Facts incorrect on growth plans and use of referendum

Two items recently published in the Summerland Review are puzzling.

Dear Editor:

Two items recently published in the Summerland Review  are puzzling.

Firstly, the statement that  “Future councils could reverse growth plan” is incomplete. (Jan. 30.)

There should be public disclosure of  the significant  costs required for any new growth plan. And it’s not just the costs of creating a new growth plan either.

If a new direction of growth is approved, that new area will require municipal servicing.

Effective use of taxpayer dollars require Master Utility Plans to efficiently plan and provide those services.

At present these Master Plans include water, electrical, sewer, drainage, transportation, fire protection and recreation.

All of these plans, without exception, were servicing plans which conformed to the current 2008 Official Community Plan; primarily future development on our western hillsides.

If that direction of growth is changed, then all of the utility plans will also require amendment, at considerable costs.

At a Community Open House, one municipal staff member claimed that these plans could be amended through computer modelling. This is not correct.

Computer modelling can only be applied for water pressure changes.  I was involved with every one of those plans, and this is simply not how those utility plans were developed.

Secondly, there was a statement that referendums apply only to municipalities requesting significant borrowing (Jan. 9.)

This is not true.

Referendums can be used for a large range of issues. A perfect example is Summerland, where many of our previous bylaws were approved through this public referendum process.

Today, significant decisions such as selling lands at the very centre of Summerland (Wharton Street) should not be left to the whims of a mayor and six councillors.

Show the public the complete plans and the complete design and bring it to a referendum.

David E. Gregory

Summerland