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"We think the golf course is out of step with the zoning and we will bring compliance to it one way or the other," said Reece Harding, the district's solicitor, with the law firm Young Anderson.

In 2011, the Robsons hosted a summer barbecue for Premier Christy Clark on the golf course, one of many public gatherings the district believes are not permitted under its zoning bylaw.

Robson was the mayor of Maple Ridge for one term, but was defeated in 2008 by the district's current mayor, Ernie Daykin.

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Robson sued the district over a P 3 downtown redevelopment project that eventually led to the project being declared illegal.

The golf course is operated seasonally, from spring through the end of summer, as part of the non profit Heather Hills Farm Society.

"This is better than all the fallow farmland you see around," said Robson.

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Over the years, neighbouring properties were purchased and a large hazelnut grove was added.

Poor soil conditions, pest Blue Nike Air Force 1 and disease eventually wiped out much of the orchard.

The legal action is being pursued because the Robsons' did not comply.

The civil suit, filed Monday, alleges Gordon and Mary Robson are in contravention Yellow Air Forces

of a district bylaw and must permanently cease operating of the Heather Hills Golf Course.

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"I don't know why they are coming after me," said Robson. "It might be political."

"But we are always open to talking."

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The "club house" the district wants him to remove is a removable tent structure, while the "food and beverage service" consists of a small bar fridge with pop and water and an assortment of packaged nuts.

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It's not the first time he's tussled with the district in court.

Robson was surprised by the law suit. He has a business license from the district for agri tourism and got a legal opinion in 2011 to make sure that a golf course met the requirements of the Agricultural Land Commission Act. The land commission considers the golf course a non farm use.

The Robson family invested in the property in the original property in the 1950s and planted several acres of Scottish Heather, that is still grown on the property.

Construction of the golf course began in 2004. It currently has about 30 members.

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Charities and church groups often use the golf course for fundraisers, with Robson estimating they've raised more than $100,000 since Heather Hills opened.

They also use the land to promote farming, while using revenue generated from the golf course to support the non profit society's work with youth advocacy, sports and community groups.

"It's a non permitted use, from the district's perspective. Golf courses are not allowed in this zone."

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the property lies within the provincially protected Agricultural Land Reserve and is currently zoned one family residential under the Air Force 1 Flyknit

Anderson said the district tried to get the Robsons to stop operating the golf course voluntarily by sending them a letter in February.

The District of Maple Ridge is suing a former mayor for operating a golf course on property in violation of current zoning.

Today, the Robsons raise 27 sheep on the property and are testing a genetically modified species of blight resistant hazelnuts they hope to eventually plant around the property. The wool from the sheep goes to local weavers and they are eventually sold for meat.

Editor's Note: A previous version of the story stated the Robsons invested in the golf course property in the mid 1970s, that information was obtained from the Heather Hills website. The Robsons have since clarified that the property was purchased in the 1950 and construction of the course started in 2005, not 2005. The information posted on their website was incorrect and has since been changed.

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Maple Ridge sues former mayor over golf course

Located in Webster's Corner, on 117th Avenue, Air Force Easter

"It's gone unresolved," he added.

district's bylaw.

After the loss, the Robson wanted to maintain the "uniqueness of the property" so decided to turn a portion of it into a golf course to "sustain" their non profit society.

Robson has yet to file a statement of defence, but has hired municipal litigator and civic law expert Johnathan Baker as his lawyer.

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