Where do I want to live? This is the question we need to ask.
When we talk about the downtown core of Summerland, is a 10-minute walk a reasonable solution to urban sprawl? What about the “urban farm” close to town? People want that hobby farm or small orchard, or is this going on the way out? I know for me, I still like the country with a large lot.
Summerland was built around farm land as it came available, so we have areas that are now far from downtown. Is a 10- to 15-minute drive in the country too far to go? There are many roads that are already set up for this, case in point, Deer Ridge.
Are we talking about removing our country lifestyle of Summerland, even as close as it is to the downtown? Is this going to lose what Summerland is all about?
We now have a patchwork quilt of places that have been developed. Are these developments full? Do we need more houses? Deer Ridge, Jewell Place and Cartwright Mountain are all places that have homes already. Yes, you need to drive to them. At most you will have to drive five minutes to downtown. Is this too far to preserve a country way of life?
I wonder what the jobs plan is for all these new people coming to Summerland as we are still holding at less than two per cent growth over the last 10 years. This was the case when I ran for council twice and again it came up with the Wharton Street project. How is the town going to attract more people? For most, a way of life is not enough to pay the bills anymore.
The question we must ask is how we are going to keep Summerland as the community we all know and love.
Kickstarting some growth that brings in companies that employ a few hundred. As well, maintaining clearly defined industrial areas with buffer zones so neighbourhoods are not affected. Then look to the future with an aging population to move towards a better laid out downtown, where our arts and cultural centre has a home, where we can walk to the many small shops. All within a short bus ride or within that 15-minute walk.