Input sought on Summerland development proposals

Public will have opportunities to speak on Banks Crescent, compost facility

The public will have opportunities to speak to municipal council about two controversial projects under consideration later this fall.

Linda Tynan, chief administrative officer for the municipality, said a comprehensive report from the municipal works and utilities department will be presented to council at the Oct. 10 council meeting.

A public hearing on the proposed seniors housing development will be held after that time.

The development is for a 424-unit seniors housing facility to be built on a privately owned property on Banks Crescent. At present, the land is being used as an orchard, but it is not in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The proposal was introduced to the public in November, 2016.

Since that time, council has called for reports and studies about the effects of this development.

People living nearby have raised questions about the stability of the slope, the effects of the development on an aquifer, increased traffic on area roads and other concerns.

The development proposal is at second reading. The hearing is required before council can adopt the bylaw.

The proposed regional compost facility will not go to a public hearing, but Tynan said the public will still have the opportunity to present opinions about the facility.

At present, the compost facility proposal has been tabled until a full council will be present. This will not happen until late October.

“We’re looking at many different options for public engagement council could choose to pursue,” Tynan said.

Staff with the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen have recommended the Summerland landfill as the preferred site for a regional compost facility.

The facility would compost food waste, yard waste, wood wast and water treatment sludge. Finished compost material would then be sold to the agricultural community, while the water treatment compost would be used at the Campbell Mountain Landfill.

At present, Summerland residents have raised concerns about increased truck traffic along Prairie Valley Road, odour and leachate from the proposed facility.

People living near the proposed location are concerned that if the facility receives approval and is constructed, lingering problems could result.

“This will be a binding agreement and cost taxpayers thousands to alter or rescind,” said Kathy Smith, one of the people opposed to the proposed facility.

She would like municipal council to consider the effects before making a decision on the facility.

However, Waterman has said the facility is worth considering.

“It’s certainly worth the discussion,” he said. “We recognize that there are going to be concerns that we have to discuss and address. I think the technology is there to deal with odour and leachate and so on. There are excellent facilities throughout the world.”

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