Development affects town centre

The decision on what to do with our institutional lands (Wharton Street) is finally coming to a conclusion.

Dear Editor:

The decision on what to do with our institutional  lands (Wharton Street) is finally coming to a conclusion.

These lands are the entrance; the “centre-piece”  to our community.

For the economic well-being of our Summerland, it has to look good.

Over the years, there has been three quite separate approaches to these institutional lands:

o The village-like  design by Dale Matthews.

o The design by renowned architect Cal Meiklejohn. This included an abundance of green space and an open air amphitheatre.

o The current Wharton Street design (shown in the Summerland Review April 4.)

The first two approaches were an open, public process with the design freely available for public scrutiny.

No public objection was voiced opposing the designs. But municipal staff claimed financial concerns.

Apparently staff were unaware of numerous available grants and the Okanagan Regional Library Board considerable assets.

Only in the last two weeks has the design been revealed for the current proposal.

The concern is there will be no opportunity for public input into this final design.

Folks, this is the very centre of our town.

When our tourists and our potential new businesses enter Summerland and drive up Prairie Valley Road, this design will be the first thing they will see.

Of the three approaches, this is clearly the less appealing.

Why wasn’t the public  given an opportunity to provide their opinion on this final design?

David Gregory