Consider the history of Urban Growth Plan

I wish to put a bit of history and perspective that possibly led up to the formulation of the newly proposed Community Urban Growth Plan.

Dear Editor:

I wish to put a bit of history and perspective that possibly led up to the formulation of the newly proposed Community Urban Growth Plan.

In the early 1990s, our community experienced a spectacular growth spurt mainly driven by early retirees from the lower mainland and prairies.

In an effort to satisfy this demand developers built the  latest housing fad, condos and gated strata units.

Most of our present units along  Victoria, Turner and Jubilee were constructed then.

At the same time to satisfy the country residential market Deer Ridge, Hespeler, Harris and others came into being.

At this time Summerland did not have a sanitary sewer system. Everything was on septic, even the higher density developments, with the exception of La Vista with a private treatment plant.

Council and planners at the time realized that in order to properly service our community and also meet environmental standards a sewer system was a must.

I believe grant money was available at the time and engineering began. Prairie Valley was already looked at as possible growth area and there was even a proposal to build the sewer plant near the land fill. For all intents and purposes Prairie Valley made good sense at the time!! This was reflected in the 1995 Official Community Plan.

Following the installation of our sewer system which included the lake shore, downtown and Trout Creek with the plant located in Trout Creek, there was an effort to update the plan. This was abandoned I believe because of council change. I understand this group did  try to direct the Urban Growth Area toward the newly serviced area.

The next significant event was the Summerland Hills project which seemed to tie in nicely with the already in place Prairie Valley growth area. But at the same time the decision was made to update the Summerland Hills would supposedly satisfy our growth for years to come.

1995 OPC.  I was on that committee and I thought we did a reasonable job of getting the preamble and objectives right but there was no stomach for changing any of the actual growth areas.

So now here we are in 2013 with a plan suggesting we want to condense our community and more fully utilize our in place services but our actual maps showing where growth can take place are well out of town on unserviced land. Much of these are also within designated wild fire and environmentally sensitive locations.

The plan now being presented addresses all of this historical stuff and also reduces our present urban footprint by 50 per cent.

This is a plan that for the first time ever is “made in Summerland” received majority community support and is not developer driven.

Now for the first time ever we as residents, future residents, growers, planners and developers can see where our community could be 30 to 50 years down the track.

Also we could have the opportunity to be part of this vision.

Let’s get on board and be part of very progressive urban planning .

Don Hudgeon

Summerland