Municipal planner Ian McIntosh is compiling data and comments for the review of the municipality’s new Urban Growth Strategy. The strategy will be part of the Official Community Plan. Members of council and municipal staff hope to have at least 1

Input sought about growth strategy

Members of council and planning staff want input from the public for the municipality’s new Urban Growth Strategy.

Members of council and planning staff want input from the public for the municipality’s new Urban Growth Strategy.

The engagement campaign, Where do we Grow from Here?, runs from April to September.

It begins with an online survey at www.futuresummerland.com. The survey is also available at municipal hall.

Updates are also available online via Twitter through @summerlandbc and at Facebook.com/summerlandbc.

Community dialogues will be held at municipal hall on April 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. and on April 20 from 1 to 3 p.m.

An interactive family-friendly Cardboard City event will be held at the Earth week street festival on April 19 from 3 to 6 p.m.

Municipal planner Ian McIntosh said the plan covers some of the contents of the Official Community Plan.

In the plan, which was approved in 2008, Section 4.3 covers the municipal growth strategy.

The community plan passed on a 4-3 vote and since its adoption, several significant changes have taken place.

The biggest of these came early in 2010 when the Summerland Hills Golf Resort development was abandoned.

When the plan was adopted, Summerland Hills was the only area set aside for future growth in the community.

Other changes include new climate action commitments and an updated zoning bylaw.

“There are many issues, from housing costs to local jobs, sustainable agriculture, community services as well as climate action, that are all impacted by the district’s choices at this time,” said Mayor Janice Perrino.

McIntosh said the Urban Growth Strategy will be done with plenty of input from the community.

In addition to the survey, the municipality will hold open houses and will go to the public to get feedback.

McIntosh said the questions will be asked to get a sense of the priorities from the public. Once it has been completed, staff will work to come up with options in order to address the wishes of the public.

He added that the plan will involve some compromises since various models for growth will be considered. The survey reflects some of the factors involved.

“It asks some pretty tough questions and it recognizes there are some tradeoffs to make,” he said.

McIntosh said the municipality has set a goal of at least 1,000 people, representing a full cross-section of the community, providing input.

“We want the rank and file to tell us what they think,” he said. “We’ve always believed that if you involve the electorate in a meaningful way, it’s not that hard.”

Once the public input has been received, planning department staff will draft the new strategy. McIntosh said it should be completed by the end of the year.