Participants at an open house examine options for growth in Summerland. Around 1

Input gathered for growth strategy

Consultants and municipal representatives have been gathering data and comments for Summerland’s future growth strategy.

Consultants and municipal representatives have been gathering data and comments for Summerland’s future growth strategy.

On Oct. 10, another open house was held on the strategy.

This time, instead of presenting three growth scenarios to the public, 13 areas of growth were shown. The public could then examine each of these areas individually and determine which ones should be identified as growth areas.

In addition, an online tool is available to help residents determine which areas they would like to see as growth areas, based on 10 criteria.

Consultants from Sustainability Solutions Group will then analyze the data received and prepare a report summarizing the results.

The report will be presented to council in the next three to four weeks.

The final version of the growth strategy will be completed in March to June, 2014, said municipal planner Ian McIntosh.

Throughout the process, McIntosh said efforts have been made to gather extensive public input.

“This is a way more involved process than we’ve ever done before,” he said.

Initially, he wanted to receive input from at least 1,000 people.

With the comments left following the last open house, around 1,500 people have participated.

“Public engagement is a huge issue,” McIntosh said. “We really do want to know what the electorate thinks.”

The consultation process for the growth strategy has been going on since January.