Benefits in small communities

Rob Murphy’s column, “Considering the problems of sprawl” is typical of urbanite thinking — Big is Better.

Dear Editor:

Rob Murphy’s column, “Considering the problems of sprawl” is typical of urbanite thinking — Big is Better.

Long before Rob was born, a lot of us chose to live in Summerland because of its small town appeal; when we had less than 4,000 residents; when we had only two lanes of traffic between Penticton and here; when we knew nearly everyone in town; when we had only two RCMP in town; and when we were known throughout B.C. as the town with the lowest crime rate.

You could even buy a nice home on a fair-sized lot for $15,000 on a salary of $4,000 annually.

And you could smell the apple blossoms in the spring from anywhere in town because many orchards were right there.

We had a grocery store downtown; a men’s clothing shop; a Credit Union on Main Street; and even the famous 5¢ to a $1 Store which carried just about everything you needed.

We never had a theatre, but that gave us the excuse to drive to the big city of Penticton.

And if you think that people are not going to use their cars just because you have high rises and conveniences centred down town – well, until all the car and pickup buffs die off, that just ain’t going to happen.

I wouldn’t mind three- or four-storey condos built over first floor businesses, but I just don’t see that happening until the price of land and buildings go down far enough to entice young, working families who have jobs and homes in Penticton to move here, and most of those will want homes in the suburbs.

But, Rob, you might want to read the book, “Small is Beautiful” which provides the proof that for any new development that takes place it is the present taxpayer that is paying for them for many years in the future.  It doesn’t matter whether the development is downtown or out in Garnett Valley.

Frank Martens

Summerland