Debate over disc golf course in Lacey

VIDEO: Disc golf course causing controversy in Thurston County neighborhood

Talks of an 18-hole disc golf course are causing a controversy in one Thurston County neighborhood.

Players said they want more places to practice, but people who live near McAllister Park in Lacey worry about increased traffic and trash.

"I'm retired now, so, it's what gets me out of the house to do things, meet people, it's a very social sport,” said disc golf player LeRoy Gay.

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Gay lives in Lacey and loves the idea of adding an 18-hole disc golf course to the currently undeveloped 60-acre park.

The South Puget Sound Disc Golf Association proposed the idea to the City of Lacey. The association would pay to install 18 baskets with concrete pads and two practice spots, using about 42 acres of the park and playing around trees.

The course would be similar to the 9-hole course built eight years ago at Woodland Creek Community Park in Lacey. The proposed course would be larger and more challenging.

“We clean up after ourselves. That place is a lot cleaner than it was before and we hang our hat on that project and that's why we want to do it again,” said John Anderson, South Puget Sound Disc Golf Association president.

However, many people who live near McAllister Park don't like the idea.

"People, like me, can't go over there anymore and walk our dogs because you're interfering with the Frisbee throwers,” said Robert Kavanaugh.

Neighbors said they worry about safety, parking, traffic and trash.

"I walk my dog down here every day, sometimes twice a day, and I pick up a lot of garbage that I'll throw in here, so I can just imagine if they opened something like that, there's going to be a lot more,” said Bill Dahle.

The park doesn't have public facilities and the city doesn’t plan to add restrooms or a larger parking lot.

"There's no bathroom facilities, so, what are they going to do, bring in a bunch of port-a-potties? Which I think would be a little unsightly,” said Dahle.

Players said the course would get more people outdoors to enjoy Lacey's public parks.

"I enjoy the sport. I look forward to having an 18 fairway course out here. I think it'd be really nice, but, at the same time, it'd be nice if we could all learn to share,” said Gay.

Thurston County plans to do construction on 19th Avenue Southeast, which would further impact the amount of parking at McAllister Park, which is already limited.

A meeting is scheduled for Sept. 4 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the proposed disc golf course.

The city hopes to make a decision by the end of the year.