Number of infill sites disputed

Differing statistics presented on potential for growth within Summerland.

Coun. Peter Waterman believes there are plenty of places for potential growth in Summerland without the need for using agricultural land.

Speaking at the council meeting on Feb. 11, Waterman said the number of lots for sale, the number which are vacant and the number which have the potential for single-family or multi-family housing approaches 1,000 locations.

Waterman, a retired agrologist and an opponent of the municipality’s proposed Urban Growth Plan, has spoken out in the past about the need to keep agricultural land within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The growth plan calls for removing around 80 hectares from the land reserve near the core of the community but adding around 91 hectares in the Prairie Valley area.

“I have a great deal of difficulty understanding why we need to do this in the first place,” he said.

“Previous OCPs have decided not to infringe on ALR land, and that’s one of my concerns.”

But municipal planner Ian McIntosh disagrees with Waterman’s calculations.

He said the number of lots available for development is much lower than the 1,000 in Waterman’s figures.

“The planning department’s best estimate of lots that have a reasonable expectation of developing is 276,” he said later.

This figure includes 110 lots in sewered areas and 166 lots in areas where it may be cost effective to extend the sewer system.

If all these lots were to be developed, they would meet Summerland’s single family housing demands for eight years.

McIntosh added that most of the lots outside of the sewered area are too expensive to develop.

He said the potential infill lots will not all be developed.

In the last three years, only one infill lot was created in the Saunders Crescent area.

Half of the potential lots are in the Trout Creek area, a neighbourhood which has been resistant to densification in the past.