LETTER: Banks Crescent location is wrong

This is great science and likely a profitable business. But it’s proposed for a bad location.

Dear Editor:

It can easily be argued that Summerland’s Bristow Valley, without easy access to community amenities and services, would be a hard sell to most seniors looking to downsize and reduce or give up driving.

Yet the developers, Lark, have kept communications tightly focused on planned in-house health care and amenities so residents won’t want or need to leave.

Welcome to the Hotel California? Perhaps not quite that restricted because they do have a plan for a facility bus.

Lark’s presentation to support their request to rezone the Banks Crescent property from agricultural to high-density mixed-use and amend our Official Community Plan highlighted an exclusive, non-invasive neurological stimulation treatment for dementia.

This is exciting. This is great science and likely a profitable business. But it’s proposed for a bad location.

I do wonder how medical services provided via Telehealth from Manitoba would serve residents who need to be admitted to a local hospital.

Would these remote health care providers have admitting privileges in Penticton or even in B.C.?

The response to Mayor Waterman’s request for clarification on the number of assisted living versus market units struck me as vague and subject to change.

I would expect beyond the extended care facility already leased by St. Elizabeth, the type of units built will be determined by what the developer can sell once the requested zoning is in place.

High-density mixed-use is not restricted to seniors.

When asked why a proposal was submitted that did not conform to our OCP, the jaw-dropping response was that based on their communications with our city staff they did not feel it was an issue.

Mayor and council – our city staff work for you and for us. The OCP, the citizens’ document in effect until 2019, and the platforms that brought you to office need to guide their work.

For staff to trivialize the OCP is simply not acceptable.

If council approves this development, the location is unlikely to attract many seniors who don’t drive. We could then expect hundreds of units open to all ages, possibly even vacation rentals, services and retailers. In a different location that would be great. Summerland needs housing for all ages.

But, for the Bristow Valley, traffic would face a major obstacle: There is only one single, narrow road to the site.

If the development proceeds, I’m not sure what scares me most; havoc created by building roads and sidewalks to OCP/Land Titles Act standards, or the risk of not.

Either way, impact on the people who live on and around Latimer Avenue and Solly Road would be severe.

Our many questions and concerns have been met with silence. We have been patient and respectful for too many months. We are tired, stressed and we fear for the future of our homes and neighbourhood.

Please put an end to it for us all and vote it down.

Carolyn Courtemanche

Summerland