Land swap over

On Monday evening, municipal council voted to withdraw the application to adjust the Agricultural Land Reserve boundaries in Summerland.

The proposed land swap is over.

On Monday evening, municipal council voted to withdraw the application to adjust the Agricultural Land Reserve boundaries in Summerland.

The plan had called for the removal of 80.34 hectares near the core of the community, while 91.7 hectares in the Prairie Valley area would be added to the land reserve.

Earlier this year, the application had been sent to the Agricultural Land Commission, but the commission had not made a decision.

Council passed three separate motions on the land reserve exclusion. The land exclusion and inclusion were handled separately.

The third resolution was to hold a workshop early in 2015 to discuss other options for the Official Community Plan – Urban Growth Strategy.

Coun. Erin Carlson was absent for the first of the resolutions since her family owns land in the affected area.

Coun. Janet Peake was the only member of council who voted against the motions to withdraw the land reserve application.

“We should leave the applications to be considered by the ALC and get their input into our planning choices,” she said. “Council is still the decision maker into how or if we make use of the ALC recommendations.”

Coun. Toni Boot said council has time to determine a suitable growth plan for the community.

“We still have all kinds of time to consider what to do,” she said.

Coun. Doug Holmes said the land exchange application was the result of a faulty decision-making process. He said the present council needs to “rewind back to the point where the process went wrong.”

Over the past year, the controversial land exchange had been met with considerable resistance from the community.

A petition by the Stop the Swap group garnered more than 3,000 signatures, including more than 1,500 from Summerlanders.

During 2013, the municipality held numerous meetings, workshops and open houses to gather input for a new growth plan.