and would join the city’s existing ones at South Bear Creek Beach. The existing building on the PARDS site will be used to house the indoor play place and another building will be constructed to be used for indoor volleyball. Endresen hopes that building will go up in the next few months.

A number of people who live behind the PARDS site were at the meeting on Monday to voice their concerns about the new facility. Resident Derek McLeod says he’s worried about safety and an increase in traffic.

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“PARDS fit very well into the rural community because it was horses and riding and there was riding stables there so it was a relatively seamless activity behind all of us there. Obviously, this activity is going to be different, there’s going to be different people coming and for different reasons and there could be a number of different people coming at one time.”

Endresen says she’s heard those concerns and is willing to work with her new neighbours to make sure everyone is happy.

“We’ve actually had some of the other neighbours drop in to show lots of support for the new project and I’m sure we can find ways to work together to make everybody happy. Our plan isn’t to step on any toes and create any hard feelings it’s just to get along and have more fun in the community.”

A development permit will still need to be issued before any work can start.

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